I'm wondering if there really is such thing as a morning person. Or is it more that people addicted to getting to sleep early? Morning person by practice (required by life) or observation (their parents were morning people)? I've been a lifelong self-proclaimed non-morning person. Being awake for the sunrise was some sort of cruel punishment by parents, school, or work. Most of high school, I lived with just my father. I distinctly remember one morning when I was in a typical nasty morning mood and my dad wanted to have a conversation. Surely, I probably snapped at him and he got angry with me. I yelled, he calmly spoke back, I yelled harder, he spoke back even more calmly, the cycle continued. At one point, referring to my morning attitude, he said that I decide how I feel every morning. WHAT?! How dare he tell me how I feel? He doesn't know what it's like to feel like this in the morning! And besides, who would CHOOSE to feel angry in the morning? "That's not true! I'm born feeling angry." He again reiterated that I choose my feelings. After two more screams, I stomped off to my room, but so did his words. They stomped a pathway right to the part of my brain that makes sense out of things. It took a little bit to process, but I realized that he was right. My first important morning lesson: You DO choose how you feel. In the morning, I could make the decision to be nasty or be happy, and from that day on, I chose to start walking on the be happy path. I say start because it wasn't a switch. It definitely took time.
Even during college, I completely avoided taking any 8a classes. I would postpone any required 8a classes until the semester after in case the teacher changed, thereby changing the class time. Or I'd take the class during summer school. Whatever, it worked. My first venture after college into early mornings was my time at Jamba Juice in New York City. My Starbucks friends can surely relate. I had to be at work at 6:30a, which, with my morning routine at the time, meant I had to be awake at 4:30a. THE SUN WASN'T EVEN UP YET! Boy, did I hate that. Overall the job was not a very pleasant for reasons like these or these. I worked mostly as a waiter for the next 3 years.
My second roommate in New York City, Chris, provided me with another opportunity to learn. Every morning, no matter how he felt, how tired he was, how awful or wonderful the previous night was, he told me in a full voice, "Good morning!" I remember that first time being so angry. HOW DARE HE SAY GOOD MORNING TO ME! Doesn't he see my eyes half closed? I think I managed to utter a thought out and careful, "Umph," in reply. That clearly did not stop him because he kept on doing it! WTF! Every morning, without fail, "Good morning!" Eventually, I actually started to lighten up and look forward to his "Good morning." What a nice gesture. He was acknowledging me in the morning. He was seeing me alive and in the room and, instead of ignoring me (as I was accustomed to at home), he looked at me and wished a good morning on me. There's still a part of me that wonders if, for him, it was mindless morning talk, but it nonetheless affected me profoundly. My second morning lesson: there's never a reason to skip the opportunity to potentially brighten someone's morning by acknowledging them.
Then, this past January, I was hired to work at LIVE! with Regis & Kelly. Again, here I am, required to have my work face on before sunrise (7:30a). This time, though, I noticed something different! I remember working 3 nights in a row late with catering, followed by my regular routine of staying up as late as possible (usually between 2a and 4a). I would go to bed exhausted and wake up exhausted, even after 9 hours if sleep. Now, when I forced to go to bed early, knowing I'm working at Regis the next morning, I would go to bed sort of tired, but wake up feeling refreshed!! Whaaaaaat?! I'm a night owl! I can't feel ready to go in the morning! It's not allowed! This repeated itself multiple times. It's as if I feel more rested when I go to bed earlier (thereby getting up earlier). Is this some sort of trick?
My third important morning lesson: ...maybe this isn't so bad.