The Early Bird gets the Worm


I am not an early riser. My body naturally tends to sleeping in and ignoring the arrival of the morning. I wouldn’t say I’m a night owl either. I guess I just like to get enough sleep each night – not go to bed too late but not get up too early either. But when I do throw myself out of bed early it feels so great. I get that feeling that I can seize the day and accomplish so much. It doesn’t mean I necessarily do accomplish any more than usual, but there is something special about the early morning hours of the day.

Today is Friday, just before a long weekend where I live. Some people call it the “mid-winter break” and others would say it’s an excuse for schools and businesses to close and nothing more. The city is always busy ahead of a long weekend, and I decided to have an early start and get my errands accomplished before the rush of the crowds.

Have you ever arrived early at a grocery store, before the crowds? It’s a wondrous place. I did just that this morning, showing up just after 8:00 am. I snagged the best parking spot in the lot, and it was so quiet in the store that I could hear the staff stocking the shelves.  Only a few items were on my list, but the selection of everything I needed was abundant. Top of my list was fresh bread, and my nose guided me to the delightful smell of freshly baked goods.

The baguette was squishy and the bagels were hot and soft. How could I not buy them? Once I had everything I needed I headed to the checkout, which was empty! The lady at the checkout was friendly and relaxed, which would not be the case a few hours later.

I was back home by 9:00 am, groceries unloaded and ready for my next task. I will admit that I slowed down after this, but there is an energy that has flowed through my body all day, knowing that I started the day early.

There are many people who start early every day, by choice or by circumstances. Kudos to those eager beavers who pop up at 5:00 am up to get in a run or visit to the gym before work. That’s not for me.

For a brief time, early in my career, when I worked in radio, I often produced the morning show. Do you listen to the radio when you wake up? If you are listening to the radio at 6 or 7 am, that means a group of people had to be at work much earlier that day to prepare the show and get it on air. That’s what I did for a while.

When I produced morning radio I had to be at work by 4:00 am. Getting out of bed was painful. I know that many people work odd hours, but waking up at that time of day is just not normal. I had to peel my eyes open. Luckily, I lived very close to the radio station and always arrived on time. Our show was on air at 5:30 am and over by 9:00 am. I prepped the show for the next day, and my workday was complete by 10:00 am.

Every day that I worked the morning show, at about 10:00 am, I thought to myself, the early bird really does get the worm. I felt great. Okay, a bit tired, but great. The day was mine, to do whatever I wished (note this was pre-children).

No matter how hard it is to get out of bed, get dressed, prepare myself for the day and get on with that day, I have to remember how good it feels to do it all early. Not too early (I still believe 4:00 am is unnecessary unless you have to), but just ahead of the crowds.

And that squishy baguette and hot bagels. Yum.