I’m not exactly sure how or when it happened, but I’ve become that person who wakes up at 4 am ready for a new day. I’m pretty sure it was right before I met my husband, Bob.
At the time, I had a two-bedroom condo nicknamed, “the Glam Pad,” by one of my girlfriends. The “Glam Pad” was located in a highrise on the beach block in a small shore town just outside of Atlantic City, NJ, called Ventnor City.
Living that close to the beach, I didn’t want to miss out on the beauty of watching the sun rising over the water. I would set my alarm for 10 minutes before sunrise, which was just enough time to make a cup of coffee, put it in a travel mug, and head down to the beach which was less than 200 footsteps away to watch the sunrise. I will say, it didn’t matter whether it was during a balmy summer or a bitterly cold winter, the sun announcing the new day as it rose out of the horizon of the Atlantic Ocean did not disappoint.
Fast forward to today…Now that Bob & I are married, I sold the Glam Pad, and we renovated Bob’s existing home, which is only 3 miles inland, so I can still get to the beach relatively quickly. For the most part, these days I prefer my mornings to be indoors, and sunrises on the beach are now special occasion mornings such as our wedding anniversary or the anniversary of when our mother’s passed away. We bring a split of bubbly and some OJ for a toast to the day.
Even though I’m not watching the sunrise like I used to, I still get up before the sun, and that means by 10 pm I’ve usually had all the fun I’m going to have, so I head to bed around that time knowing my eyes will pop open sometime between 4 and 5 am.
I’m going to bring you along with me this morning, but this is pretty much every magical morning for me…
The numbers 3:43 am greet me, and I start the math of the time I went to sleep until now to determine if it’s too early to get up. Plenty of people get up at 4 am, but 3:43 am on the clock is too early, so I’ll lay here and wait it out or possibly fall back to sleep…
I open my eyes again to the clock telling me it’s 3:53 am, it’s almost 4:00, which for some bizarre reason I can justify, so I’ve decided just to get up. Now, I need to gingerly sneak out of bed to grab a robe while hoping the crackling of my knees, ankles, toes and lawd only knows what else doesn’t wake my husband. I put on the robe and attempt to find my reading glasses in the darkness…got ’em! The next move is to quietly close the bedroom door before snap, crackle, pop, and I tiptoe down the hall to the kitchen where I feel a tiny surge of victory upon arriving. <insert imaginary ribbon at the finish line and fans going wild>
The first big decision of the day awaits…which coffee mug will it be to set the tone of the day? I don’t know who came up with putting sayings on coffee mugs, but I hope they are still being compensated for the impact on contemporary pop culture. Imagine archeologists finding some of these mugs in 1000 years? Sayings like, “This Might Be Wine” or the old faithful, “Weekend Warrior” from back in the day. I think it’s safe to say; they will be baffled.
Let’s see, what does today’s mug have in store for me…. here she is, “Stay Fabulous!” given to me by my step sister a few years ago, is how I’m taking on this Monday morning. #LetsMonday
The next decision is whether I want to use the Keurig or Nespresso machine. I have two coffee makers because when Bob and I honeymooned in Italy the coffee there was so good, I came home and immediately cashed in a gift card to Sur la Table and bought a Nespresso maker, so I could try to recreate being back on the Amalfi Coast sipping a cappuccino with Positano over my shoulders.
How people like their coffee in the USA is as individual as a fingerprint. I imagine it’s a struggle for the control freaks to let someone else get it right. I like to doctor up my coffee with a dash of cinnamon, a little sugar, and some warm & frothy 2% milk. When everything aligns, it tastes like a magical morning potion. Coffee and I have an interesting relationship. For 15-20 years, I drank it black, but the past couple of years, I’ve added milk & sugar. As the saying goes, things change. I’ll add, “so lighten up” to that as well.
I mentioned earlier that this “beat the sun up” thing started within the past few years. Before that, it was all I could do to fall asleep, and once I did, I certainly wasn’t going to sabotage sleep for the mental accomplishment of beating the sun up. (That’s just crazy talk right there) Plus, my depression at the time was in no mood for early morning productivity or “me time.”
Being on the other side of depression after the loss of my mother and 20-year marriage, I now realize how narcissistic depression was for me. The entire time I was pretty much only thinking of myself and what I needed. I guess my intermittent ability to sleep was also the byproduct of depression at the time. It used to take a gallon of chamomile tea and either a Tylenol PM or Xanax just to get to sleep, and I couldn’t stay asleep, I would wake up every 2 hours or so. If you’ve experienced this, I feel your pain. The good news is depression and insomnia don’t have to last forever. Many nights I would finally fall asleep at 4 am so the fact that I fall asleep easily now and stay asleep for a solid 7-8, early mornings is a trade I’ll take.
Now that my morning magic potion is in hand, next up is to pick up my iPad and to grab a blanket out of the blanket basket by the fireplace and make my way to my hubby’s favorite chair. The soft leather feels like a cozy hug as I settle in to view what I missed online overnight. A quick spin through Instagram and Facebook and then onto a couple of news apps doesn’t take long to confirm once again that the world is going crazy or there is a myriad of dogs, cats, and even a random Mountain Lion dressed for today’s Hashtag. #OOTD
Putting the online noise aside, I love the quiet in the early morning, and I usually have a pretty good idea of what time it is by the sounds waking up outside. The birds start slowly singing until their harmony fades into the background of morning commuters heading from point A to point B. I know it’s not long that the sky will turn to midnite blue, and not long after that the branches on the trees outside my living room window that looked a little scary at first light (think Scooby-Doo and the Headless Horseman) are now shielding the sunshine from searing my retinas. (So I have that going for me).
Now that the sun is up in all her glory, it’s time to start warming up for a productive day! I either reach for my notebook to jot down the daily to-dos and design my ideal day, or I open my laptop to see what wants to be written today. Writing feels soul-deep to me, and given the right topic at the right time, I could write for hours.
Speaking of hours, I’m going to give you back your time and send you wishes for a great day! Thank you for spending my early morning magic moments with me today. I’m caffeinated up, and Bob should be heading out shortly with his usual chipper greeting and good morning kiss before getting into his daily ritual of getting s*it done.
I hope the FashionSHEsta lifestyle empowers you to create special moments for yourself that you look forward to. I know for me that by taking this time in the morning, I’m more patient and ready for the day. I don’t feel cheated because I’ve already had my “me-time” today.
Share some ideas of what your ideal morning would look be…