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Archive for February, 2015

Wake up world

This week has been all about getting up at 6.30am. It’s been much easier for some reason (must be hitting the right point in my sleep cycle to wake up). The big test was my Saturday morning. My blissful lie in morning. Well, it’s Saturday, and I’m up. I got up at 6.35 (5 minute lie in), came downstairs, wrote in my journal, and then I just had to get outside. The sun was rising, the sky lightening, and I wanted to go for a walk.

It’s so magical walking early in the morning. I’ve written about this previously, usually when I’m on my way to some exotic location and I have to be up early to get the bus to the airport. But today there was no ulterior motive. It was simply to enjoy the sunrise. Or to enjoy those first moments of the waking world, when there is no one around. Just me and the birds.

So I took a walk, around my neighbourhood. It’s still relatively new to me. I am used to walking the familiar routes between my road and the high street, the bus stop, the supermarkets. But I’ve never really walked further than a few streets over, so today I just walked, basically where my feet took me, but largely towards the sunrise.

It was a crisp and misty morning, so the sunrise was more of a gradual lightening and pinking of the sky. The mist gave a surreal but mysterious quality to my walk. The bird song was incredible, all sorts of squeaking and sqwarking as territories were claimed on electricity wires and eves of houses. I followed the maze of streets and then took a footpath along a path, discovering recreational grounds and churches, and allotments and graveyards. A couple alleys lead me deeper into a maze of older stone buildings. A few upstairs lights on, steam chuffing from house pipes, the world is waking up.

I was fascinated by the different types of houses, it’s a chance to really look at the buildings and take your time observing your surroundings. Interesting things in people’s front gardens, strange creeping plants along the side of the road. Bright red berries littered on the path, dew drops hanging heavy on bushes and branches.

The beautiful gift of a new day.

Gradually, as I walked, I could see the light blues and pinks emerge from the misty morning sky. The once very occasional whoosh of a car, and brief flicker of headlights in the mist, then became more of a constant rumble. The sounds of humanity were starting to drown out the sounds of birdsong. The moment was over, it was time for me to turn back down those alleys and head for home…

sun rise sky
tree in park
berries on a path
misty park

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It’s been my first week of attempting to get up early. In order to make this work, I know I need it to be a gradual process. Building a habit takes time (allegedly 21 days), and the last 7 days have been a challenge.

I decided to take it easy, not bursting straight into my ideal 6am, or “the” ideal 5am (shock, horror), and to just get up when the alarm goes off at 7am. You’d think it would be simple, but no, this was really hard.

I did OK for most of the week, it started slipping to 7.15 by the end. This is years and years of habit that I’m trying to unlearn.

Then came the weekend. I didn’t even¬†think¬†about the weekend. Saturday mornings, my most favourite time of the week. Lazily lying in bed with my husband, not feeling the need to do anything. It’s utter bliss. But no, in order to form a habit you need utter consistency, otherwise it’s almost impossible to trick your body/mind. This is where the link in the chain broke (apparently a new habit is a chain, and as soon as you break it, it’s like a broken link in the chain and you need to start again) – I got up both days at 8.30. And that was hard enough.

Still, once I was up it was easy. I come downstairs to my front room, probably the nicest room in our house (we’re renovating, look here for the blog on that!). The sunshine (when out) floods into this room in the early morning, which helps. Then I have my new morning ritual of 1. Making a cup of tea 2. Writing a page in my journal 3. Doing a ten minute meditation from the HeadSpace app. Well, number 3 didn’t happen during the week as usually after the tea and journal I’d hear the call from upstairs that the bathroom was free and to hurry up otherwise the bath would go cold (we only have a bath right now and only enough hot water for one go at it!). And so would follow the mad bath – clothes – breakfast dash before running out of the door for the bus. But this weekend has allowed me time to do point 3 and I feel amazing! It energized me, grounded me, and set me up for the day – and really shake off that morning-wakeup-lethargy spell that I’m always under in the morning.

So this is encouraging. I know that persevering with this is important. Perhaps the challenge this week has been that I’ve not woken early enough to do anything that I can receive instant reward from. I probably need at least 45 minutes on top of my normal wake up hours (and at least some time before other life forms start moving around the house) to reap the benefits.

So, despite the broken link, I am going to continue this week and attempt the 6.30 get up.

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