So I’m trying this getting up early thing again. I am 42 freakin years old and I have tried this numerous times in my life. I never can seem to make this a pleasant routine. Before kids, I used to stay up until 1am pretty much every night. I would roll out of bed around 7:30 or 8, start working around 9:30, then finally wake up after lunch. If you asked my wife and my mom what animal best describes me, they would both say a bear due to the indiscernible guttural utterances I make every morning.
So why in the heck is every author, speaker, business leader, spiritual guru, butcher, baker, and candlestick maker always lauding the act of getting up before the birds do? There has got to be something to this and I am bound and determined to experience it before I die. I can imagine myself sitting on a porch one day in my swing with my grandson telling him the hair-raising story of when papaw finally crawled his happy ass out of bed. Not exactly the story I expected to be trying to live at 42. But hey, got to be present where you are I guess.
I have tried the going to bed early methodology, thinking that eventually my body would just start waking up earlier, as it would normalize to the amount of sleep it needed. Wrong. As a bear, I can simply hibernate whenever. I began sleeping like 10 hours a night. That’s not helping anyone, though I did start accomplishing a lot more in my dreams. Considering that we are living in the Matrix anyway, that should be equally sufficient, right? Well, probably not. So I abandoned the 8 o’clock bedtime.
Because I believe that you become the books you read, I decided to start reading books about how to get up early. I know, it sounds ridiculous. Set your alarm clock and just place your feet on the floor when it goes off. . . not that easy. I bought the sleep cycle app as well, so that it will supposedly wake me during a time when I am stirring, making it more likely that I will actually make the decision to get up instead of hitting snooze repeatedly until the app gives up and goes to sleep itself. I actually tried this app a year ago and it did not work for me. Maybe the book plus the app will work.
As a musician, I used to think I wanted to live the rock n roll lifestyle. My dad, who was a police officer, always said that nothing good happens after midnight. That was when I started having the most fun. I was always the last one to shut it down. As I have gotten older, I am beginning to agree with my dad, and I no longer have FOMO (fear of missing out) syndrome. Nevertheless, this departure has not equated to earlier rising. . . yet.
My wife loves sleep more than I do. She would prefer to go to bed early and wake up late every day. I am learning from reading these books about getting out of bed, that people like to sleep often because they do not like their lives. We have been married for 19 years. Maybe my wife sleeps so much because it makes it easier to deal with me. I can’t say that I blame her.
I thought that once we had kids, I would finally begin to wake up early and adopt new habits. Turns out our kids are like mom and dad and they like to sleep as well. When left to their own natural rhythms, our 7 year old and 3 year old go to bed around 8ish and wake up at 9ish. The apple does not fall far from the hammock.
This was my first morning up early. I am determined to make this work. The book said I needed to write, so I wrote this crap that you are reading now instead of working. The problem is that I am completely irrational when I am sleepy, so I cannot trust myself to follow through. Every time I do this, I feel like a night owl wearing an early bird mask. Is it really possible to change my routine so that this becomes natural. . . or that I will actually prefer this? Would it help for me to hire a drill sergeant to come wake me up every morning and make me do push ups? I might be willing to do that as a last ditch effort. If anyone has gone to such extremes, please let me know how it worked out.
I am open to any suggestions from night owls who have ACTUALLY made the transition to early birds. I’m not talking about night owls who simply HAVE to get up early. I want to hear from night owls who now PREFER to get up early.
Early birds. . . keep your beaks shut. I have never liked you anyway.