Embracing change | Overstuffed Overstuffed

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Embracing change

When our ward split in November, the Stake President stood at the pulpit and quoted some quote about how nobody likes change (which is when I leaned over to Joel and asked him if that was so, then why exactly did so many people vote for Obama?) but that it was often good for us and he wanted us to please embrace it anyway.

He's right. Change is hard. However, change can be very good if we can only make ourselves do it.

This new year I've gone whole hog on the change. I figure if Obama's going to be the president, perhaps I'd better jump on the bandwagon, right? It took me a while to convince my dear husband, but I think I've got him on board with me at this point.

The biggest change is that we are now getting up at 6:30 am every single day. Every. Single. Day. Except maybe Saturday, but at least I will be getting up that early due to my voice lesson schedule in St. George, so as far as I'm concerned it is every single day. Every. Single. Day.

Some of you know me from the mission, or maybe you were my roommate in college. Or you are my mother. If you are one of those people then you absolutely understand why this is such a big deal. Huge deal. GIGANTIC DEAL!

I am not a morning person. I am a night owl, as they say. This is the way I came, and nobody can tell me that there's a way to change my particular circadian rhythm. I've tried. Plus, I've been given a child who is just like me. No matter what time I drag her out of bed in the morning, she is up much later than her sisters. She generally looks at all the books in her room, often plays with toys and comes out to tell me "important things" about every five minutes until 11:30 pm. She gets her energy at night, and believe me, it is not there in the morning. And it isn't for me, either.

On my mission I dutifully awoke most mornings at 6:30 am, just as the white handbook said I should. I won't say I did it cheerfully or even whole-heartedly, because I did it rather grumpily. I had to convince most of my companions that it would be best if we started out with companionship study right off the bat, because if I were left to my own devices, I would probably just fall back to sleep, as the scriptures are not best read alone when one is only half awake.

Joel, on the other hand, really is a morning person, but he is a morning person with a bizarre schedule. He has to be to work at like 6:00 in the morning one day, and not till nearly 10:00 am the next. On those ten o'clock days, he often caught up on his sleep, so we all just stayed in bed. Of course, when he got up at the crack of dawn we all just stayed in bed then, too.

Consequently, my mornings so far this school year have been ineffective to say the least. Lots of running around, yelling for shoes to be put on, hurrying the prayer process and giving up on making lunches and just sending lunch money. As soon as Bria was out the door, I would sink in to my comfortable chair in front of the computer to check blogs and email and before I knew it, it was nearly 11:00 and Chloe wasn't even out of bed yet (I suppose I just outed my night owl child)! My afternoons would then be rushed by default, and I wouldn't accomplish most of the things I set out to do, and the vicious cycle just continued until some days I wasn't getting much of anything done.

So now, Joel is helping me to wake up by 6:30 (the first morning he text messaged me 3 times, and I nearly blinded myself trying to look at them), we read our scriptures together and then get the girls up at 7:00. I don't like it, but I do it. I admit, I'm terribly grumpy, but the grump wears off by about 7:30, so I think it's worth it. Besides, it was all my idea, so I can't exactly be angry with my husband for helping me change an entire lifestyle.

Grumpiness aside, the whole thing is wonderful. You wouldn't believe how much I get done before 9:00 am! Bria practices her violin, with my help, for an entire half hour! We eat a healthy breakfast! We calmly get ready for school! Teeth actually get brushed because I am awake to make sure it happens! Lunches are made! Money is saved! The house is cleaner (not counting the folding of laundry)! The kids are more obedient! Chloe only stays up until around 10:30 now! Life is wonderful!

And I have more time to focus on organizing my home and my mind. It's a win-win. I just hope that I can keep the momentum, because this is the way I want to live. That other way was no fun at all.

29 comments :

  1. I do the same thing, getting up early. Those are the days I actually have time to put on makeup! Anyway, it really makes a HUGE difference for me to get up early and shower, get cute, eat, and read scriptures before the little people wake up and need me every other second. Good luck sticking with your resolution! Oh, and I find it helps if I'm asleep by 10! Which I am not, tonight.

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  2. I get up really early too. Like at 9. I don't know how I do it.

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  3. Have I told you lately how much I love reading your blog? You are an inspiration. Good luck with your goals this year. I also find that when I get up early I do feel much better and get so much more accomplished.

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  4. Ahhhhhhhhwesome! You can do it, don't give in to feelings, keep going and you will always have a wonderful feeling of gratitude instead of grumpiness! Great Job, my dear.

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  5. I think I'm like you. I'm definitely a night owl. I've tried to get up earlier, but it never lasts longer than a week. Maybe I'll try again. Your post inspired me!

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  6. Don't you love those few minutes of peace before the whole day starts? I'm glad your mornings are less rushed.

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  7. You're right, of course, the few times I get up early it's wonderful. But I haven't managed to do it on my own regularly.

