Morning People

By Liz, loving the hot weather that’s finally arrived in CT!

For one of our recent Wicked Wednesdays, we talked about what we are usually doing at eight in the morning. I actually really liked this question, and once I started my list of the things I’ve done by then, I was sort of impressed.

It included cleaning (my cats are messy overnight), journaling, meditating, walking and feeding dogs, and sometimes even getting some words in on my latest book. And mind you, I don’t like to get up super early, so in most cases this doesn’t start before 6:30.

I’ve been working through my relationship with mornings most of my life. I used to think I was more of a night person. Then again, I also used to think I was an extrovert. One thing I knew with certainty was that I was not like my parents, who both got up at the crack of dawn regardless of the day of the week. My mother was famous for getting up at four a.m. to clean the house before everyone else got up. Shoot me now, I used to think about that.

I was a typical teenager who liked to sleep late, and even if I wasn’t sleeping, I would stay in bed for as long as I could get away with on the weekends. In college and early working days I’d drag myself out of bed at some ungodly hour, usually waking up to a really terrible, buzzing alarm clock, and drag myself into the day. I remember usually feeling tired before I even got started going anywhere or doing anything.

Then I heard of a phenomenal thing called the zen alarm clock. The whole idea of it was that you woke up to soft chimes that would become more consistent the longer you ignored it, rather than being blasted out of bed by a buzzing noise that sounded like a SWAT team was invading your bedroom. That was my first taste of a more peaceful start to the day.

Then I did Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way and began doing morning pages consistently, which added a whole new level of centering to my day. While I fell in and out of that consistency for a while depending on circumstances, this is now a non-negotiable part of my day. If I don’t journal, I feel incredibly off.

Still, when I was rushing out of the house to get to some office or another, that zen still eluded me. For a while I managed it with a routine of journal, green smoothie, lots of coffee, and positive affirmations in the car, but I realized that rushing around and out the door in the morning is really just not for me. Especially with traffic and all those other joyful commuting nuisances.

Then I manifested the opportunity to work fully remote – which I knew was the way to go for me. Long before COVID sent everyone to their home offices, I was happily ensconced in mine with a commute of two steps from my bedroom. My transition from my day job to my writing job (or vice versa) was simply a matter of closing one computer and turning to the other. My furries are the best office mates and I get to be with them all day. And best of all, I don’t have to rush into the morning. It helps that I don’t have to do my hair and makeup anymore until I felt like it (if at all), but overall it’s lovely to be able to ease into the day, do my routine, get some word count in to make me feel successful before I start my other work, and still show up on time for my nine-thirty meetings.

If one has to “day job” while writing books, this is definitely the way to do it. And I’ve come to the realization that yes, I am a morning person.

Readers, what do you like best (or least) about mornings? Leave a comment below.

43 Thoughts

  1. My days start at 2 am, a left-over from when I worked the emergency winter shelter and HAD to stay awake all night. I became the web servant of several Quaker sites and most of those positions persist. What I like about the early mornings is that it is extremely rare for them to be interrupted. Yes, there is the occasional Facebook notification from either a night owl or one of my European friends, but nothing I HAVE to deal with at that precise moment. Back to the. currently, 8,209 unread emails…

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  2. I have always loved early mornings, Liz. When I went into an office, I would arrive by six-thirty. It was quiet, I could work (or cheat and do some of my own writing in later years) without interruption, and I mostly missed the morning commute traffic. And that also let me leave early to avoid the rush on the other end. Right now birds are singing outside and the world is peaceful.

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  3. What I like about morning is the quietness around you. Even when I went into the office, it was quiet and I was able to do things I couldn’t do once the other workers arrived.

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  4. I’m definitely a morning person. My alarm goes off at 4:30 (a nice soothing melody on my phone) although my furry alarm clock usually starts patting my face (“Mom? You awake?”) anytime after 4:00. This is earlier than I’d prefer but my husband leaves for work around 5:45. My body is so trained, I wake up early on weekends too. I look forward to Hubby’s retirement and possibly sleeping until 6 or (gasp!) even 7 AM.

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    1. Haha. Like me, my furry ones don’t like to be rushed out of bed either (the dogs, anyway). Although Penny wakes me up sometimes because she takes up so much space for a little dog – and I end up sleeping on the edge!

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      1. Ha! Liz, how is it that these little creatures push us out of our beds??? Kensi has her own pillow but she’s constantly trying to take over mine instead!

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  5. I’m not much of a morning person but my cats have other ideas. They take turns waking me up as they are starving to death. Then they eat and go to bed and I can’t go back to sleep. I catch up with my email and drink coffee with the news on.

