Oh, what a difference an hour makes

I have never been a morning person.  I was the kid whose parents had to go into their bedroom at noon to make sure they were still breathing.

About 2 years ago I was inspired by Abundant Mama Shawn Fink’s Rise & Shine Challenge and started *trying* to set the alarm clock to get up before my kids.  I say *try* because it’s something I don’t do consistently.  My level of success goes up and down depending on the season, the weather, my health, and my overall motivation.  I can say that when I DO Rise & Shine, I am much happier.  Why would I be happier to wake up at 5am (yes, my kids wake up at 6, so getting up “earlier than my kids” means setting the alarm at 5 or 5:15am).

Check out these 2 scenarios:

Scenario 1 | “Sleeping in” | I am warm and cozy, snoozing away in bed.  One of my kids loudly come out of their bedroom, and I am startled awake.  I immediately think “OMG, why are they up so early?!?!?!  ?@%! This sucks!” as I climb out of bed and join a child who undoubtedly WANTS SOMETHING.  Ugh.

Scenario 2 | Rising & Shining | The alarm wakes me up.  I’m not going to lie- I am not thrilled about it.  But, because I got to bed at a reasonable hour the night before, I feel rested.  I think about coffee.  I climb out of bed and tiptoe to the kitchen, where I immediately put on a cup.  I go to my computer and start working on a project.  Because I was intentional about choosing what I will work on the evening before, I don’t need to hem and haw- I can get right to it.  Because my mind is clear, I am productive.  I typically get more done in this first hour than I do in double that time during the day.  Because I have already woken up, had some coffee, and been productive, I am calm when my children come out of their bedroom.  I smile at them, say good morning, and give them a hug.  I am ready to start my day.Others take this

Scenario 2 all the way, right?

Others take this precious morning time for self-care. They journal or do yoga.  My process is to take a few minutes before going to bed to ask myself “What’s the one thing that I can get done in the morning that will make the rest of the day better/easier/happier?”  Oftentimes it’s something that I’ve been meaning to do and can’t seem to check off my list because it involves some thought.  Early morning is a perfect time for me to do those kinds of things. the weather has been very rainy, I’ve been fighting some kind of cold/cough, and I’ve been staying up later than I’d like.

Well, I haven’t been Rising and Shining lately.  The weather has been really rainy, I’ve been fighting some kind of cold/cough, and I’ve been staying up later than I’d like.  And of course, I’ve been feeling “behind”, bleh, all of those feelings I get when I don’t have that most grounding hour of my day.

I’ll find my way back again.  This rain and cough can’t last forever, right?

So, talk to me.  Do you get up early so that you can have some time alone?  What would you do with that hour?