Why Introverts Savor the Morning

We used to say in the Army we did more before 8 AM than most people do all day. I don’t know if that was completely true, but we certainly did a lot before the rooster cock-a-doodle-dooed. Movies like to depict soldiers waking up to Reveille, like it’s their alarm clock. Ha! By the time we heard Reveille over the loudspeakers — 6:30 AM at most Army installations — we had usually already finished PT (that’s working out in civilian-speak), eaten breakfast, and made no fewer than nine inappropriate jokes about each other’s mothers, girlfriends, wives, or any combination thereof.

I’ve always been a morning person. I’m one of those people who feel like they’ve wasted their day if they don’t wake up before the sun shines. And because I also like math, here’s a formula I call the Theorem of Quantum Perfection:

s(x + c²) = p
Where s = silence; x = time of day; c = level of coffee intake; and p = degree of perfection achieved.

This formula is fact, and it is undisputed. Not unlike the Texans being the undisputed shit-show of professional sports.

My early wake-ups are more than a habit; it’s a ritual. It’s the one time of the day I know I won’t be bothered — happy hour for an introvert like me. My wife won’t be awake for a couple more hours, the dogs are still asleep, and the world is my domain.

My normal wake-up is 4:30 or 5:00, and the first thing I do is go for a short run. I crave the crisp morning air, and somehow it’s even better if the sun has barely begun to rise. I’m not even opposed to total pitch-darkness, given the appropriate safety gear. I start the day on the right foot, and it helps me clear my mind for the inevitably busy day ahead.

Time for breakfast. Usually a bowl of multi-grain cereal with almond milk does the trick, and no breakfast is complete without coffee. Hot, smooth, silky, gives-you-chills-down-the-spine coffee. Nothing could be more necessary or sacred.

By now it’s almost 6:30, and the red sun is just beginning to peek over the hilltops. I work from home this week, and my home office is my sanctuary. It’s the only room in our two-story house, complete with its own half-bathroom, which provides me with the near-isolation I so strongly covet. I love how the room is dimly lit with only a old, rickety lamp to cut the darkness. I sip my cup o’ Joe and concentrate on the minutiae of the deep silence.

Who has two thumbs as couldn’t live without his early-morning alone time? This guy.

Hey introverts, what’s your favorite part of the day? How do you get your routine alone time if you’re not a morning person? Leave a response and share your thoughts.

Alex is a Xavier University alumnus, Army veteran, statistician, and tennis pro. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

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