Hello, my name is Mike and I'm a Morning Person.
During a brief stop at the gas station this morning, I said hello to another guy entering the gas station as I was leaving. Not sure what he was doing up at that hour, but the serene look on his face was a perfect reflection of how I was feeling.
As a person who routinely wakes up at 4-4:30 am, I love the morning. Don't get me long, I like to sleep... and need about 8 hours to feel rested, but I would rather go to bed early to not miss the morning than stay up late and sleep in until until 8:00am. On my drive to the train station, I started to explore what I liked and a variety of memories sprang to mind:
As a young child, waking up 30 minutes early with my brother to get dressed, then get back into bed so that when Mom and Dad came to wake us up, we were already prepared (occasionally sneaking out to get breakfast too). Relishing the look of surprise when they realized we were ready to go.
Waking up as a teenager, my Dad rustling me out of bed to go hunting... barely able to think (as a teenager I was more of a "late morning" person). Still half awake, muddling around, realizing my Dad had already been up quite some time making some hot soup/coffee and getting our gear ready. Hearing the sound of the frozen grass and snow crunching under my boots as we made our way to our stand. Listening to the sounds of the nocturnal animals winding down and the daytime animals starting to move about. Watching the transition from black to grey, occasionally being blessed with a fiery red or orange display in the sky.
As a young man at Fort Jackson, being woke up by a Drill Sergent and mustered down into formation for PT. Doing pushups and sit ups in the wet grass until we couldn't do them any more, then running and singing loudly. Living the slogan: "we do more by 8:00am than most people do all day". Feeling proud and alive and pushing each other to go further and faster and not letting anyone fall behind.
In my 20s, sitting patiently at stand-to in a variety of fighting positions, watching the darkness slowly turn into a murky grey. Tense, watching every movement, but also feeling a sense of marvel at the transition.
Later, driving through the fog from Karlsruhe to Mannheim (and back) on weekends to visit friends. Speeding down the autobahn at a rate that was totally unsafe for my car, feeling alive and free.
At specific times, being woke up by my wife, her telling me that "I think it's time" and rushing to the hospital anticipating the birth of a child. Feeling that the time was near that I was going to be a father. For later kids, loading them up half asleep into the car/minivan/van and herding them into the waiting room... For even later kids, waking them and telling THEM "It's time, we've got to head to the hospital, watch the little guys".
As an 30 something adult, cruising through my subdivision on the way to work, marveling at all the dark houses and the folks still sleeping. Knowing I had already been up for an hour and they would probably sleep another hour or two. Feeling a sense of camaraderie with the other cars on the road and wondering where the heck they were going at this hour.
Occasionally, as a middle aged(?) man, getting fired up about going for an early morning run... jogging through the cool mist, listening for the moment that the robins begin to sing their silly song and hoping this would be another day that I see the orange and red fire streak across the sky. Feeling quiet satisfaction in the knowledge that I had put in 3 miles before most people rolled over to hit the snooze button.
This morning, sharing that entire experience with the dude at the gas station with one knowing look and a nod of the head. Sitting in my car at the train station and mulling about with the other 6:05am train folks at the Woodstock Metra station. Feeling like a member of an elite club that
I guess with those sorts of experiences rattling around in my head and the sense of belonging, pride, and accomplishment, it's no wonder I'm a morning person... Who wouldn't want to feel that way?