Morning Moments

Tuesday, September 7, 2010
It’s no secret that I’m no morning person. Yet despite my natural night owl inclinations, I’ve been spent a good portion of the last decade trying to train myself into being an early bird.

Back in high school I forewent the luxury of being homeschooled by doing my best to conform my schedule to that of public school kids: it was the only way I seemed to manage half-way productive school days. In college I forced myself up every school day morning when it was still dark to trundle myself down to the gym on campus. Today, I stumble out of the bedroom just as Andy’s about to head to work each morning. They say the writing life is all about stealing moments to write and often the hour or so I spend in the morning updating my blog or hammering a couple hundred words on whatever project I’m currently working on is the only writing I’ve gotten many days this summer.

I like to think I’ve been fairly successful with my early bird ambitions, although I suppose my success is open to interpretation. I’m no Pollyanna during my first couple hours of consciousness by any stretch of the imagination. I may be awake, but that doesn’t mean I’m great company.

Oscar Wilde famously quipped in his play An Ideal Husband: “Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast.” I’ve long evoked that phrase in my defense, although I think Oscar’s insight extends far beyond me. My earliest memory of early mornings are quiet times spend pouring over the morning paper while spoon clink against cereal bowls, or in the case of my maternal grandparents, playing three games of Yahtzee while the coffee brewed. Morning is the time when we all have to come to terms with the world and we all do that in a different, albeit, rarely exciting, way.

Morning’s such a time of quiet ritual. Whether visiting grandparents as a child or even when staying with friends today, morning is when you let those around you do their own thing. It’s a time of unspoken routine, something that we do our best not to intrude upon.

Overtime, my mornings have become a time for exercises, breakfast, coffee, blogging, writing, and knitting a couple rows on my current project. Monumental things aren’t accomplished in the morning. But little tasks, completed with diligence can set the tune for the whole day. I’ve grown to cherish my quiet morning moments and the fleeting introspection they bring.

This morning I woke up to the sound of rain hitting the roof and Andy get ready for work. I’d planned for a lazy morning; after all, it’s the first opportunity I’ve had to sleep in for several weeks. Yet I found myself prompted to push aside the blankets and get up to face the rainy day.

Why do we get up early even when we know we can delay the stumbling towards consciousness a few more hours? Maybe it’s like jogging: the process of doing the waking up is always a struggle, but it sure feels good when it’s over with.

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