Thursday, January 24, 2013

5 am

At the moment I'm getting up at 5 am on weekdays.

The cat doesn't even get up that early.

I know it sounds crazy, but there is method in my madness.  A few years ago, when I was trying to finish writing a Sunday School curriculum with young children still at home, I found it was the only way I could get my writing done and off to the editor.  Night time did not work because my brain refused to cooperate after 7 pm.  Then the writing was finished and I went back to normal life.

Since then, I've still tried to get up at least half an hour before the kids.  If I get up before the kids, and get a cup of tea and orient myself to the fact that I'm now awake and have a day in front of me, then I am much more civilized when the children begin their morning.  Otherwise, I'm not so pleasant.

However, this year is looking daunting.  In a moment of sheer madness, I consented to take on a new and challenging teaching role.  Nothing else seems to have slackened off to compensate (I might need to note for future reference that nothing ever just "slackens off" unless you actually do something about it) and I have no idea how part-time work will actually work out in practice for our family.

Deep breaths.  Calm blue ocean.

Hence the 5 am starts.  The getting up has been so far less painful than I remember from the last time I did it.  But then it's not winter yet.  However, I'm finding a have another problem later in the day.  At about 12.30 pm, I have this overwhelming need to nap.  The kind that just takes you off to your bedroom and plonks your head on your pillow with your shoes still on hanging over the side of the bed.  So I lose maybe an hour there by the time I nap and wake up properly.  The hour after that, I'm a bit groggy and not at full steam.  So that's two hours all up.  If I'm going to lose two hours of productivity at lunchtime, does that then cancel out the two hours pre-dawn?  It's a worrying thought.

I haven't given it enough time to be sure of it's value yet.  So let's see how we go in another couple of months.  I'm concerned about my willpower dropping off and the temptation to hit snooze.  But I have a back up plan for that.  If I get too lazy, I'm going to try this method.  Pure unadulterated motivation.

So any of you super-early risers?


Tasmanian said...

The secret to a good nanna nap is ONLY 20 minutes. No matter how much you want a longer nap, JUST nap for 20 minutes. No matter how awful you feel after 20 minutes of sleep, get up. After a few minutes you are back to normal.

Karen said...

Taking the deep breaths and thinking about that calm blue ocean right along with you there, Deb....

I've been getting out of bed earlier too, not quite in the 5 am club, but I've been up every day at 6 for the past few weeks so I can go walking. I've been able to (mostly) resist the urge to nanna nap in the afternoon even though I do feel tired. My problem is I am still going to bed way too late at night and so the lack of sleep is causing a bit (well, rather a lot actually) of grumpiness from me.

Your paragraph about taking on the new and challenging role, not slackening off on anything else and wondering how on earth the whole thing is going to work out is pretty much how I'm feeling right now. How I'm wishing I'd just said I would go back to my easy old job that doesn't require anywhere near as much brain-space....

Jean said...

I have a 10-20 min nap every day and it makes all the difference. Plus 10 minutes reading in bed before I fall asleep. Plus 15 minutes waking up with a coffee at the end. Which makes a bit less than an hour. And what a difference it makes to my ability to love my family by the end of the day! Waking early and napping...sounds like heaven, though 6.00 is my start time on a good day.

Catherine said...

I nap every day! It is essential for everyone that I do.
I've imbibed some encouragement from your post to be more disciplined at getting up early. I'm way too easy on myself in this.
Wondering how possible it is for you to take a whole morning off anything in the week? That is a discipline in itself but maybe it would help?

Deb said...

A whole morning off??? Well, I keep aiming for it but you are right when you say it "is a discipline in itself"! I'm still trying to work out what are reasonable home/life/work boundaries with this job. No one to blame but myself though.