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  6. I love mornings! A fresh, new day for adventures! I admire your journaling, meditating and manifesting – I am just beginning working on manifesting myself. Any good books you can recommend about it?

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  7. I, too, use to think of myself as a night person. I couldn’t understand hubby saying mornings were such a wonderful time. Mornings were thrust upon me due to getting older and having medical problems. By 5:30 – 6 my body has had all the bed it can handle. That’s when I really discovered the quiet time of the sun coming up and the critters starting to stir. Then I was able to get done with most computer stuff by 9 or 10 leaving the rest of the day free. It made the day more stress free and relaxing by getting up early because I’m not starting the day trying to play catch up from sleeping in.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

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  8. The eternal question – morning or night. I was a life-long night owl. Somewhere along the way that shifted to a morning person, but I’m not certain I fully accept the transition. When I’m stuck on a plot point or scene, it’s the dark of night that easily frees the logjam.

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  9. I am a morning person. I’m usually awake by 6:30 and when I have errands, I get out and do them as early as possible. I do my best work in the morning.

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  10. I still wouldn’t say I’m a “morning person,” but since I switched to the work from home (like you, long before COVID), I enjoy sitting in the quiet, especially in the spring/summer/fall listening to the birds. Koda wakes me up at 6:30, I feed him, get my own breakfast and tea, and enjoy the peace. Even in the winter, when it’s dark and cold.

    But please don’t make me try to be productive before 7:30.

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  11. I rarely sleep late, even though I wish I could sometimes. (We’ve stopped even using an alarm clock anymore, no need for it.) But I do love the quiet of early mornings, before Tara and Dash get up, and the chance to make some notes and plans about the day ahead, to refill the bird feeders, to put away the dishes we’d cleaned the night before, just easing in to the day. (Coffee, meditation, etc.—that comes later.)

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    1. Easing into the day – exactly! I’m with you, Art. And I haven’t used an alarm clock in years, although my b/f still uses it because of school/kids. Which is a little jarring for me…

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  12. I’m grateful that Sherry chimed in! I am a night person, mostly from working in theater for a number of years, and going to theater a lot, so I’d get home late. I am trying to go to bed earlier, and I leave space in my mornings for exercise, journaling and meditation. Who knows, I may be a morning person some day. But I sincerely doubt it.

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  13. I’m not a morning person. It’s gotten worse with smart phones since I can lay in bed checking email and social media before I even get out of bed. I need to stop doing that and be more productive in the mornings.

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    1. Gabby Bernstein puts her phone “to bed” in a separate room – in a charger that literally looks like a bed. I really need to try that sometime because I do tend to pick up the phone early on.

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  14. I am definitely a night person. When I had to get up at 5am for work, I did it and was never late, but I hated it. I’m much more likely to still be up at 4am. On those occasions when I do wake up early, I enjoy the quiet and all the birds, but I’m not going to purposely get up early!

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  15. I have always been a morning person. That does not mean that I didn’t enjoy staying up late and sleeping in when I was a teenager, but that is a lifestyle that is not really me. What I like about early mornings is the serenity: the quiet as others have mentioned, the time to reflect, to eat breakfast and even exercise. We wake up when our ocean sounds CDs quit at 4AM, funny but true…the lack of sound wakes us up. I feel more creative earlier in the day rather than later. And, oh the sunrises we have seen…so many lovely ones!

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  16. I’m with the few that are night owls. My sleep schedule is always off and changing. (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) Here of late, I’m first going to bed at 1 or 2 AM. My alarm is very different than most. When I take my hearing aids out to lay down, I really can’t hear anything. I’m 80% deaf bilaterally. So, my alarm clock is an alarm clock for the deaf. You place a discus under your sheet below where your pillows would sit, or you can tuck it into your pillowcase and just have a thin wire leading under your pillow, but my alarm clock doesn’t really make a noise other than vibration. It shakes, and like volume, you control the strength of the vibration. I have it up pretty high because I’m just not a fan of earlier hours. I set it if I have somewhere to go. Thankfully, that isn’t often!

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  17. I’m more of a night owl, but the older I get, the more my bedtime has shifted earlier.I do like quiet mornings–and when I can catch the sunrise, it’s so lovely.

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  18. Due to physical issues, mornings are not my favorite time of the day. I struggle with sleep and pain. Before I became disabled, I would be up at 4:30am. I do not do that very well anymore.

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  19. I love seeing beautiful sunrises , my husband and I take our pup on his morning walk after we eat breakfast which is about 8am. I love seeing the beauty of nature, I love listening to the birds singing in the morning.

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  20. Retired and still sleeping after 38 1/2 years getting up at 5:30 am every week day. Retired means I don’t do anything and I don’t start that until noon.

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