I’ve always been someone who wakes up early. When I was a kid, I would have to bring a book and a snack to sleepovers because I would always be the first person to wake. I’d sit there reading my book and munching my snack for an hour or two waiting while my friends dozed happily. I would try to everything I could to ‘accidentally’ wake them; moving, coughing, kicking…the tactics rarely worked.
This carried on into my teen years. While other teens could sleep in until 10 or 11 or 2, I was up around 7 or 8 (no matter what time we went to bed). I would go downstairs and read or watch TV in my friends’ family room, munching on leftover pizza or snacks until their parents woke up and kept me company. This continued on through to my late teens and even into my 20s; if you invite me to your cottage, you can damn well expect I’ll be drinking coffee with your mom when you emerge from your slumber. If we’re camping, I’ll probably have done a solo sunrise canoe ride too.
When I started travelling, I learnt to get my things ready for the next morning before I went to bed so I wouldn’t be the person rustling around her bag in the hostel room. With boyfriends or ‘whateverweare’s, I would hide granola bars and apples in my purse because, inevitably, they would sleep far longer than me. I would wake up at 7, have a snack, read a book, do the dishes, then crawl back into bed around 9:30 “to cuddle”….aka “let’s start the day now I’m super bored la la la wakey wakey!!!”
My good friends are used to me being the first to wake and have long since dropped the “how long have you been up” question that has always laced hangovers with guilt and worry. I’m always the first one awake, always the one who starts cleaning up after parties, always the one who has two breakfasts (one solo, one with everyone else)…(I am always starving to the point of nausea when I wake up, hence the ‘bring a snack’ part). Since I wake up early, I’m always the first one out at a party, too. By 11:30pm I’m tired. I’ve realized that I need 8-9 hours of sleep a night to feel good (in high school it was 5-6, and now I think it might be dropping to 7-8), so staying up until 2am just doesn’t happen for me often. I’ve also found that no matter what time I go to bed, I will generally still wake up early. Sure, the time might be pushed back to 8 or 9, but I’ll be up, still drunk and ready to go.
A couple weekends ago I was at a bachelorette party and I ended up staying up until 4am. No one could believe it! I was the last person up at the party! Now, I’m sure the two cokes and a Tim Horton’s at 930pm and all the tequila helped…but still! I was up and dancing at 4am! ……..And when 7am rolled around, I was awake. I was drunk and awake and hot and just wanted to keep sleeping. I think I went to the living room and fell asleep sitting up in a chair for another hour…but it still wasn’t enough. I went home to my mom’s place, fell asleep around 10pm…and woke up at 8. Even going on 4 hours of sleep, my body couldn’t handle the idea of “catch up on sleep now!” Ah. Body.
I don’t mind waking up early, though. Sure, there are times that it really sucks; I’m impatient and don’t like waiting and I tend to want to start the day fairly soon after I emerge from dreamland…but usually, I don’t mind it too much. I get to have lazy, quiet mornings. I can write. I can go on quiet bike rides in the city. I can watch the early morning sun move across my bed, and rush to put my plants in direct sunlight for an hour. I can enjoy my coffee, cuddle my cat, and do my grocery shopping while the croissants at the bakery are still hot. Doing all that usually means I’ll be ready for a nap a couple hours after waking, so I can accomplish a bunch of things between 7-9, then head down for an hour-long nap and wake up with the rest of the world…though normally by nap time, my brain is on and thinking about what else I have to do that day, so a nap is fruitless even though I’m tired. Still, I don’t mind being an early riser.
Today I woke up at 6:15am. It’s Saturday. I have plans to go out tonight, so I guess I won’t be staying out too late. I want to clean the apartment today, but it’s not like I can start banging things around right now while my roommate lay sleeping down the echo-y hallway. “Just fall back asleep” people tell me. Ha! Yeah right.
The cat is still sleepy-eyed and upset I woke her, the birds aren’t even at their usual place chirping outside my window yet. My brain is still tired and I’m sure this post is riddled with incoherent thoughts and improper grammar….but man, guys. The sunrise looks pretty today.
6:42am and my legs are already itching to start the day. I’m going to get up, throw on a baseball cap, grab a mug of coffee, and go on a walk.
I think I’ll head to Walmart to beat the crowds. I’m turning into my mother more and more every day.