Morning person I really am not. I really enjoy going to bed at 10 or 11 p.m. and sleeping until at least 7 and then getting up to prepare to meet the day. At 9 a.m.
Alas, I made the conscious choice to get up and get my gym workouts done before I start my workday … which is generally still at 9 a.m. Unfortunately for me, this has resulted in an alarm going off at 5 a.m. (Monday) and then 4:45 a.m. (Tuesday and today), and Friday it will be 4:30 a.m. Tomorrow I get a pass because it’s training day with J at 8:30, so I can sleep until 6:30.
So how has that early riser thing been working out for me? The surprising truth – pretty well. My evolving goal has been to get to the gym with enough time to do my cardio warm-up and get through at least 2 full sets of my weekly routine. Monday I barely had enough time for that, Tuesday seemed about perfect adjusting with an extra 15 minutes, and today I was more efficient with my 2 sets yet chose to bail on a third run-through in favor of washing/drying sweat-head hair instead. Starting Friday, I decided to aim for 5:30 gym arrival on weekdays in hopes of completing 3 sets of everything, or on days when the sweat-head hair really bothers me, do 2 sets and allow extra hair washing/drying time.
Other than waking up in what seems like the middle of the night to skulk out of the house and off to the gym, this new schedule has been having a positive impact. I like getting my workouts done and over with, not to be thought about further until the next day when the alarm sounds. I feel more alert and productive when I sit down and start working, because my body and mind feel fully awake and refreshed. Evenings after working are free for rowing and/or yoga practices or whatever shopping M and I want/need to conduct; our Costco is a far more pleasant place on a weekday evening 90 minutes prior to closing than it is anytime on a weekend. When I go to bed at 10, I do so without the uneasy feeling of not having exercised or the guilt of not having put forth genuine effort at it. Plus when I go to bed, I drop off easily and sleep really well, and it’s not nearly as hard to pry my eyes open and drag my butt out of bed to start all over again.
So while being a morning person does not come naturally to me, it’s manageable. The simple flip-flop of when I spend time at the gym has thus far been a boost for me and how I expend my energy. Even M, who is a complete and total night owl, notices that I seem far more alert and relaxed than usual this week. Maybe it’s just the novelty of it all, but I will happily and graciously accept the uptick in energy and outlook for as long as it lasts.
After the Monday morning emotional melt-down at the former full-time job, I theorized a work/life balance shift that was having repercussions throughout the rest of my life. But no, it was just a bad morning with home-based drama following staff into the office. All has been well and calm since.
Maybe I am not naturally a morning person, but since I am not a perky sunshine-and-unicorns sort of personality type anyway it’s hard to tell what I would be like if I were naturally a morning person. With age comes the urge to go to bed at a reasonable hour and luxuriate in the hours I am sleeping. Maybe this is all part of that whole “aging gracefully” phenomenon. Or maybe I am just a tiny step closer to the elusive work/life balance.