The New Year had me thinking a lot about goals, values, ambitions, motivations, life, and how excited I was to wear my new fuzzy socks. With all the talk of “look how far you’ve come in a year” and “can you believe that was only 1 year ago” I found myself even more reflective and nearly bubbling over with blog ideas – two of which involved writing about goals and values.
At my old job, we had a list of working norms – kind of like guiding values – and each day at our morning huddle, we would say what working norm we were focusing on that day. I loved that idea. I mean, obviously, in theory, you were living into every positive attribute every day you walked into the office, but how nice it was to really put your heart and soul behind one guiding value each week.
For this reason, I’ve decided to dedicate a new series of “Res” posts to my own kind of working norms – my own mini-resolutions. You don’t have to buy into any of these. You don’t have to make your own. But maybe at some point, it’ll make you think about what it would look like to radically change your life one week at a time.
Res 39: Get Some Sleep
In elementary school, I woke up every day at 7:11 am – partly because I was too quirky to believe in times that ended in 5 or 0 and partly because I thought it was hilarious to tell people I woke up at 711 (a ridiculous reference to the comical idea that someone could wake up inside the gas station. My humor, it seems, peaked when I was eight).
It didn’t take me long to realize, as I grew older, that waking up early came naturally to me. I much preferred the promise of a sunrise and the quiet peace of a still slumbering house. When I moved to New York City and was – for about a week – a mix of uncomfortable apartment situation and complete lack of employment and direction, I found myself sleeping later than I ever had in my life.
In the midst of a cold January, it was easier to stay on my tiny rented cot in my temporary house watching minutes tick by on the alarm clock. Of course, job offers and moving into a better living situation snapped me right back to what I knew – an alarm clock that bore 7:11.
As life has progressed in New York and because of various schedules with running and working and so on, I’ve found myself pushing my alarm clock back earlier and earlier. Content to curl up with a good book around 10:30 or 11 at night and wake up slightly before my alarm the next morning, I felt I had finally found something that worked for me.
I love the way I can tiptoe around a quiet apartment. I love the way I get my best thinking done while the world sleeps. I love the crisp morning air and I love doing long runs to a rising sun. I love everything about the 5 o’clock hour and I live for the promise of dawn. But not everyone would agree with that.
Resolution #39: Get Some Sleep
I had originally titled this post “Wake Up Early,” but I’m realizing now how silly that is. The truth is, waking up early works for me. My body clock thrives off that routine. That said, my roommate works very different hours than I do. He often gets home from work after midnight and doesn’t go in the next day until later in the morning or afternoon. Our schedules are very opposite and as a result, there have been multiple occasions where I am eating breakfast as he returns from a night out.
While it always makes me wonder how we maintain a friendship with the appalling hours we think the other keeps, it also reminds me that the resolution isn’t about waking up early – it’s about finding what works for you.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always considered myself “pretty healthy” with things like diet and exercise. The one major thing I was lacking on has always been sleep. When life gets busy, sleep has – and will probably always be – the first thing to go. However in the past month, I’ve tried to be especially mindful of what it means to listen to your body and rest when you are tired and for that reason, I am challenging all of you – not to go to bed early, but to figure out exactly what it is that works best for you.