I should know better than to leave so many things to do for the morning rush hour. I leave myself an hour to get up, ready and out the door. Which seems like enough time. It should be enough time. But, I always seem to be rushing around. I even walked away from the blender this morning in order to save 15 seconds and the inner lid blew off. I had not gone far, so there was no mess. Why do I do this to myself?
The night before, I could prepare for the next morning. I could make my smoothie, have it ready to go in the fridge. I could assemble my salad or whatever lunch box I am taking to work the following day. My clothes could be selected and set out in the bathroom. My jacket, scarf, shoes gathered and ready to throw on. Why can’t my night-time self be nicer to my morning self?
All of this matters very little as I can just get the next bus. Every 10 minutes there is another bus coming very close to my house. The train connections are every 4 minutes and the last bus seems to be arriving every 8 minutes or so. The whole thing takes one and half hours, regardless of when I catch the first bus. I just like this certain bus. Every morning, the same driver says hello to me. Loads of other regulars board this bus as it snakes around the peninsula. Depending on the morning, I even get a whole bench seat to myself.
Riding early has benefits. My whole journey, through three zones is far less crowded. I think the University kids don’t start their day so early. At this hour in the morning, I’ve seen no ridership change from summer to fall. I’ve tried going an hour later and arriving just in time for my first meeting. It’s not for me. By leaving early, I ease into my day, rather than launch into it. Sets the tone.
The fact is, my parents made me into a morning person. If they had not insisted I get up so early all those years of growing up, even through the summer and on the weekends, I would be a sleep-in kind of person. Instead, I generally wake early. Even on my days off, I am known to be up within an hour or two of my normal waking hour. Except for my husband, who is a night owl. He wants me to stay awake until midnight on Friday or Saturday nights. When he manages to convince me of this, I do have to sleep in a bit. But, I don’t like it.
During our year away, we were not bothered about bedtimes or waketimes. The only days we used an alarm were the mornings we travelled early. I tried to have us fly mid-day if possible, but the 7-week driving trip meant we had quite a few early mornings. Days of transit or sigh-seeing required an alarm to be set. We did this begrudgingly. We knew why we had to get our butts out of bed, which did not make it easier as we didn’t enjoy it at all. The only part of the process we liked was to realize at noon, we had accomplished so much!
That is all fine and well when you don’t have a full-time corporate job or school to attend. The future of a fully digital work force seems very far off still. Until that day arrives where we are all digital nomads of one type or another, I need to get up early. I can feel hard done by or I can embrace this life I have chosen, the way it is, not how I wish it could be.
That leaves me rushing around in the morning, seemingly disorganized. Yet, I am aware of everything. In fact, it is only because I am best in the morning that it is possible for me to remember everything I need to. At night I feel so tired, the last thing I want to do, is prepare for the next day. I need to wind down, letting my brain offload all the thoughts, to-do lists, should do’s, must do’s, etc. Like a computer which gets a hard disk shut down, I need that finality.
If I go to sleep with thoughts swirling around, I’m in trouble. I’ll fall into slumber easily enough but it won’t be nice. I’ll toss and turn. I’ll fret about whatever was left undone. I’ll work at finishing tasks, even finding myself in unfinished conversations. Night after night, this is a recipe for a heightened level of stress in my daytime. Then the next night it all starts again. After a while I become afraid to fall sleep at all.
With these patterns, it is no wonder I was having trouble with creativity. Lack of sleep feeds stress, day after day like a hungry monster with an insatiable appetite. I felt powerless to stop the cycle. After all, the problems I was trying to solve in my sleep didn’t go away. They needed to be attended to. I could never let it all go. Even once I didn’t work at the job where the problems originated from.
Now I guard my personal time. No texting, emails or phone calls after office hours. No talking about my day with my family. Unless something was funny or otherwise interesting. No problems are allowed into my home, my sanctuary. I’m pretty good about slipping out of the building without any monkeys on my back.
What does all that subterfuge accomplish? I am able to turn my full attention to what is at hand. I’m fully present in my family relationships. I’m not checking something from work, while half listening to my husband. I’m able to listen to what my children are really saying. Look them in the eye and be a real parent. Sadly, I’m only practicing this now.
By the time I get to my 15thwaking hour, I’m tired. Time to wind the body and mind down. Let all the circuits rest. When I guard my evening thoughts, warding off what doesn’t suit me, it is amazing how I feel in the morning. It turns out the sound of the alarm clock was not my problem. It was the exhausted way I felt and the overwhelm which greeted me each morning. But, not so much anymore.
Join me in this creative journey. I am on a mission to start a global movement, focusing on the importance of creativity in our daily lives. Together, let us see where we can take this. I look forward to hearing from you! Please share your thoughts. Feel free to send an email to: Christine@dailycreatives.com #creaspatreat
My creative year:
: : Developing, testing and enjoying a life I don’t need a vacation from while working in an office and commuting on public transit!
: : This is where my ideas for creaspatreat will come to life. Don’t miss any of it by joining us!
: : Check out new projects on my youtube channel called creative wandering. #dailycreatives
: : “Fruitless at 40: Rediscovering My Creative Power”
Would you like a free download of….
: : The first chapter from Fruitless at 40 and
: : My tried and true packing list, developed from long-term, around the world travel?
: : Join us!
Daily Creatives Resources:
: : Travel changes a person
: : Anthropocene, Living in the Future’s Past and Daring to Lead
: : Teach women, invest in a community
: : Crea.spa.treat. what do you think it means?
: : Living in stress, moving to relaxation, looking for ikigai
Latest posts by Christine Westermark (see all)
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