Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Making mornings a little less dreaded.

In my best Yosemite Sam voice: "I hates mornings."

If you've been around here for a while or know me personally even a little, this is not news. Mornings and me, we go way back. We've never had a great relationship. I envy people whose bodies naturally come alive before, say, 6 a.m. My body prefers something a little later.

Over the years I have tried - and failed - to train my body (and brain) to wake up earlier. Sometimes I want to get my day started at the crack of dawn. I've got stuff to do. And I have kids to wake up and get ready for school. If I oversleep, everyone does. But no matter what time I go to bed at night, no matter what time my alarm goes off in the morning, my whole being resists rolling out of bed.

Alas, I keep trying.

I do love coffee, but I have never developed the morning coffee habit. I even set my Keurig to turn on at 6 a.m. so it's ready to go when I hit the kitchen. But most mornings I'm just not ready for that slap in the face of caffeine first thing. Sometimes I'll brew a cup just for the smell, though, and warm it up to drink after I get the kids to the bus stop. This doesn't solve my getting-out-of-bed dilemma, though.

I have tried exercise first thing in the morning. (Stop laughing.) (Oh, and ... FAIL.)

I have tried putting the alarm clock across the room so I have to get out of bed to turn it off. This just makes me mad. Not a great way to start the day.

I have tried heading straight to the shower. This is still a contender, but doesn't work when I've already hit the snooze button six times.

I've tried a wind-up alarm clock. You know the kind - you get one shot, no snooze button. So that the urgency of knowing I had somewhere to be would force me to get up as soon as that alarm went off.


I have tried dedicating my mornings to God. Fifteen minutes of prayer and devotion before the rest of the house wakes up. But even a daily date with my Lord and Savior has not been enough to coax me out from under the covers.

It's ok. I love Him just as much at 9 a.m. as I do at 5:30.

I've tried stretching like a cat. Wake up every limb, get up on all fours and stretch out my back (which would benefit me as the day goes on). But no. Stupid cats! They sleep all day anyway.

Why is this so hard?! I actually love to watch the sun rise. When we travel I like to leave early and then see the rest of the world coming alive around us after we've been on the road a while. It's just that first hour or so, the shaking the sleepiness from my brain and getting the gears turning that I struggle with. I have been this way all my life. One of my children is exactly like me in that respect. I feel for him. I try to wake him gently in the mornings and give him plenty of time. He growls at me. I never (ok, rarely) just flip the light on like my brothers used to do to me. That's as bad as having to get out of bed to turn off the alarm clock. We're talking The Incredible Hulk kind of bad.

Mom, I am so sorry.

I'm trying a new approach. This week I've been using the alarm feature on my cell phone. I set it to wake me with a song I like, it fades in and slowly increases volume. I tap the screen for a 5-minute snooze. When I'm ready to really wake up I just let the song play, then I can turn off the alarm, check my e-mail, on-line news sources, say hello to my peeps on Facebook, or whatever.

So far I'm totally diggin' it. Which is interesting because I despise having the TV on in the morning, yet here I am using an electronic device to help me wake up. Maybe I don't mind the phone so much because it isn't blaring commercials at me and I can pick and choose what I see. And the kids don't come out of their bedrooms and stare at it like zombies.

This is my current favorite:

Yes, I wake up to Jason Aldean every morning. Or at least his voice. Don't judge.

This is much more pleasant than that cranky ol' alarm clock buzzing at me. And a pleasant wake-up means a happy mama. And everybody appreciates a happy mama.

I'll keep you posted.


  1. Thought my Daily Affirmation from Wayne Dyer was appropriate to share with you today....

    The choice is up to you. It can either be "Good morning, God!" or "Good God- morning!"

    LOL :)