Friday, March 26, 2010

Fantastic journeys in self-discovery

Just a few weeks shy of my 35th birthday, I have learned something about myself.

I am not a morning person.

You would think I might have figured that out, back in high school, when I would lie in bed telling myself that I was just going to figure out what to wear before I got up, and then I'd drift back to sleep.

Or in college, when I missed the first half of most of my morning classes, but easily stayed up until 2 a.m. writing research papers.

Or during my years as a substitute teacher, dreading the 5 a.m. phone call that would give me my assignment for the day. Then those first few hours of the school day, which I spent trying to become coherent while middle schoolers hyped up on Sweet Tarts and Coca-Cola tried with all their might to break my spirit.

Or in all the years since, as I have snuggled comfortably in my warm bed, hating the thought of those first cries, or the pleas for breakfast, or an alarm clock going off in my own fruitless attempts to exercise in the morning.

The truth is, I have always known I wasn't a morning person. But I always felt like I ought to become one.

Until the other morning. I turned off the alarm on my bedside table. My children were up, but happy, watching Scooby Doo and eating cereal, and I could easily stay put a while longer.

Unless I wanted to go to yoga class.

Which I did. Yoga class is twice a week at 9:00 a.m. It's free with my gym membership, it helps my balance and flexibility, and it gives me an hour to myself in which the primary goal is to breathe, feel good, and not think about anything else.

But in spite of all the lovely benefits of yoga, I simply could not drag myself out of bed.

There is another yoga class, at 5:30 p.m., same days of the week. Somehow I never considered that one, because it was over at 6:30, right when I want to be plopping some kids in a bath and starting the bedtime routine.

But, lo and behold, daylight savings time has dealt me a favor this year, because we've never really adjusted our schedule, and my kids now go to bed an hour later. Which makes evening yoga a possibility. That morning, lying in bed, I realized that even if I somehow managed to get myself to class at 9:00, it would never become a habit. Because NOTHING I have ever tried to do in the morning, no matter how beneficial or important, has become a habit.

Because I AM NOT A MORNING PERSON. I probably never will be. How long do I have to try to change, before I finally just accept who I am? (About 35 years, apparently.)

So that day I decided to quit fighting it, forever avoid making morning appointments, stay in bed as long as I can get away with, and go to yoga at 5:30 p.m.

I LOVE yoga at 5:30. My day is mostly over, which makes it much easier to not think about other stuff while I'm there. I'm more flexible later in the day since I've been up and around for a while, and, most importantly, I actually feel like doing stuff in the afternoon.

After 9:00 a.m. yoga, I always yawned a lot and felt like going to sleep. After 5:30 p.m. yoga, I am so cheerful and upbeat that I'm almost unbearable to be around.

So there you have it. I am accepting myself as I am.

If you want to call and congratulate me, just make sure to make it after 10:00 a.m. PST.


Cassie said...

Congratulations! I used to convince myself that I was a morning person simply because for some reason I always HAVE to get up early but I am never ever happy about it.

Torrie said...

self acceptance is the greatest gift you'll ever give yourself. way to go!

Lanna said...

I've recently come to this fantastic revelation! It's a sign of relief and a permission slip to be however you are- not what the 6am jogger thinks you should be! Congrats