Early mornings. Some of us like them and have our reasons for waking up early.
I’m not a fan of waking up early. Don’t like waking up before 9 a.m. But since I have a day job, I have to and grudgingly drag myself out of bed at 7 a.m. on weekdays. And I’ve come to see the upsides of rising early.
Some of us wake up early because we want to get going with our day. We wake up early because we have to – we need to make breakfast, do the laundry or maybe do some exercise. We also wake up early so we can do what we want to do.
A few weeks ago, fogged rolled through the city on a winter Melbourne morning. It pained me but I woke up half an hour earlier than usual for work that day so I could see the fog and take photos of it, adding photos to my photo collection. As the icy wind sliced my red cheeks, a spectacular view greeted me at the Yarra River (see photo).
Waking up early and getting things done, we feel productive, like we’re doing something useful. A positive start to the day.
Some of us like getting out of bed early because we want to make the most of daylight.In winter, the days are shorter and it gets dark before 5 p.m. in Melbourne. It makes sense to do as much as we can outside when it’s bright because things do go bump in the middle of the night in Australia.
Then we get out of bed early because we like the peace and quiet that usually comes with mornings. A good time for thinking. Most Saturday mornings I lie in bed at 8 a.m., hearing nothing else but the voices in my head telling me what to write for the blog and my neighbour splashing water in the shower.
There’s not forgetting some of us wake up early because it’s a treat for the eyes and soul. Waking up early is simply, beautiful: dawn. Sunrise. Mist. Fog. Empty streets.
If I don’t have work or something planned that day, I don’t get out of bed until 10 or 11 a.m. My Chinese-Malaysian parents baulk at this – waking up early is a big part of Asian cultures. Feeding the family begins at the crack of dawn in Malaysia and Singapore every day. Wet markets here open for business as the sun rises and when we lived in both countries, my mum shopped there several times a week when it was still dark in the morning to get fresh groceries for dinner.
Eating is also a big part of Asian cultures – starting from breakfast, another reason many Asians like to get up early. Greasy yum cha dumplings, deep fried yu za kuei and fattening nasi lemak are just a few of the Asian breakfasts my parents love waking up for in Malaysia.
Crack of dawn religious prayers is another reason why many Asians get up early. Even many Asian kids are forced to wake up early. During my primary and secondary school days in Singapore, my classmates and I sung the national anthem at 7.20 a.m. during assembly and five minutes later, classes started. Coming to school at this hour meant most of us always got up at six.
On the days where I do wake up late, I usually feel more energetic and more determined to write. Being early risers doesn’t necessarily mean we’re early sleepers. No matter how early I wake up, it’s hard for me to fall asleep before midnight even if I feel physically tired. No matter how much I write in the day, my “writing zone” always hits me late at night.
No matter what time we wake up, there’s always time and a choice to get around to doing things. Most things.
Each day is what we make of it.
Do you wake up and/or like waking up early? Do you sleep late?