The Millennial’s Guide to Waking Up Early

Waking up is harder than it used to be. Do you remember when you were a little kid and every morning you were up and ready to go, sometimes even before the sun was?

I once read a blog that explained why the world favored early risers, it listed off the reasons and they were pretty common sense reasons. 1. You have more time in the day. 2. You probably got more/better sleep the night before. 3. Sunshine shoots golden streamers and skittles out your ass.

But one point it failed to hit on is the reason why people wake up early in the morning.

Some of us don’t have a choice but to wake up at 4:30 every morning, kids, critters, and household all have to be maintained before heading out for work. Sometimes the work starts at 4:30, and the statement “things happy people do before 7” makes you laugh.

The early bird always gets the worm, but 70% of the time the worm is frozen and half dead from all the other birds picking at it.

It’s not the fact that it was early that used to wake us up as kids. It’s the fact that it’s another day to be ready for that woke us up when we were kids.

I used to wake up every morning in the summer ready to go play with my best friend. We would start even as early as 5 A.M. and go until dark if we could. I know a lot of you are probably thinking, well that’s just the perpetual energy of little kids, you’re always ready to go.

But I think it’s a bit more than that. I was excited for every Christmas even up until this last year, I still wake up super early. And mornings where I know I get to hike? Yup, no problem. Even the first few months of my job I was up and ready to go every morning.

There’s something that we lose as time progresses.

“We have been hiking for two weeks now, just let me sleep in.”

“I’ve been at this job for four months now, it’s the same day over and over again.”

“This is my 50th Christmas, do I really need to be up at 4 A.M. with the kids?”

We lose interest, we lose that magic that makes the early morning sunrises easy and happy, we give it up for that little bit of extra sleep every morning. How do we get it back?

Story time:

Ever since I can remember there has always been something new coming up that I could look forward to. My elementary school system was kinda jacked, so I switched schools a lot because they kept changing zones. Mom tried to have a new trip every year, typically it was camping or hiking of some sorts (for 10 years we went to Yellowstone). And every other weekend I moved in with my dad for a few days.

It doesn’t seem like a lot, looking back now, but as a kid it was.

And when college came I moved every couple of months, things were always shifting and changing. I moved out of the country for a time, I lived at home, I lived on campus, and on top of a mountain.

It’s not been until the last six months or so that things have actually been stable for me, and honestly? It’s boring. Adulthood is supposed to be surprising and full of adventures, but mainly it’s black coffee, taxes, and commutes.

Even if it wasn’t as frequent as mine, or was more frequent, I’m willing to be that most of you can agree that there was always something new to look forward to until you hit adulthood. And then it stopped.

And I think this is our problem, as the generations get older we look at “exciting things” as too much to add on to our daily responsibilities. And honestly? We just want to go back to bed.

So what is it that we need to add to the daily routine to kill that little voice that wants to shut off the alarm and sleep through noon? Are there more responsibilities that we should add, like making the bed, eating breakfast at the table, or going for a run?

Or should it be something else?

When I woke up this morning the only thing that I wanted was a cup of coffee and my laptop because it had been too long since I wrote a blog post. And I think that might be the difference between this morning and yesterday morning.

When you wake up it needs to be because there is something in your life worth waking up for. More than just the kids, or the dog, or the coffee. It needs to be something that would wake you up even from the deepest sleep, just because you are so damn excited to do it.

Fuck early mornings, but thank the universe for the chance to wake up.

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