There are people who are Morning People, and then there are the rest of us, though I may be one of the worst. I don’t remember exactly how old I was when I realized that I was not a Morning Person, but I remember everything else about that morning. It was a Saturday like any other with dim sunlight casting just enough light in through the windows to let you know that night was over. I opened my eyes enough to notice that, hear the silence of the house, and decided that sleeping seemed a better idea than cartoons. Just like that I became one of the Not Morning People.
It became official in no uncertain terms when my brother came in to try to wake me up for our cartoon watching ritual. He just couldn’t believe that I would give up cartoons. We were still in elementary school, for crying out loud. He even got a flashlight to shine in my face as I tried ducking under the covers. I grabbed the flashlight from him and blindly threw it in the direction of the door. Unbeknownst to me, he had started booking it in that direction and I ended up pegging him in the head with that flashlight. Not only had I become a Not Morning Person, but I was immediately one of those violently Not Morning People.
And so it began. I became one of those kids that refused to get up for school. My mom would go through this series of turning on the light, yanking off all the covers of the bed and order me to get up in a very firm I-will-smack-you-if-you-don’t-do-it kind of way. Most mornings was me eating a slice of toast, running barefoot to the bus stop just as the bus arrived. The other kids laughed at me while the bus driver frowned and told me to put my shoes on. Then I’d doze off until we got to school.
By high school we had moved and I actually had to walk to school. I had two walking buddies, one of whom became very frustrated with me because I wouldn’t even wake up until they knocked on my door. Thankfully I was a better friend in other aspects or I’d never have been forgiven for my morning behavior. Every one predicted that I’d flunk out of college because I’d sleep through it.
Fortunately, I ended up at the perfect college. Peace College was a small all-women’s college. I was able to schedule almost all my classes so that I always had meal time, breaks in between most classes, and whenever possible never had a class earlier than 9 o’clock. Plus, living on campus no class was more than 3 minutes or so from my dorm room, and being all women, I could roll out of bed, throw on a sweat shirt, jeans and put my hair in a ponytail (something I would NEVER have done in high school), grab my books and voilà.
Most jobs were easy once I started working. I’d show up just on time to get started, rarely early, and yes, sometimes late, which I am ashamed to say became most of the time for those A.M. jobs. I’ve been written up several times in my life for my tardiness. I’ve been put on interventions and plans to address the issue. I struggle terribly with it. Coffee helps some, but I’m just not ON before 8 at the earliest. I mean, it takes something major to have me out of bed before the sun and even then I’m not exactly a pleasant person. I go through great lengths to have everything prepped the night before so I don’t have to do much more than wake up.
Becoming a mother, as I’m sure any mother can understand, made everything worse. Not only did I have to worry about myself, but now I’m responsible for two kids. Sometimes my husband even needs me to help him in the mornings–this never makes me happy. And one of the worst things is that I’m starting to suspect that my daughter is actually one of those Morning People.
Oh, she plays it off well, struggling to get out of bed, saying she’s too tired to wake up, but once she’s out of bed the talking begins–loud, animated talking with questions and curiosity, and if you don’t respond she fills in the silence with more talking. I may have to get out of bed at what I consider ungodly hours, but I want quiet, whispering if you must, but concise, brief whispering–like, one or two words. Yes and no are sometimes too much sound for me, even a grunt. Sign language would be better.
Now my son is starting to show signs of being a Morning Person. I just don’t get those people who are ON the moment they get out of bed. I’ll do what needs to be done. I’ll get up in the morning and hustle the kids to school, and the husband and myself to work. I’ll do it, but I’ll be dragging the whole time. Anything that hasn’t been set out the night before will be forgotten by me. I do not wake up alert because I am so not a Morning Person.
Are you a Morning Person? How do you do it?
*Photo: Cup of rain by ePi.Longo, obtained through Flickr.