I am not a terribly good sleeper. I have never been particularly good at falling asleep or taking naps, but these I find myself waking up, unassisted, with the birds at first light. My initial approach to this was to pout, and toss and turn until the alarm went off, starting my day in a grumpy huff. That being clearly untenable in the long-term, my next approach was to embrace the extra time in my and launch myself out of bed and into a flurry of early-morning activity, which really only exhausted me before my day had even gotten started, my over-trained body needing more rest than my over-active mind. Now, I choose the middle road. The early morning has become a time for me to read or write from bed, a chance to make notes and relieve my busy mind from the constant turning over of things I have to do. I use that time to acknowledge my cat, who after more than eight years with me can be forgotten but love thrives with additional attention. I snuggle. I look out the window at the birds. I rest. I do not judge myself or insist that my body conform to an ideal model of sleep, but I do not rob myself of the precious time I have carved out of my life for rest and restoration. I do not allow myself to feel lazy for taking this time. Overall, I feel better for this, more psychologically prepared to face my day, and more physically rested. Slowly, I am learning to accept my own internal rhythms and the idea that my body may have a wisdom all its own.
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