when i was a kid i would occasionally slip out before sunrise for a nature walk before everyone was up, enjoying the cool air, the tranquility, the freshness of grass and leaves... returning to unimpressed parents who were somewhat alarmed at waking up to their child missing, again.
even in adult life i have been capable of rising early, with a smile, able to hold a conversation. in contrast, i have many friends who are decidedly against mornings, and can get quite angry if forced to interact in any meaningful way before 11. because of this, i felt that i was safely on the other side of that line.
when i moved in with the latest roommate, i quickly discovered how mistaken this belief was. here was a true morning person, in all her glory. day after day she was alert, efficient, enthusiastically chatty, effortlessly multi-tasking, even *shudder* humming cheerfully as she darted around the apartment, then out the door at 7:30. all while i was standing confused in the middle of the kitchen, or slumped at the table. i wasn't sure how to deal with this at first, tried to keep pace, but couldn't. it was not physically possible to move my mouth in the necessary ways to formulate words, let alone ideas, at this velocity. then i tried avoidance, moving to the shower as quickly as possible, gaining a few more minutes to re-orient.
finally i had to admit that i was just not a morning person, at least not anymore, and request an embargo on early morning speech. 'you can talk at me, i don't mind' i told her one day, 'but don't expect an intelligent response.' she agreed.
things are more maneagable now, although i sense she is still not completely at ease with this non-verbal, sluggish presence at breakfast.
perhaps in the back of her mind is the reputation that many non-morning people have for unpredictable irritability... is she calculating the odds of me chucking a piece of toast at her head? i will never know. but that is the price you pay for admitting what you really are. there will always be preconceptions to go with it.
when we are not on the same schedule, i am inevitably jarred awake anyways, as the walls between me and the kitchen are almost nonexistant. there are sounds you cannot completely avoid making in the morning, dishes clattering, doors opening and closing, etc. i used to feel vaguely resentful for this uncomfortable launch into the new day. but now i just roll over for a few more zzz's with the happy knowlege that i can begin again on my own terms.
here's how it goes. i wait until the apartment is quiet. i stretch, move slowly out to the kitchen, put on the kettle, and sit. no thinking, planning, multi-tasking. just immersed in a good cup of tea enjoying the trees outside. then, read the days text. make a light breakfast. do more reading. perhaps some soft music, lately it's been antonio carlos jobim (the perfect antidote to waking up to fresh snowfall in march!). all of these things gently nudge me to a state where i can look forward to my day with positivity, motivation, kindness. write lists, cross things off them. be a productive human.
in all my flexible free-spirited life i have never been one for ritual. but if this is a way for me and mornings to be on good terms, i'm going to hold onto this one.