"When ar...

"When are you at your best?"

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By Stephen Gosewich, Dad blogger

I find myself waking up earlier and earlier these days…mostly because of a full bladder that needs relief after 7 or so
hours of holding it in…dreaming about holding it in…and praying that I can hold it in so I don’t have to get up…climb down a flight of stairs…and run the risk of not being able to fall back asleep…welcome to my world!!

However, I am damned if I do and damned if I don’t. If I don’t go to the bathroom, the urge to go wakes me up…and if I get up and go right away, I run the risk of not being able to fall back asleep because my mind starts to race, think and worry. But, enough about peeing!!

When I was a kid, I was always amazed at how early my father would wake up and start his day. Way back in the
day, his morning ritual would be to wake up…go down to the kitchen, put the coffee on, then have a cigarette…then do his morning routine and be out the door…way before 7am.

I remember once he invited me to go the gym with him. When I asked what time we would be going he said, “early”. I didn’t realize that “early” meant around 6:30. Back then, that was just insane…who could move their body so early in the day?

Now, the early morning start doesn’t seem as crazy. I have recently found a new appreciation for starting my day early…mostly because once 10:30 pm rolls around I am usually sprawled out on
the sofa asleep with drool running down the corner of my mouth, attempting to watch Seinfeld re-runs. When I wake up, startled and disoriented…it takes a Herculean effort to climb the stairs, get ready for bed and then fall back into bed. Fortunately, I am able to fall asleep really quickly, much to the chagrin
of my wife.

Nope…early morning (before 7am) is kinda cool. I have been known to create blogs at that hour…send off some pretty good emails, meditate, empty the dishwasher, prepare coffee, get lunch bags packed…its a pretty productive hour of the morning.

Its also pretty really quiet. I understood why my father would wake up early and sit on his comfy chair in the den
and drink his coffee and smoke his cigarette (well, the cigarette part I don’t get but am glad that he gave up that nasty habit years ago). He would sit in
the dark…no television on, no newspaper…and just contemplate. I guess it was his form of meditating.

My kids don’t typically start their day until around 7 (during the week) and they can sometimes sleep in until 8-10am on weekends. During the work week, my wife doesn’t begin to stir until
around 7…so I can sometimes have an hour to myself. Its absolutely amazing to
me how long an hour is and how much you can actually accomplish in that time period if you really want to.

But, things always get done easily when you have no distractions…no phone calls (I hate those 1-800 numbers in
particular), no emails, no television, no children to clean up after or bark at
to get things done…no disagreements with spouses….its just me, myself and
I.

Then I think about those people I know who are “night owls” and wonder how they have the stamina to stay
up that late? Are these “night owls” as productive as us early
morning risers? I have a dear friend who likes to stay up late. He hibernates
in his basement once his wife and children have gone to sleep. He tells me he
watches movies, reads books and surfs the Internet a lot.

Is he as productive as I am at 6:00-6:30 in the morning? Maybe he doesn’t want to be productive…maybe
staying up until 2am in the morning is his time to himself. The same kind of
time my youngest daughter calls, “man-time”…when I say goodnight to
her and she asks me if I am going downstairs to have “man-time”
(which means vegging out in front of the television).

When I am away on my winter holiday with my family and extended family, I am now the first one up. I figure, I am
on vacation..in a warm beautiful place….why would I want to be in a bed when
I can be outside..enjoying the warmth of the southern climate? I read, books,
newspapers and often will go for a morning walk with my wife or practice yoga.

I have found a new appreciation and respect for morning time. Not only because of what I can accomplish but also
because morning reminds me of how grateful I should be to wake up each and
every day and to enjoy whatever life has to offer.

Stephen Gosewich is an aspiring enlightened male. He spends his weekdays as a commercial real estate professional, and all other times just hanging out with his wonderfully supportive wife and two very active and inspiring daughters. He loves blogging, spinning and
practices yoga. You can read his blog at www.theenlightenedmale.wordpress.com