As long as I can remember, I have hated getting up.
I never really hated mornings. In fact, I find mornings quite magical. They are still and quiet, yet beaming with life. They are low-lit by a brand new sun that brings promise of a great day. They feel like a fresh start to a whole new chapter. They are a blank canvas.
But getting out of bed… that sucks. To leave my warm cocoon of too many blanket and make my body move and support itself once again, ugh, I never want that. When I was playing soccer and had 6am practices, I slept in my gear to save myself the three minutes it took to get dressed. I would skip showers and makeup before work just to stay in bed a moment longer. I made a habit out of abusing the snooze.
You might think this is learned behavior, but my two year old also hates to be woken up. He is quite happy and pleasant in the mornings – all smiles and hugs and kisses – but he hates to have to wake up in the mornings! My husband and I have taken to opening his door and being loud in the house rather than going into his room and being the one caught waking him up. That person faces the wrath of Cillian. But this way, C has a chance to compose himself before joining the waking world. He wakes up just like his mama – badly.
This trait is clearly genetic, hardwired into some deep dark corner of my soul. I can not get up in the mornings. I just. can. not.
In the past, I have tried to make myself a morning person. I thought, if I could just force it for four weeks that it would be easier. I have tempted Sleepy Beka with quiet cups of coffee, lazy morning routines, refreshing showers, anything I could think of to make getting up early more enticing, but so far, everything has been passed over in favor of that snooze; the precious nine minute intervals. Sleepy Beka does not give a damn about much else.
Recently though, something has changed! For one, I joined a wellness community full of women who encourage one another and hold each other accountable for achieving our goals! It is centered around an amazing fitness program. It was just the thing I needed! “OMG Beka, you are forever starting a new workout program and proclaiming that you found the perfect thing!”
Well, yeah! Because if I did not think it was perfect, I would not do it. That is why I have to start new ones once in a while – because the last one stopped working for me or I stopped working for it, which ever, so start a new one I did! I decided it was important to me, and that I was going to recommit to my gym time. I deserve it! The problem was, the time slot that makes the most sense for my sweat-sesh was the dreaded 5am.
When that gentle alarm lulls me from my sleep, I am so tempted to tap for more Zs. But I had to ask myself the hard question – Was that nine minutes (to an hour) of extra sleep going to be my magic ticket to well-rested-ville? Was that fitful snoozefest going to make me feel ready to conquer the day? Or was I going to feel just as tired, just as angry at the morning for coming, and guilty for being lazy and letting myself down on top of that?
Look, as a mom of a toddler who recently discovered there is nothing forcing him to sleep (he is the worst conundrum. He hates to wake up, yet he wakes up one to four times a night), I know what it feels like to function on broken sleep. I have seen some segment of midnight to 3am every night for the past two months, and sometimes I see every hour pass on the clock. It feels like my infant just started sleeping through the night, and then this toddler came and ruined it. Every extra minute of sleep is so precious and so so tempting!
While evaluating my headaches, my doctor asked how I was sleeping. My answer was, like the average adult – shitty! Is there seriously any adult who sleeps well through the entire night? Who are you, and what is your sorcery? Even if my son were to sleep well, I would still be up to go pee, or to get some water, or I forgot to switch the laundry, or I heard a noise, or my son has not yet woken up and I am worried he was stolen – you get the picture. If it is not one thing, it is another.
So yeah, I want that snooze button to take me right back to bed, and make sweet sweet sleep to me. But if I am being honest with myself, it will not help. I will still feel tired and groggy after. I could stay in bed until lunch time and still not feel like I had enough sleep! But I have discovered what does make me feel better about mornings – waking up and kicking the morning’s ass! With peace and quiet, of course.
I have come to discover that getting up early is not physical, it is mental. My body is not as tired as my mind thinks it is. My mind is so much weaker than I think, and my body is stronger than my mind is telling me. I recently heard a quote from a book that I never read that has helped conquer my weak mind. In The 5 Second Rule, Mel Robbins wrote,
If you have an impulse to act on a goal, you must physically move within 5 seconds or your brain will kill the idea.
I did not even have to read this book for this thought to change my life. I should probably read this book. But now, when my alarm goes off, I ask myself, will nine minutes fix everything? And when the honest answer is no (and it is always no) I give myself to the count of five before I visualize all my hopes and dream shattering in front of my face!
I get out of bed with my 5am alarm, put on my previously laid out workout clothes (Hey, I am still lazy AF), drink a little pre-workout energizer, and start my workout. By the time my husband is up at 6:15, I have coffee going, and have started my work-prep routine. No extra minutes of laying in bed could ever make me feel as good as that. At least, not extra minutes that I could afford.
The secret here is to convince yourself that you are worth it. You are worth struggling for. You are worth getting out of bed for. You are worthy of feeling like a bad-ass first thing in the morning.
Your body is not giving out, your mind is giving up.
You are stronger than you think.
Other douchey motivational quote.
*In the true spirit of toddlerhood, my son’s sleep habits and attitudes have changed since I drafted this post. If you’ve seen or heard something contrary to the picture this post is painting, I didn’t make it up, toddlers are just fickle little ducks*
** Pretend auto-correct called him a duck**