Mornings in Michigan.

There are generally two types of people, I’ve found—morning people and not morning people.  I am definitely a morning person, Ian is definitely not.

I’ve always loved mornings, though, or at least for as long as I can remember.  When I was in high school and horse showing, I loved being the first one to the barn in the morning on show day—and luckily my dad was willing and ready to drive me out super early as well.  In college and graduate school I found that my best work and best ideas came to me between 6-10am, and lately, when offered a choice of times for meetings or interviews that will require brainpower, I request the earliest spot of the day—I just feel and function way better at the first light.

 

The past few weeks I’ve been taking advantage of my early morning rising to get a lot done, but also to take some time to myself.  As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been having a hard time compartmentalizing a lot of my life these days—I have a lot of irons in a lot of different fires and while I am grateful to have so many different things keeping me busy and keeping my brain active, I am also starting to feel a bit frazzled.  I’ve always prided myself on not really keeping a planner book or needing to use a calendar. I’ve always kept it all in my brain and it’s been totally fine—but last week, I was in Grand Rapids and had made a plan to see a friend after a morning meeting, and I totally 100% forgot. She texted me at 5pm saying, “Hey…are you still coming?” Uggg. I felt awful! She understood, but I was super annoyed with myself, so I made a point to reactivate my Google calendar and be a little more intentional about updating it.

Another way I’ve been able to find some time to refocus has been to get up pretty early—around 5:30 or 6am.  I find that if I’m up really early, I can make coffee, do about an hour of photography work, and then head out for a run, a swim or a hike. Lately I’ve been getting to the Glen Haven dune area at about 7am—I start the day with a 4-5 mile run down the beach and then up into the dunes and through the trails. It’s killer on my legs, but at the end of it I’m drenched in sweat and, mores importantly, physically exhausted.  This area of the dunes has some super steep hills and a lot of gorgeous views. Yesterday I took time to just sit on top of the highest dune, seeing a view I’ve never seen before, despite that I hike this trail 3-4 times a week these days.  Taking the time to just be still and silent, to turn off my phone and email and refocus for the week felt fantastic.   Then a quick jump into Lake Michigan for a rinse off and I’m back to the Airstream by 8 to start the day. Getting in this time in the morning just for myself has been really helpful to getting the rest of what I need to get done, done.

Are you a morning person or someone who loves to burn the midnight oil? I definitely love a late night now and then, but more often than not, but the time the sun sets at 9pm up here in Northern Michigan, I’m ready to tuck into bed and say goodnight.