If you’ve known me for a good long while, then you would know I’m not a morning person. I’d be just fine sleeping in as much as physiologically possible, and then would be okay working into the evening.
But now, it’s 7:30am, and I’ve already been sitting at my desk at work for over an hour, and it’s kind of awesome. I’m getting all kinds of work done. There’s no interruptions, I’m super alert and am thinking clearly.
I think my capacity to sleep in was disrupted as soon as I became owner the worries that go along with being parent. With a baby, small sounds would trigger me awake. With a very young child, being pounced upon early in the morning would trigger me awake. My child is much older now, and the utility of waking up early for parental reasons has waned. But I still find myself waking up early in the morning. Even though there’s no diaper to change, and no little one to read to.
It’s taken a while for me to figure this out, but I’ve gotten around to making use of this predilection for early waking to get some work done. I recently found myself, at home in the evening, simply not able to get my brain into gear to get stuff done, even if I had a deadline. I realized that I’d counted on tapping into those occasional late night hours to finish off manuscripts, grants, and other projects — and of course grading. Now that my brain was demanding some down time, I had to adjust. This early morning thing has worked out pretty well for a few months now. I never imagined that I’d be the kind of person who’d want to wake up at 5 and get to work. But I’m pretty keen on it now. And even when I leave work early to pick up my kid from school, cook dinner and all that, I will know that I’ve got a full day of work in, leaving time for a novel in the evening rather than a manuscript.
I have a few friends who wake up and work for a bit at home in the morning before the kids get up, and then they do the parental routine in the morning, and then head off to work. I didn’t think that was in me, but I guess maybe I’m a morning person now. Huh.