I’ve never been a morning person. In high school, I rolled out of bed, jumped in the shower, pulled my hair into a ponytail, and grabbed a Pop-Tart on my way out the door and into homeroom. In college, I scheduled my classes after 10am — with the exception of an 8am Psych class during freshmen year, which I only made it to with help from my hallmates.
And for the past five years I’ve worked in an office within three miles of my apartment. I had it down to a science. Alarm rings at 7:40. Hit snooze until 7:49. Hit snooze again until 7:58. Finally get out of bed at 8:00. Shower, dress, dry hair, apply makeup, eat cereal, take coffee to go. I was at my desk by 9:00.
Oh, the glory days have come to an end. I now live roughly 50 miles from my office. Fortunately, it’s a straight shot on I-99 along the ridge of Bald Eagle Mountain. Unfortunately, it can get very windy and snowy along that ridge, as I witnessed on the second half of the first day of my new commute.
Now that I have to spend just under two hours on the road every weekday, I’m more appreciative of my time at home. I’m encouraged to wake up earlier so I can get home earlier. Last week my alarm rang at 6:15 every day, and surprisingly, I only hit snooze one time on one day.
Nick and I sit down to bowls of cereal by 7:15, and I’m on the road with a travel mug of coffee by 7:30. Steve Inskeep and Renee Montagne keep me company in the morning, and the good folks of All Things Considered are with me in the evening.
Because I’m out of bed early, I need to be in bed early. Last week we averaged a 10pm bed time. This was particularly easy because we were without distractions like cable and Internet. This week could be a different story, however. Figure skating! Alpine skiing!
Nick doesn’t start his commute for another three weeks. He will be on the road for at least two hours each day, too. This was the compromise. I could keep the job that I love, and Nick took take the job that he wanted, if we were both willing to drive to get there. We’re making it work.
What do you do to get going in the morning?