Monday, August 15, 2011

Motivational Monday #52 - Early to Bed, Early to Rise

I have always hated getting up early.  From my childhood I have been a night owl.  I used to read into the wee hours of the night, falling blissfully asleep as the light crept into my bedroom window.  If the world was up to me, I would make regular business hours from 1 until 9 pm.  Nothing says relaxation more than slowly opening your eyes to realize it is 11:30 in the mid morning.

And then I had kids.  (I think this sentence deserves an entire paragraph, as the implication could fill volumes.)

Gone are the days when I can sleep in, where I lay in bed stretching like a cat and pondering the peaceful joys that await me that day. Now I wake up at a dead run and hope the boogie man doesn't catch me before I get everything done. It is just not the same...sigh.

For years now I have calculated exactly how many minutes I could stay asleep before I HAD to get out of bed or risk the kids missing the bus.  Each morning was filled with panic, raised voices and utter chaos.  I absolutely hated each and every morning.  I felt trapped in a pit with no likely chance of escape. (Have I painted this picture well enough yet? Are you jealous??)

This year we had some changes at our house.  One of my children is special needs, and I realized (albeit, a little late) that I needed to be prepped and ready for him BEFORE he woke up.  This meant I needed to be fully awake and dressed, with lunches packed and a smile on my face before his alarm even went off.  In order to make that happen I needed to start getting up an hour and 15 minutes before him. (Can you see me wimper?)

So that is what I have been doing and I quickly realized a few things:
  1. I like my personal quiet time each and every morning.  It is wonderful to get showered and dressed without "help" or the constant worry that mayhem may be ensuing in the next room.
  2. I enjoy watching the sun come up.  I never thought I would say that, but there is something energizing about watching the house get lighter and the world outside become clearer.  I have even noticed the wildlife that comes to nibble each morning.  The bunny and I are becoming buds.
  3. I get no complaints about what I pack for lunch when they don't see me do it.  I know this sounds sneaky, but I ask at the beginning of each week what they want to eat, and then I don't ask again.  This really cuts down on the whine factor each day.
  4. I get a ton accomplished after I send them out the door if I am already on the move myself.  Who knew laundry didn't have to be a multiple day marathon?  I am finding that my chores are accomplished quickly when I am already up and about when the kids leave.  I don't waste time waking up or getting motivated.  It is wonderful!
  5. I am more aware of how I spend my time. Now that I am not intentionally wasting my own time, I am more guarded with how other people spend it.  I find myself saying no to things I don't want to do or have no time to fit in.  I also find myself getting off the phone so I can accomplish the things I need to do.  I think this has a lot to do with me deciding how to spend my time and not letting time pass while I avoid the things I don't want to do.
  6. I want to climb in bed each night.  This is huge, as I have always loved staying awake.  I find myself excited about sleep time, and because I had personal time in the morning, I don't need to have as much in the evening after the kids go down.  When I do climb in bed I rest well because I know I have finished the things I need to do and will do the same the next day.
Ben Franklin is quoted as saying, "Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise."  I can't speak to the wealthy or wise parts, but I feel good and my family is running smoother.  Who knew getting up early could do so much?


  1. I really really wish I could find the motivation to get up early. I haven't been a morning person for a long time. School is starting soon, so I am hoping that will help!

    Visiting from BlogFrog

    Hope you come and visit me!

  2. Jen, Trust me when I tell you it took a lot of motivation to make it happen, but now that my body has adjusted I love it. (I will keep telling myself that until it is true!!!)