Friday, October 20, 2017

Early Bird or Night Owl?

Before I even get started on this controversial subject, let's get a clear definition of what I am calling an early bird and a night owl. I am not talking of the extremists out there, of which there are plenty of them. It just is not natural to go to bed at 8:30 P.M. and wake up at 4:30 A.M. for most humans. Just as for most of us, going to bed at 2 A.M. and sleeping until 10 A.M. just does not work well for us. Let's find a happy medium to talk about. What is early for some is not to others and vice versa. Let's not change our natural body rhythms. Why? Work with what is natural to you. 

My happy medium is to go to bed around 10 or 10:30 P.M.and wake up around 7 A.M. What works for me, may not work for you. In order to have some kind of routine, we all must find our own body clocks. I knew that when I was in the working world outside of my own realm, I left the house at 7, which meant waking at 5:30 A.M. There was no way I could trust myself to use a snooze button on the alarm, so I really did get up when that alarm started ringing. My thoughtful husband even stopped that horrible alarm clock sound by using the Bose cd player starting at a low volume with Van Morrison crooning and slowly working up to a louder volume in case it was just one of those slow to rise mornings. I had to get up out of bed to turn the music off.

To me, each morning just felt like an indecent time of the day to be awake. In order to shower, dress, fix hair and makeup and have a breakfast (with lots of coffee) then this was the only alternative. I remember driving out of the neighborhood watching walkers and joggers getting their morning exercise. Twinges of jealousy ran through my veins. "If only," I would think to myself.

Then it happened. I retired and became a writer working on my own schedule. As time ticked away, I did discover that my body clock changed somewhat. I found myself staying up watching not only The Late Show but the Late Late Show. I would sleep in till at least until 8 the next morning and sometimes 9 just to fulfill 8 - 9 hours of sleep that was good for what my body needed. Something was missing. There was not enough time to get into my creative side, much less time to do any exercise.

After talking this over with the love of my life, we decided to get into a routine together. He is also a writer. We needed a basic routine. Both of us feel more creative in the morning. If we sleep in too late, then that creativeness has gone out the window, never to return that day. So in that respect, I suppose that, yes, we are morning people. To me, there is nothing like opening the shutters up to an early shot of sunshine. Natural light is a definite mood enhancer for both of us. Some creativeness may flow into the early afternoon, or may take the research route or something that is needed and has been proven is very good for us  -  a power nap!

Steve helped me come up with a morning brain boost that works for me. He knows that I need that cup of coffee first thing in the morning. It is like a Do Not Pass Go and Collect $200. Gotta have it! So the plan works like this:

  • Wake up at 7 
  • Dress in simple work out clothes  
  • Have one coffee while thinking of my positive mantra of the day with a brief meditation
  • Move my body up the stairs to the workout room
  • Come down and have breakfast
  • Shower and dress for the day
  • Begin work with a bit more coffee

Amazingly, I have discovered this is the best way in the world to kick start my metabolism. It actually does boost my brain power. Starting with an "I DID IT" attitude is such a positive spin on each day. I have been reading Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin. She states over and over that habits eliminate the need for self control. It actually frees us from decision making. Making this routine a habit is the something that was missing in my new chapter of life.

There are some people in this world who are morning people from the get go. I am married to a perfect example of this kind of person. This man usually let's me slide into my morning at my own pace. There are times that he seems to need to stir up a little drama first thing in the morning, such as today. I decided to remain impervious to his impish behavior. As I tend to enjoy the quietness of the first thing in the morning, he is not used to me asking a question. My question was about something that had happened yesterday. He broke off into the Paul McCartney song of "Yesterday." This broke my whole train of thought and basically all that I could manage was feeling my left eyebrow raise automatically. This caused further laughter on his part. It is a really good thing that I love this man to pieces! Actually, it is probably a really good thing that he loves me for who I am.


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