I allow everything to compete with my alone time. At 6:00 a.m., there is no competition.
by Caitlin McCabe
I’ve gotten into this weird habit over the last few months of getting up really early. Surely, this means that I’m old now. Surely, I’m moments away from Bingo and wondering what’s on 60 Minutes tonight. Except I kind of like Bingo.
It boils down to competition for moments.
I allow my friends to compete with my alone time. In fact, I allow everything to compete with my alone time: grocery stores, errands, renewing my passport, phone calls, stupid television shows, listening to other people’s conversations, anything that moves or makes a noise pretty much gets my attention before I do.
At 6:00 a.m., there is no competition. No one is up, no stores are open and no one is calling.
6:00 a.m. can be for making myself a cup of coffee and drinking it with my geraniums.
6:00 a.m. can be for writing things that no one will ever read.
6:00 a.m. can be for trying two new hairstyles.
6:00 a.m. can be for staying in bed, but awake, and thinking.
Now, at first I thought, “This isn’t productive, just sitting here like this.” But then I realized that I’ve had some really great clarity during that time. I’ve carried it with me to work and accomplished more. Or I thought out a problem so that I didn’t have to solve something important in the line at Target while I was digging in my purse for a credit card and wondering if anything was maxed out or if I should maybe start drinking more water.
6:00 a.m. definitely makes you a better writer and a better thinker. Both take practice, and while I imagine most people know that writing takes practice, I wonder if they know that thinking cannot be done really well while doing a hundred other things as well.
I like the idea of multitasking, but it doesn’t really work that well with all activities. The only way I can erase all the competition is to get up at a time when there isn’t any.
Side note: I guess this doesn’t have to occur at 6:00 a.m. I used to babysit for a woman who went grocery shopping at 2:00 a.m., and I thought she was nuts, but now I totally get it.