Something a bit different today: The short micro-essay below is something I worked on and off throughout the day. I started in the AM but added and edited it throughout the day, well into the PM part of the day.
When I was a teenager, I realized something: It takes me a long time to get going in the morning. When I woke up, I would move slowly and not think clearly for at least an hour.
This was a problem because I liked to sleep for as long as possible. I would sleep for as long as I could, then I'd have to wake up and quickly get myself ready to go to school and head out the door. A typical morning would have me stumbling around in a zombie-ish state, stumbling out the door in a sort of brain fog, and heading to school.
Inevitably, when I got to school and my brain and body finally turned fully to ON, I would realize that I had forgotten something. Often something important. Being in this situation would complicate my day.
After far too long of this, I realized it took me a long time to power down at night. My brain liked to keep going. Even if I was tired at night, I was generally speaking, pretty with it.
So, to recap
It takes me a long time to get going in the morning, and I can't think well.
In the evening/night, I can't stop thinking, but I'm thinking clearly.
I changed my routine
After having jacked up days enough times, I changed how I got ready in the morning. I would do as much of the getting-ready stuff as I could the night before.
- I'd make sure my bag had all the stuff I'd need for the next day in it.
- I'd pick out the clothes I would wear the next day.
This way, I could roll out of bed and just grab all the stuff I had set up the night before, and I could be ready for the day without needing to think too much.
To a large degree, I'm the same. I still take a long time to get moving in the morning. I still do some setting up my day the night before. However, I also have another way of dealing with my I'm a zombie in the morning problem: I get up early.
How does that work?
If I get up early (like 5:30 am or so), I can move slow, and that is not a problem. I can take my time, make coffee in a sleepy haze, and then slowly drink the coffee I can stretch. I can read my emails (knowing anyone I need to reply to will probably still be sleeping). It's glorious.
There is something about the early morning
Those early morning hours, when most of the world is still sleeping, have become a very cherished part of my day. They represent a time when I can take my time unfolding. When I stayed up very late, into the small hours of the morning, when most people were sleeping, had a similar feel. They are both times where the demands of social and professional life are less present.
They seem to be the best times for people who like to take their time figuring out what they think and how they feel.
P.S. – I have an announcement
I've had an idea for another very theme-specific email newsletter that I'm going to write and put out via Substack.
The newsletter will be my attempt to write about how becoming a parent has changed me with humor and sincerity. I hope the result is something that is funny, but not snarky, without being sanctimonious.
The title of the newsletter is: Is that poop on your shirt?
If that sounds like something you'd like to read, you can sign up for it here. The first edition of that newsletter will be going out tomorrow.