I expect that one day, I’ll truly be a morning person. I say expect because waking up at the butt crack of dawn and being super productive in the morning hours seems like one of those things all successful, real-world adults do. The kinds of adults that have their sh*t together. I admire those people who start their day hours before they have to go to work- enjoying hot coffee, a well prepared and balanced breakfast, reading, meditating or praying, or working out- all while the sun’s rising (or before the sun’s rising) and the birds are chirping.
Taking the morning hours to do what needs to be done to keep yourself feeling balanced, productive and motivated just seems like an obvious way to improve the quality of your life. Take almost any article about the routines of top CEOs and it’s always like, “Oh yeah- I wake up at 5 am, run 10 miles, read the paper, meditate, respond to emails, do some creative thinking exercises…NBD.” It’s impressive and makes sense. And yet, I myself, still wake up as late as possible before leaving for work! Luckily, I’ve pretty much mastered the art of getting ready quickly. Wash my face, brush my hair (usually,) a little make up, coffee to go and byeeee! I’m out the door. Generally rushing. And cranky. But that’s just where I am right now.
The real issue, however, is that even on the weekends I have this innate anxiety about getting up early and making the most of my two days off- not sleeping through half of them. It’s the anxiety that is the problem. Why, oh why, do I make myself anxious completely unnecessarily? I love to sleep! Sleeping in is an amazing luxury to have- one that I also expect disappears once you get married, have a family and have other people depending on you for things that can’t be slept away. Me? I have no real, absolute reason to get up and go. And moreover, certainly no reason to give myself a panic attack if I hit snooze a few times.
So often, I make myself feel bad for sleeping in. I get massive anxiety and start rushing to get my day started- so much so, that I ruin the luxuries that are Saturday and Sunday mornings for a 24 year old who has no pressing commitments at the moment. Right now, I’m working on accepting that I am not yet the kind of morning person I would like to be. If I decide to snooze, snooze and snooze, and end up waking up at noon instead of ten on Sunday- the world is not over! Too frequently I feel like a loser for not living up to these self-imposed high standards that I assume I absolutely need to have to be an accomplished young woman. But, realistically, what’s the point of doing something you wanted to do- and enjoyed- and then subsequently loathing yourself for doing the very thing you chose to do? It’s madness.
I have realized that there’s no universal definition of a “successful” person. If I know I’m not ready to make a life change- like waking up super early everyday or simply setting an alarm for the weekends and actually getting up when I intended to, without fail- then beating myself up over not meeting a self-imposed and idealized standard is not only unhealthy for my self esteem, but also totally unhelpful. It’s a funny thing to admit, but in this fast-paced, stress ball of a city, I seem to forget something that is so crucial to happiness: being nice to yourself. Relaxing. Not acting like every minute is a matter of life or death.
Let’s continue to make strides in our lives, but not forget that we’re human. Aka- not perfect and definitely not robots programmed to kill it each day. Let’s be patient with ourselves and remember- your best is going to be different from someone else’s best and that’s totally okay! Plus, your best is always going to be fluctuating and ultimately getting better if you so choose. What you thought was your “best” two months ago, might now be morphing in to new levels of awesomeness. We just need a little patience and to be kind to ourselves. Now’s the time to live up to our own standards.
Do you ever feel like you’re beating yourself up necessarily? What’s your morning routine that keeps you happy? What’s your definition of success?