Maybe I will just get up a little early, I said to Matt, and walk a few miles each morning before I take the kids to school. Each day I go for a walk I feel better and happier and more in control of my life and my emotions. And in England in May, the sun rises at 5AM. May as well make use of all that daylight.
He nodded, and said that sounded like a good idea.
At 7:10 this morning, my alarm went off and I turned off the sound, rolled back over, and closed my eyes for another five minutes, wondering as always if I reallllly needed to get up yet.
And I realized I am never, ever getting up early to go for a walk. Or a run. Or to go to the gym. Or to do anything really that I don’t HAVE to do.
Unless I have no choice – I have an early morning flight or an appointment or have to drive somewhere far away – I am never getting up earlier than I have to. Never. Ever. It’s not happening.
As I stumbled my way out of bed, I leaned against Matt, my eyes still closed, him already up and dressed for work.
I’m never getting up early to go for a walk, I said.
I know, he laughed.
He knew when I first said it, but he’s smart enough to also know that some things I have to figure out on my own.
Somehow those people who get up at 5AM and get things done seem so much more in control of their lives than people like me, who scrape themselves out from between the blankets at the last minute possible to get done what they must get done and who do not merrily engage in conversation until at least one cup of coffee has been consumed. I have this idea in my head that if I just became a morning person, I’d get everything I need to do done so much more efficiently.
The truth is if I woke up at 5AM I would be crankier than normal in the morning and probably for the whole day. I would not begin my day with a good attitude or a positive outlook, I would begin my day with anger and annoyance. The walks I have come to love and rely on to balance me out would become burdensome. And I would need a nap at noon and by 6PM I would be a very bad mother.
I just need to make peace with it. I’m not a morning person. That’s OKAY.
I’m letting go of the guilt I make myself feel over it. I am not a morning person. That is okay.
The flip side is that I am a very good night owl. I can be productive late in the day, I can get things done at 10PM, and the fact that the sun is no longer in the sky doesn’t mean my productivity is somehow worth less than if I’d done all my stuff early in the morning. It doesn’t mean I’ve procrastinated either. It just means that that’s my time of day, far more than 5AM will ever be.
I’ve decided not to try to squish myself into the mold of who I think I should be and just accept who I am. Maybe use my natural strengths and rhythms a little more thoughtfully though – make that 10PM hour really work for me instead of using it to play Candy Crush while Matt sleeps on the sofa (he IS a morning person, so sleeping on the sofa at 9PM is pretty much his jam).
Maybe in my old age I’ve finally gained some wisdom. Maybe I’ve just learned that acceptance can be grace. Whatever the reason, I’ll be happier not trying to make myself something I’m not.