Morning people are annoying. You know the type. They’re the ones who can’t wait to jump out of bed in the morning, can’t possibly sleep past 6 even on their days off, and they’re chipper and productive from the moment their feet hit the floor. At night they’re no fun because they actually go to sleep at a reasonable hour, but when they don’t they still wake up and accomplish a ton of stuff before anyone else is even awake. I never, ever in all my years on this earth was a morning person.
I longed to be an irritating morning person.
I was that other type.
You know, the ones who won’t go to bed because there’s just too much left to do and it’s easier to do it when the kids are asleep and the house is quiet. Or else they stay up to finally have alone time or because it just feels like the day can’t possibly be over when they haven’t yet gotten to do one dang thing for themselves yet. Sometimes they simply just cannot fall asleep. And then in the mornings they are so completely exhausted that they can’t wake themselves up. They repeatedly hit snooze. They are chronically late for work or school. They can sleep until noon (or later) on their days off. And even when they do wake up on time, they are total zombies for the first several hours. That was me for as long as I can remember.
Then about 6 years ago I started to become a REAL mess.
Whenever I finally dragged my butt out of bed in the morning, all I could think about was how I couldn’t wait to crawl back in. 3 years ago it was so bad that I was late getting my kids to school a full third of the days that year. I usually dropped the kids off at school, berated myself for getting them there late AGAIN, and went right back to sleep for a couple of hours. I was even homeschooling one of my kids, but we never got around to it until noon every day. I was miserable. I was unproductive. And I was depressed. Then when my youngest was 7 we decided to start over and have another baby, and you know how well you sleep when you have a baby in the house.
That’s where I was until about 7 months ago.
At that point I, a hard core night owl for the past 3 decades at least, and a huge mess for the past several years, became a morning person. I was suddenly the type I had always been jealous of but thought I could never be. The type that is early to bed and early to rise and even likes it. I didn’t follow any tips on bedtime routines, read any articles on how to make yourself a morning person, or watch any video tutorials on how to stick to your goals in the morning. OK, I watched one video but it didn’t really help. What finally did it for me was a perfect mixture of things in my life all coming together at the same time and making it so that I was not only willing but able to wake up early every morning.
The first contributing factor was that the baby grew up and started sleeping (usually) through the night. And for once I was actually sleeping through the night too because I finally learned that I had been suffering from sleep apnea. I had been unable to breathe and thus waking myself up without realizing it 20 times every hour at night. Every HOUR! I was given a CPAP machine and after awhile I noticed that even on nights that I woke up with the baby, I ended up feeling way more rested than I ever had before. It was a dang miracle. Around this time, I also learned that I had ADHD and started being treated for that. Finally I felt like I could formulate a coherent thought before noon every day.
I also started taking my writing more seriously. I was excited about improving my blog, writing more, and submitting articles to other websites. The baby woke up pretty early in the morning but I started naturally waking up before him. I normally would have rolled over and gone right back to sleep but I found myself checking emails to see if I’d had any more articles accepted and excited to go downstairs and keep writing some more. Once I even did something that goes against all my principles for decency. I set my alarm for 5:30 on a day off just so I could have time to write before the kids woke up in the morning.
As a result of waking up early to do what I actually enjoy doing, I find that I’m much more productive the rest of the day.
By the time it’s a reasonable hour to go to bed I’m not only exhausted, but fulfilled enough with my day that I don’t feel compelled to stay up. I’m too tired to write late at night now but I’m actually excited to go to bed and wake up refreshed and ready to write in the morning. For once I’m out of the downward spiral of fatigue and depression and I’m in an upward spiral of energy, and accomplishment.
Part of my becoming a morning person was a happy accident.
It was serendipitous to be able to solve two health problems I didn’t know I had at the same time that my baby grew up and I got more involved in my hobbies. It was like a perfect storm of fortuitous circumstance. But it’s also a result of things I did on purpose. I went to several doctors, begging them to help me with my fatigue. I did anything I could to get my kid to sleep through the night (though let’s be honest, I had little to no control over that one). And I started writing more, blogging more, and researching how to write better and blog better.
I got excited about my hobby because I decided to just go for it and do it more and do it better. And since I had the health and ability to actually find the time in the morning to do it, I suddenly became a morning person. Yes, I have benefited from some good luck here, but I accidently on purpose created some of that luck myself. Now I’m one of those chipper, annoying people and I can say words never thought I’d say: I’m a morning person, and I love it.