Why, Hello There, Five In The Morning

[Dutch Lock Down Day One Hundred Sixty Three]

I was twenty one when I found out that I was a morning person. I had just graduated from university. And landed a job as a bank teller.

I thought I hated getting up in the morning but I really wanted the security of a consistent paycheck and I sucked at waitressing (made it three whole days!).

I was a professional dancer.

I set the alarm clock across the room next to the bathroom – as soon as it went off, I flipped out of bed, turned it off, laid down in the shower and let the water wake me up.

This is also how I became one of those people who sits in the shower.

Not only did this work for me – the waking up thing – but I liked it.


But first the news:

A friend of mine introduced me to Wing Chun Kung Fu.

She was taking it at a studio right near her house which was NOT right near mine.


It was perfectly located between my house and my work – a halfway point on my daily forty five minute commute.


They had classes at six in the morning. Monday through Friday.

With the temptation of a kickass class and getting to see my friend – bonus for breaking up that boring long commute – my morning routine was born.


At this point, if you’re totally hating me, I totally get it – you’re not a morning person. And that’s okay. My partner is a night person, too. I promise we can still get along. Even if you suck.

(That’s snarky, I know – I don’t actually mean you suck if you’re a night person.)

(Tempted to make a series of parenthetical statements ala Monty Python.)

(Thinks better on it.)

(Regrets starting this.)

(Forgot why I started, if I’m honest.)

(Oh, yes.)

When we first moved to the Netherlands, I broke and one of the first things I did to recover was reinstate that five a.m. thing. I’d get up, do morning pages, then go for a run.

Again, I loved it.

(I know what you’re thinking – a morning person AND running?)

(Well, it was kung fu before, right?)

(It makes sense soon, I promise.)

(j/k nothing makes sense – it’s five in the morning and my pillow’s siren song is calling.)

(Focus, Leander.)

That all ended with kids. First of all, every second of sleep that they do is sacred. And every second of sleep that YOU do is REQUIRED to handle the kids. Sure, they started sleeping through the night very early, but that sleep was a precarious unstable thing and they’d leap awake at the slightest hint of a floor creak.

One morning a couple of weeks ago I woke up at five in the morning because of a combination of ZOMG THUNDER and PERIMENOPAUSE and absolutely loved it. Got a ton of work done and the morning rush hour was smooth as silk because of it. The whole DAY was more productive.

I wanted to do it again.

And. I. Just. Couldn’t.

Every day I figured something out, though.

The room had to be warmer at five. I had to sleep with more clothes on. I had to put a bottle of water beside the bed. I had to have a hoodie or sweater ready to put on immediately. I had to set my alarm to do a gentle wake up when my heart rate was highest between four thirty and five. I had to set up my laptop and books downstairs on the dining room table just before going to bed so my brain knew exactly where we were going after we leapt out of bed and headed downstairs.

And it worked.

This morning MIGHT be a fluke.

But I don’t think so.

I hope so.

It’s now five thirty; I’ve been awake for almost an hour – and not only are the morning pages done, the blog post is published and it’s time for studying.

I’ve got a whole hour to study kubernetes, then I’ll drink a protein shake, do yin yoga, meditate, and study Swedish, Japanese, and Dutch before waking up the rest of the family to start the morning routine and get going with our day.

And I’m absolutely LOVING it.