I’ll be honest: this was a slightly horrifying realization. I’ve gotten through school/life by sleeping late in the day and staying up late into the night. Writing, drawing, reading, or video gaming well past midnight and then sleeping until lunchtime: that’s always been my ideal day. But in the last few months… that just doesn’t work.
I really made this discovery last year, but I didn’t grasp the impact at the time. Last spring and summer, I was up around 6, giving myself 2.5 hours to draw and write before my work day, and then I would draw when I got home (and even on the bus both ways.) It was the most productive time of my life, really. I felt fantastic physically, but also just mentally (of course, the two tend to go hand-in-hand.) I made huge progress on personal projects and just felt great all around.
But gradually, I started to slip back into my old routine of staying up late, and sleeping till the last minute. Eventually it got to the point where I would get up and leave just enough time to swig some coffee and dash to the bus. No sketching or writing or reading before work, just rushing out the door. What I didn’t notice right away was that my whole day became defined by my hurried start. Without that relaxed drawing and breakfast session, my day was all about counting down the hours until I was home again. I started to really resent my mornings.
The realization that I needed to get up earlier in order to feel relaxed and in control shocked me. Sleeping in had always been my definition of relaxing, but all of the sudden, sleep was actually taking away my time to relax. So I’ve been working my way back to early mornings. Obviously, earlier mornings means getting to bed earlier, and that’s been the hard part. I haven’t made it back to the 6am schedule (I’m not sure how I did that) but I do get up early enough to leave time to write and sketch, and maybe read the paper. Now my days are back to feeling less hectic and more deliberate. And that’s always a good thing.