Dear Morning People,
I must confess that I am not one of you. I know that because I look awake and I am walking the streets at the wee hour of 6 or 7am that you think I must be like you. But, alas, I am an imposter. A former night owl masquerading as the kind of eccentric human being who can be fully awake and present before 10am.
When I see you approaching me as I walk to work I cringe inwardly because I can see that you are about to smile broadly and declare “good morning” in my direction. I question your sanity – for what sane person can smile broadly at the crack of dawn? It’s almost offensive for you to be so happy and pleasant as I, a mere mortal, have not yet started to fully comprehend the world around me.
Yes, I have been awake since 5am, but begrudgingly so and taking twice as long to do things as I normally would because my brain is not fully awake. As such, there is a 50% chance that I will botch this inevitable interaction.
“Good morning,” you almost shout as you are about to pass me – jogging nonetheless.
“Fine. And you?” I reply.
Damnit. I should have done the smile and nod thing. I’m sure you assume that I am socially awkward as you continue on. I’m not, but how can you expect my brain to engage in a full fledged conversation when the sun has just so recently made it’s debut?
I blame my children. Before them I would have never seen the likes of 5am, 6am, or even 7am unless I was still up from the night before due to partying, studying, or making the mistake of starting a great new book at bedtime.
I remember the first week of my daughter’s life. She didn’t sleep more than 2 hours at a time during the night. Every time she woke me up after dark I felt totally disrespected. Like her waking was a personal attack against me to prove that she was indeed the new boss of the house.
When she started to sleep better (around 18 months) it became obvious pretty quickly that no matter what time she went to bed or whether she had anywhere to be the next morning she would not, under any circumstances, be sleeping past 6:30am.
Which meant I had to be up at 6am or earlier. And now that my husband has to drop the kids off before he goes into the office to start work at 6:30am I am up at 5:30am or earlier.
It’s madness. Made even worse by the fact that I can’t simply avoid all you fully conscious, pleasant morning people who seem genuinely happy to greet me as I drag myself into the office by 7:30am.
It’s not that I don’t like you, or that I’m some kind of jerk. I just don’t belong here. I belong with the people who fall out of bed at 8:30am and race through their morning routine because they hit the snooze button one too many times and are dangerously close to being late for their 9am meeting.
I belong among the people who wear their headphones, whether there is music playing on them or not, to protect themselves from anything even resembling conversation until they get to work and plug in the Keurig. Those are my people.
But my journey into motherhood has brought me among the chipper early birds, and I accept my fate. So I will continue to impersonate you until my children are off to college. May we peacefully coexist.
Mourning My Former Night Owl