For whatever ungodly reason, having moved to NoVA has completely disrupted my sleep schedule. Not in an "I-stay-up-until-3-AM" kind of way. No, that I can 100% handle. Kind of. In college, I distinctly remember routinely staying up until 4 AM, getting AN wink, and waking up cheery for my 10 AM class. While I don't think I'd be quite so chipper with 5 hours of sleep under my belt, I'm sure I'd be able to tough it out. No, moving has somehow made me get into the habit of waking up unreasonably early every morning. Right now, it's quarter of 8 in the morning, and I've already been awake for an hour and a half. And I don't even need to be at work until 9. And my commute lasts all of 10 minutes. This does not compute.
This isn't necessarily a problem (Think of all the wildly productive things I could do with my mornings!), it's just that I'm seven different kinds of useless before eight o'clock in the morning. I can plan in my head any number of activities for my newfound hour and a half of downtime in the mornings, but they all fade into oblivion as soon as I open my eyes in the morning. Example, this morning, having just woken up, I stumbled into the bathroom to shave. Put toothpaste on my razor. Minty fresh skin, check!
But seriously: let me tell you exactly how my mornings play out currently:
6:30 Wake up.
6:31 Look at clock, realize I've woken up at 6:30 AGAIN and groan audibly.
6:32 Turn over, put pillow on head, and try desperately to fall back asleep.
6:48 Accept I'm not falling back to sleep and curse loudly at the clock for mocking me with its cheery green numbers.
6:49 Take covers off to get out of bed, realize it's freezing in apartment, get back in bed.
7:02 Muster up enough balls to sprint the 10 feet from my warm bed to a warm shower.
7:03 Turn on shower, sit in bathroom waiting for shower to warm up.
7:10 Realize I dozed off.
7:11 Get into shower, stand directly under warm water until I have the energy to lift my arms to grab the shampoo.
7:36 Mentally scold myself for taking a 25 minute long shower.
7:45 Finally get out of warm shower into frigid bathroom.
7:47 Shave, put on deodorant, become an otherwise acceptable member of society hygiene-wise.
7:50 Try to find some sort of "business casual" outfit from the hundreds of lazy college freshman clothing I own.
8:12 Eat breakfast.
8:20 Leave insanely early to catch the Metro to work because what if today is the day it kills someone and therefore I'm late.
Honestly, I wish I was joking. But I'm not. That's very much what my mornings are like every day now. In NY, I'd casually roll out of bed 15 minutes before I had to be at work, hustle into the shower, throw on some clean clothes, and head out the door. I'm not saying I want to go to there again, but maybe I want to go to there.
On the plus side, if I became a human sooner than 7:45, I'd have an entire hour to myself in the mornings! That could be the most revolutionary hour of my entire life. Think of all the possibilities! You can't? Well don't fret, because I've got this handy list of all the possibilities right here!
1. Go to the gym. This is obviously the most prominent example of something that I could do in the morning. Every night before I go to sleep I think to myself, "Alright Chris, tomorrow is the day! You're going to wake up, throw on work out clothes, and head to the gym! You can do this!" Then there is a small fanfare and ticker tape parade in my head to get me more amped about going to the gym. And every morning, when I open my eyes, I literally just give the finger to my work out clothes and roll over. Think of all the benefits to going to the gym in the morning: endorphins, getting into better shape, etc. Plus it's super convenient to have a "gym" (or fitness center, aka AN machine) in the building. Sure, I can be a Positive Polly about this now that I'm actually awake and a functioning member of humankind, but in the mornings at 6:30 my only thoughts about the gym are: "You're going to get so sweaty. And it's probably crowded. And you'll be on the treadmill for 5 minutes before wanting to throw up your kidney." Needless to say, I am a negative person before I've showered. Some people need to drink coffee; I need to stand under running water for an extended period of time to wake up.
2. Write. God, this is a fool's errand. I'm not funny on a good day. Trying to be witty before the sun comes up is never going to happen. That's like telling an ostrich that it can fly IF it flies before it's morning meal. (See? I'm making ostrich-related similies! Even I don't know what I'm talking about!) And I'm not talking about just the blog here. My friend Emily and I had a steady email rapport during my work days in NY. Since I haven't had time to email at work at my new job, I've tried to email her in the mornings before heading out. Since moving here, my emails have quickly devolved into rants about why tables have four legs and long strings of curse words. It's not exactly what I'd call a fun email to read.
3. Watch the news. Here's a viable option, you'd think. I know as much about what's going on in the world today as a newborn baby: where I just was was so warm and dark, where I am now is cold and bright. I want to go back. Back in NYC, I watched NY1 with Pat Kiernan every morning (when I wasn't running 15 minutes late). He's just so soothing and maybe I have a huge platonic crush on him and I might be following him on Twitter. Is there anything of that caliber in NoVA. I'm not saying NY1 was a particularly great news show, but I do not need to watch people yelling at each other about the news in the mornings. I'm already yelling at inanimate objects; more people yelling is just apt to make me crankier. Which would make me the most popular person in my office.
4. Read a book. This actually might be my favorite idea so far. I like books. I like reading. This is a low impact activity to do in the morning that does not involve sweat, my personal humor, or people yelling. Here's the trouble: you remember that feeling you get when you're trying to read something for class, but all it's doing is putting you to sleep? You're eyes start to cross, you realize you've read the same sentence about 15 times and the repetition actually makes sense to you, your head is nodding. Ok, this would happen to me at 3 o'clock in the afternoon. What makes me think I'm capable of staying awake while reading a book at 6:30 in the morning. Not to mention I just woke up and cannot open my eyes any wider than a squint. Let me just pull out War and Peace. This seems like a brilliant idea. (ALSO: I have a bone to pick with Arlington, VA. Why are the libraries only open 9-5 M-F?! WTF? Sorry, nerd rant over.)
5. Prep food for dinner. Hm, not a bad idea. I've been cooking a whole lot more lately and I've been loving it. There's just something about food that you make that always makes it taste better. And think how much better that chicken would taste if it were marinating all day! Wait, this would involve the use of a knife. Prior to 7:00 AM, probably not a good idea. Veto.
6. Take up a hobby. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I'd like to get involved in a hobby. Preferably one that won't turn me into an eccentric recluse. Like ship in a bottle building. Or anything that could classify me as a hoarder. Knitting and crocheting involve far too many sharp objects for me to use so early in the morning, plus I'm about 60 years too young to think about taking up knitting. (I'm sure some of you out there knit. Or build ships in bottles. Or collect stamps/porcelain dolls/Beanie Babies/bellybutton lint. I'm not making fun of you, I'm just saying these things aren't for me.)
Welp, I've effectively talked myself out of any possible morning activity that could take up an hour of my time in the morning. I just need to reconcile myself with the fact that I'm not a morning person. And I never will be. It should also be noted that I do not drink coffee, nor do I ever intend to start. Would that vastly increase my productivity in the morning? Maybe. Would it also stunt my growth? YES. And that is a rock solid argument if I've ever heard one.