It is rare anymore for me to get up at the same time two days in a row. When still in my corporate life, the alarm went off at 5:30AM, Monday through Friday, and I was up, to the gym, to write, to get whatever I could in before I got to the office.
Now there is no rhyme or reason to my hour of awakening. Some days it is still before 6 and then there are days like today when I am struggling to get up before the digital numbers shift to 9.
That, you may be saying, is the joy of working on your own, out of your house and in creative endeavor. You may also be thinking I must have needed the extra sleep. All true. But then why do I still feel guilty when I allow myself the indulgence of lingering under those covers until 9?
Is it just that old habits die slowly? Or could it be that Corporate America ingrains in our heads that work must be contained between the hours of 8:30-5:30, Monday–Friday or you’re just not working? In which case they got me good.
In my old world my work was dictated by when someone else told me I should be working. There was no attention paid to when I might be most productive and never any heed to the idea that left to my own devices I would get my work done and get it done well, whether or not I got into the office at the specified hour.
But now I am my boss. And my work time is never dictated. Each day is different. Sometimes nothing gets written on Monday, but pages and pages ensue on a Saturday. And there are those days when I wake up at 4AM with the next line for my novel in my head and others when the day is spent out of the house(aka home office) and the writing begins at 9PM. But every day I write. Something. Because when I don’t, I just don’t breathe right.
I don’t know when, if ever my mindset will completely shift and I will get that it is OK to get up at 5:30 and it is OK to get up at 9:00. Perhaps this is simply because there is no boss but myself to drive me crazy. Perhaps there is some dysfunctional part of me hidden away that misses that and so I occasionally like to do it myself.
But I do know that while I got up at 9 this morning, my commute time to the kitchen for coffee was less than one minute. In another ten I had made it in front of my computer. And now, just 10:30, I have answered emails, done some free writing and written a blog. So maybe it's not the time I get up, but what I do with that time when I do.