Pre-Dawn, No Yawn

posted in: Day In The Life 12
Dawn, someplace. Photo: Susanne Nilsson, via Wikipedia.


“The mornings are for thinking; the evenings are for feeling.”

Gertrude Stein said that. The mornings are for thinking, the evenings are for feeling. Don’t you love that? And isn’t it that just the way?

Though I’ve always been a morning person, a few months ago I started waking up earlier. I started waking up at four — and I’m pretty sure that’s gonna be the way it is from here on out because I love getting up that early.

It’s true. When I get up at 4 a.m., I don’t wake up in despair. Oh, I’m a little daunted when the alarm goes off, but it’s exciting for me to know that I have hours to think before the rest of the world gets up and need things from me and I need things from the world.

It started because I had no choice. Between school, Quiltfolk, lecture gigs, and the rest of my life, waking up in the almost-middle-of-the-night and getting to work became the only way out, as far as I could see. And sure enough, day after day, the mornings were for thinking. I saw that I could mountains of work between 4 a.m. and noon, all of it necessary — necessary, of course, if you agree that reading assignments are necessary; that responding to fellow students’ work is necessary; that turning in magazine articles and columns a least within a day or two of their respective deadlines is necessary; if working on my essay collection is necessary.

I think all that’s very necessary. I think those things create what my life looks like and I feel pretty necessary, if only to myself.

So I get up at 4 a.m. and make tea. I take my vitamins and my meds. I stare into space for awhile. If you were to see me there in my reclining chair, holding a hot mug of tea and staring into space at 4:17 a.m., it might not look like I’m doing much. But make no mistake, I am very busy.

I am thinking.

12 Responses

  1. Lucile Lapin
    | Reply

    Be healthy and happy Mary
    Love ya

  2. Kelly Ashton
    | Reply

    My mornings are very similar! I don’t do 4 am EVERY morning, but most mornings I purposely get up anywhere between 4 and 6 AM for that lovely bit of stillness time; stillness in my house, stillness in the neighborhood. And, anything but stillness in my mind, in my imagination. Wonderful morning think time!!

  3. Sarah
    | Reply

    Sounds like you’ve got it taped. Keep on keeping on.

  4. Jennifer Reinke
    | Reply

    Good Morning Mary–Yes, I too have always been an “Early” riser. I love that comment about having hours to think before the rest of the world gets up and needs things from me and I need things from the world. I plan (and ok worry) about how my day should go. But I feel it centers me in some way. Each sunrise is a new promise for a new start. The down side is I am not much of a party person

  5. Robin Tuckerman
    | Reply

    I’m with you! Enjoying the mornings. Always have. Don’t expect me at a late night function.

  6. Dawn Jolin
    | Reply

    This is wonderful! I started doing the same a few weeks ago too. I’ve always been a morning person & early riser but have moved that up to 4 am as well. I have basically your same routine. Coffee for me, take my meds & sit quietly with my Westie in my lap & think & plan.
    I’m finding that I feel better & am more ‘productive’ thru the day.
    It makes me smile to know that I am not alone while I enjoy this part of my day.

  7. susan
    | Reply

    I love the quiet of early morning. Min, the big dog, and I are up at 5 and take our walk when we are the only two out in the neighborhood. Quite delightful.

  8. Pat Bock
    | Reply

    Just curious……since you get up so early, what time do you go to bed??

  9. Gina
    | Reply

    Unfortunately, I tend to spend the first few hours I am up on the couch…..looking at email, wasting time, etc. etc.
    Perhaps it is because I don’t have anything “due.” I need to get something that is “due.” with a deadline!! I used to be a lot more productive….need to get back to that!!
    And good for you.

  10. liz hinze
    | Reply

    I also get up very early, the house is quiet, it’s only me and God.
    A lovely time to pray.

  11. Barbara
    | Reply

    I love getting up early, just to be alone, me, coffee and toast, and my dog, before the noise and busy-ness of life.

  12. Judy Forkner
    | Reply

    I sleep late in the morning, because I rarely make to bed before 2 am. It is 2:15 right now. Occasionally,, I don’t make it to bed before 4 am. At which time you are getting up!

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