Friends and longtime readers know that I am not a morning person. I have great difficulty falling asleep before 11:00 or midnight, and my deepest sleep is the hour or two before the alarm goes off. As a teen, my alarm clock was something of an air raid siren, but most mornings I did not hear it going off inches from my head. My mother would hear it from the other end of the house, and after it was ignored for too long, come to my room to wake me.
I am not as bad these days. My alarm is really just a radio at low volume. Most mornings, the pooch wakes me with the click, click, click of her nails before it goes off anyway. But I am still coming out of my deepest sleep, and it is painful to rise.
The jobs I have had for much of my life have not required me to be up very early. There were exceptions, like the year I had the morning shift at McDonald's. When I worked as a deck builder, I was up pretty early to get to the jobsite by 8:00am. But I would stay in bed as late as possible, leaving the house ten or fifteen minutes after waking up. Even after six or seven years, the morning routine did not stick. I would stay up late most nights and sleep in on weekends to try and catch up.
I could probably sleep in until 8:30 or 9:00 these days and still make it in to work on time, but the pooch generally wakes me up at 7:00. It still feel like crap every morning, but after a year and a half she has forced the routine. I have time to have breakfast and read the paper, and I have come to appreciate the chance to wake slowly instead of greeting the world at a dead run. On the rare occasion that I am up before dawn, usually race morning, I love the quiet hush of twilight, voices at a whisper so as to not chase it away.
When I was a child, my Mom used to wake me with a whisper of "Good Morning Merry Sunshine". These days it would be said ironically to my half-asleep, grumpy face. I am not morning person, but I am going to act like one for the month of October. The alarm will go off at 5:30am during the week, and I will still be up by 7:00am on the weekends. I plan to use the quiet hours primarily to write, but I have a few other projects that need focused attention. NaNoWriMo looms in just 28 days, and I hope to have ingrained the habit of early morning writing by then.
It will be difficult to hear the alarm go off so early, but the real challenge will be in getting to bed at a reasonable hour. The mind and body do not shut down easily, even when exhausted.
The first people I told about the challenge were Kristy, Holly and Matt. The women are night owls like me, and can't understand why I will be getting up this early. It just seems crazy, stupid almost. Matt however clapped his hands in solidarity as he is up at 5:30am most mornings. He is one of those freaky morning people I am trying to understand.
He did however make the rule of no talking before 6:00am. Even early risers need a moment before facing the world. And we need to whisper to avoid chasing away stillness.