When our ward split in November, the Stake President stood at the pulpit and quoted some quote about how nobody likes change 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.
My husband, 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 my oldest daughter was out the door, I would sink in to my comfortable chair in front of the computer to check email and before I knew it, it was nearly 11:00 and my kindergartener 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, my husband 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! My oldest 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! My second daughter the night owl 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.