I don’t know when I became a morning person. I just know that I haven’t always been one. For example, in college, I seemed to be the most productive at night. That was when I was able to churn out “A” quality essays and research papers. I would spend my days working, interning, doing reading assignments or conducting research but evening time was when all that day time business came to fruitation because it was the work I did at night that appeared before my professors and earned me my grade—not all that behind-the-scenes activity I did during normal waking hours.
Considering the fact that I have never been a coffee drinker, I’m quite amazed at how well I performed in college given my preferred hours of work. That’s probably why my part-time job writing for the university student paper also attracted me—much of the work we did in that office was also at night. (This was before today’s publishing technology became affordable and available, and I realize that makes me sound really old right now.) But I clearly remember wrapping up the weekly edition of the student paper well past midnight but just in time for the printer to have it ready for 8AM distribution on campus. And somehow I seemed to thrive on that schedule.
With that being said, the only reason I took early morning classes in college was because I was (and still am) the type of person who would rather get all the unpleasant stuff out of the way first so that I had the rest of my day to enjoy or use productively.
(OK, as I just wrote that, I realize that while I still prefer to work that way, I don’t always given my current circumstances—for example, it’s Sunday morning and I still haven’t touched the work I was supposed to do this weekend that has a 9AM deadline tomorrow. Then again, I’m still kind of bitter that my chosen career field asks this of me, but what are you going to do when you have a mortgage to pay?)
The transition from being a night to morning person must have happened in my early 30s, and it must have been gradual. And I would venture to say it began during the time I was living in Orlando, Florida and solidified itself when I moved back to DC (for the second and likely final time). Funny how that is, now that I look back on it all.
And so that brings me to where I am today, when waking up at 8AM is considered sleeping in and the highlight of my day (besides coming home from work) is sitting on my balcony in the morning with a warm cup of tea, a book (or my laptop) in my hands and just enjoying the silence that precludes my community before the day brings with it the hyper rush of activity that the DC area is known for.
As I write this very blog post from the comfort of my balcony, my neighborhood has yet to fully awake, the humidity hasn’t had a chance to settle in, and the only sounds I hear are the owls that are still awake, the birds that are chirping away and the sounds my fingers make when they hit they keyboard. All that is missing, in my opinion, is a panoramic mountain view in front of me, so close that I could touch it, and life, I would then say, is pretty damn perfect.
Of course, what makes these moments so spectacular is the fact that they are temporary. I know this peace won’t last much longer, especially on a weekend. Pretty soon the neighborhood will wake up, the heat will return and the sound of nature will be drowned out by the sound of urban living (although I will say, my community is actually pretty quiet considering how close it is to downtown DC). The privacy I enjoy in the morning will be eventually compromised and life, as they say, will go on.
And that’s OK, because that’s how it should be, I guess. But as a morning person, I’ll treasure these early hours of the day as much as I can because before long, it won’t be morning anymore.