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  8. I wish I wasn't a morning person, but I am. I get so much done in the morning that it's impossible for me to sleep in. If I do sleep in I am grumpy for the rest of the day because I never get caught up!

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  9. This was a great post. I love to sleep in on vacations but when I do I think about regular days and realize that on normal days I have usually already taught 2-3 classes and had a couple of meetings by that time, so I feel a little bit lazy, but I still do it.:-) It is amazing how much you can get done when you wake up early. There must be something to that old adage after all!

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  10. Are you going to bed any earlier now? I'm really impressed! I try to be showered and dressed by 9:00 most mornings. It helps me feel better about my day.

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  11. Way to go Lara! I keep trying to convince myself that if I got up earlier in the mornings I could accomplish more. I KNOW I WOULD. . . and yet, it hasn't happened yet. In my defense I have started getting up at 7:30-8:00. So that's a good hour to two hours early for us! It's a start right?!

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  12. WOW I to hate getting up early. Way to go keep up the good work!!!

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  13. That's awesome, I should give it a try, I am the same as you, however I do love mornings I just don't like to be out of bed. I don't get anything done. Yesterday I was reading a friends blog I got so wrapped up in it that I didn't get off the computer till my daughter got home at 3:15. That is just horrible! Good luck to ya, I know it is very hard to do.

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  14. Good job! You are coming over to the light! Mornings are the best - get busy before all the kidletts get up. You can actually make some progress...
    :D

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  15. Good for you!! I am NOT a morning person either.

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  16. Good luck in keeping that up! Our house is up at 7am so I'm forced to wake up around then. It is surprising how much gets done in the morning. And just think..the sooner your house is organized and clean, the sooner you get to get out and do something fun!

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  17. I'm right there with you! Interestingly, one of the things I love most about homeschooling my kids is that we don't have to be up early in the mornings. But then I went and started school full time too and in order to get everything done everyday, including a good workout every day, I have set a goal to be up between 6 and 6:30 every morning. I'm a night owl too, so the hardest part is forcing myself to go to sleep at 10 every night!

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  18. you should've just entitled this blog "my last step before I turn completely into Hilary"... :) And yes, getting up early saves me completely.
    And now it is up to lunch to save me.

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  19. (raises hand) another self proclaimed night owl here! Good for you getting up earlier! I am also trying for between 6 and 630. SOOO hard to do. But I agree you do get a lot more done. I need to jump back on the early morning band wagon!:)

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  20. Ugh. This is SO me. I hate getting up in the morning. It is impossible. Left to my own devices (and loud children in the family room) I don't get up until 9:30 or 10. That's what I did all Christmas break.

    My middle schoolers have to be out the door at 7:05. So I have to get them up at 6:20 at the latest. I need to set my alarm 1 hour early to accomplish this. It's horrid. I do so much better if I make myself stay awake, but some mornings I curl up on my favorite chair with a blanket and drift in and out, giving reminders, until they leave.

    I hope you can keep it up. It will give me hope for myself!

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  21. I'm so happy for you! I seem to be on the down swing. Charlie's new schedule is getting to me; meaning more sleepless nights and achy muscles. I end up "supervising" on the couch most days and I just hate it! I'm so glad that my neighbor knocks before 7:15A and opening the door forces my muscles to stretch and wake me up.
    You enjoy your new and better schedule, I'm sure 2009 will be so much better than you realize. Hooray for change!

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  22. I am such a morning person.... good luck, i had a mish comp that was sooo not a morning person, made for a wonderfully fun companionship.

    good luck!

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  23. Good luck on that 6:30 thing . . let us know how it works out?

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  24. Like you, I am not a morning person. Sadly, I am not a night owl either. Come to think of it, afternoons are pretty iffy. I am a mid-morning and then again after dinner until about 9:30 type of person. I have to agree, however, that getting up earlier really makes things go more smoothly. I hate rushing around right after I get up. Hate it! Since Christmas vacay, I have been getting up 15 minutes earlier than I had been (due to hubby's new year resolution to exercise on the wii fit every day before work) and it amazes me what a different that little bit of time makes.

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  25. I'm good at getting up early if I have to. And I like being out and about early, on the rare occasions when I have to go out then. But more often than not I just end up hanging out in my pajama pants all morning.

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  26. Oh man, I'm like you. Not a morning person at all! I don't know if I could do what you are doing, but I'm so proud of you for doing (just because I know how hard it would be)!

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  27. I am NOT a morning person!! But, like you, I've realized, my day is not running the way I want it too. Wow-I'm so proud of you. I'm working on 7:30. Baby steps.

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  28. I'm not a big fan of "change" either, and I'm one of those weirdos who voted for Obama. lol But seriously, unless it involves cooler temperatures, a lower weight, an increase in money or a decrease of mess around the house, or an increase of sleep, change is good. lol But you know how I feel about ward splits. That's the bad kind of change. lol

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  29. Oh, you inspire me to reinstate my early-waking endeavor.

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