Until about a year ago I often thought of 4AM as four at night, not four in the morning. This changed (not without some kicking and screaming) when I accepted my position as a fulltime copywriter. When I worked in retail I was subjected to both the blessing and curse that is having a flexible schedule. This was generally a blessing, as I was a night owl and didn’t have work until noon or later for the most part. The curse aspect reared its ugly head whenever I had to work those awful adult shifts of 8 or even 7AM.
Having been a night owl for most of my life and and rarely out of bed before 11 AM, the prospect of a Monday through Friday, 8-5 job terrified me. Sure, knowing I would always have weekends free was great, but at what cost? I often thought of “morning people” as this mystical group with the innate ability to spring out of bed at 5 AM every day without a hitch. One thing was for certain: I was NOT a morning person.
Having been a supposed morning person for nearly a year now I have come to this conclusion – there is no such thing as a morning person.
Over the course of the year I haven’t made many lifestyle changes, beyond going to bed a few hours earlier and setting my alarm for 4:30 AM. What I have changed is my mindset. The night owl me often justified staying up late by stating, “life’s too short to sleep and this is usable time.” The irony being that I was usually just playing videogames or watching television during those late hours. What this old me was missing, was just how wonderful and unique the morning can be.
The first few weeks of morning life were far from easy, as I found myself nothing short of crawling out of bed. That said, over the course of a few weeks, I found myself going to bed closer and closer to 11 AM, quite the feat for my former night-loving self. I was also waking up earlier, having realized that the benefits of sleeping an extra hour were far outweighed by the comforts of the early morning. So began my love for Midwest mornings.
While the glow of a sunny afternoon and the beauty of a starry sky are both unique and wonderful in their own right, the first rays of sun in the morning are in a league of their own. Looking out the window with a warm cup of coffee in hand and seeing the sun slowly edging its way over the buildings across from our apartment, reminds me of why I get up so early. That, and the extra hour to sit at my computer and enjoy some oatmeal.
I’ve seen sunrises at the East and West coasts and at the northern tip of the country. Each of them was beautiful and captivating in its own right, but none of them were as meaningful as the one I see at home. Knowing you are part of a small populace who gets to witness the first bit of daylight, makes the moment that much more enjoyable.
As I’ve mentioned before, you learn to appreciate the little things in life when you don’t have an easy way out, like a beach or a snow-capped mountain in your backyard. This mindset and realization has not only helped me enjoy Indiana that much more, but also helped me conquer waking up, so much so that I moved my schedule from 8 AM to 7 AM.
To those of you out there who find yourself struggling to get out of bed before 10 AM, I challenge you to get up this week and see at least one sunrise. Whether your living room window gives way to a rolling field of corn or a Hallmark view of the ocean, I assure you that watching the sunrise will be a highlight of your day. You can always go to sleep after watching it, but I have a hunch that says you might find yourself staying up after that.