Why I get up at 5am

Don’t worry, I’m not especially different from anyone else. It’s not that I’m one of ‘those’ people, you know, who run fifty miles before going to work, just for fun. I think of people who do that type of thing as being slightly superhuman and different from me. I don’t need to worry about aspiring to be like them because I’m just human whereas they’re superhuman, so no need to feel inadequate.

No, when I get up at 5am it’s more having willpower and liking to be in control. Let me explain.

Let’s say I’m due at work at 7am. Option 1 is that I get up around half six, get a quick shower, get dressed, have a cup of tea and some breakfast, brush my teeth, grab my bag and leave the house. If I then finish work at 3pm and go home, I’ll be a bit knackered from work so I’ll spend a bit of time sitting around staring into space. By the time I’ve shaken myself into doing something, there’s a textbook waiting to be read, so I potter over to it and spend the time until dinner doing that. Make dinner. Sit around being a bit more knackered. Go to bed. That’s Option 1.

Option 2. Wake up a few hours before I need to be awake and while I’m fresh and lively and listening to the birds sing outside, do something physical (nothing that requires too much exertion though, remember I’m not superhuman, just human). Something gentle like go for a walk or do some yoga. Then once I’ve done that I sit down at the computer and write my blog. By the time I’ve done those two things there’s usually about 45 mins left before work. So I do a bit of studying/working on essays etc while having breakfast and a cup of tea. Then about fifteen minutes before I need to leave for work I get a quick shower, dress, teeth, bag, out of the door. When I get home from work later, I’ve already done my studying so there’s no guilt factor in sitting around, if I want to. I often spend this time baking, making jam, reading or something similar.

For me, Option 1 is fine but my whole day just runs on automatic. I’ve not made that day my own. I’ve just kind of been a bystander whilst running to and fro. Option 2 starts my day off by doing things that I want to do. If I wanted to spend that whole two hours reading a good book, I could. It’s about having control of how I spend my time and the choice to start my day as I please, not just how I have to. Also, by doing all the things I like to, first thing in the morning, the rest of my day is free to do other things I like (more often than not, food-related).

When I say to people I’m getting up at 5am the next day, they marvel, they gasp, their eyes grow wide with admiration. It’s not actually a big effort at all. When the alarm beeps, I snooze it once or twice, because I’ve never in my life got up on the first beep I don’t think, and then I just think, ‘The next two hours, until the rest of the world wakes up, is mine, what shall I do with it today?’ Plus, my brain starts ticking immediately while I work out what to write on my blog and pretty soon I’m itching to get at the computer!

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