letting go: do you want to be a morning person?

 (Yes, this is the moon. I think I had been awake for an hour when I took this photo.)

(Yes, this is the moon. I think I had been awake for an hour when I took this photo.)

When my daughter woke up this morning, I felt ready. I had been awake for more than two hours.

I had meditated, exercised, written for 15 minutes, showered, dressed, brushed my teeth, scanned my calendar for the day, made sure all the stuff I needed for my day was by the door. And I had said good morning to my husband in a way that was actually kind.

All of which meant that I could also say good morning to my daughter in a way that was actually kind. And I could read to her for a few minutes.

That was true this morning and yesterday morning and the morning before that and the morning before that, too.

Doesn't that sound awesome?

Well, I have to say: it is awesome.

I should also say: it has required giving up staying up late, saying no to snuggling in my bed, and letting go of a longtime part of my identity.

We have to let go of the things that are good to get to the things that are the best. And sometimes we don't know which things are the best because we've been doing things mostly the same way forever.

So, I decided to do this experiment. I decided to let go of Not Being a Morning Person.

Pause. Okay:

That thing about letting go of Not Being a Morning Person sounds lovely and simple and Hey Just Decide It And It's All Better in a way that completely annoys the shit out of me.

In my experience, things that are part of our identities--especially things that have been part of our identities since childhood--are hard as a motherfucker to let go of, even when you WANT to do it.  And you can believe me when I say that Not Being a Morning Person has been a part of my identity since I can remember.

Short story about that: Once when I was around 12, my family hid a full scrambled-egg-sausage-and-toast breakfast from me before church. I woke up, realized I was later than I should be, walked into the kitchen, saw that some breakfast had been cooked and there wasn't any left, and burst into tears. (They felt badly. It was supposed to be a joke.)

And also: I missed the bus so many times growing up, i'm amazed that Chris from Bus 264 still bothered to stop and blare his horn for me.

And finally: Madame Solterer, I apologize for the way I treated your 9:00 a.m. French Lit class in college.

Anyway, you can trust me when I say that not a single person who has ever lived with me, loved me, or depended upon me who would describe me as anything remotely akin to a morning person. 

I am--or I was--Not a Morning Person for 43 years. And now, for at least this month, I get up at 4:30 a.m.

Letting go of Not a Morning Person is hard like letting go of Almost Exclusively Drinks Coca-Cola was hard. But I had a compelling reason to change that. Not provoking my heart into tachycardia was a Best that was better than the taste of Coca-Cola, even though that Coca-Cola taste was very, very Good.

Now, many years post-Coca-Cola, I'm starting to think that getting to do all the things I do in the early morning AND having a relatively relaxed launch to the day with my family--both of those are Bests that are better than sleeping in, even though sleeping in is very, very Good. 

If you are Not a Some Kind of Person, and now you're trying to see what it's like to be That Kind of Person, know that I'm trying right alongside you.

You are not alone.

With love from Cheryl

PS: After this 30-day experiment is over, I'll write about my learnings and share some practical tips, in case you want to try this thing yourself. In the meantime, if you're chomping at the bit, The Miracle Morning helped me make this leap. Read the experiment log to learn why I committed to trying something that on the surface made me say, "Ack! It's too self-help cheesy!"