The Golden Hour
Have you ever done something you know will have terrible consequences in the future, but do it anyway? If not, perhaps I am indeed alone in my questionable decision making and poor judgement. Regardless, I cannot have this post ensnared in my own self-doubt!
In spite of my mantra of productivity and activity, I used to have terrible sleeping habits. Far too engrossed in the Internet, I would stay up scouring the web until midnight on weekdays. Although I was well-aware that I would have to awaken at 6:00 AM, the infamous golden hour, the next day, I blithely neglected this inevitable truth, choosing my enjoyment of the Internet over my future agony. As I continued my endless scrolling, a little voice in the back of my mind nagged, “You’ll regret this tomorrow. Why not get some sleep?”
“Silence. I’m in charge of this operation,” I cruelly responded to my subconscious well-wisher. At some point, fatigue and my body’s dogged circadian rhythm forced my eyes shut and my head against a pillow.
In what seemed like minutes later, I would hear this aggravating, repetitive beeping coming from a distant oblivion. “Wha-what is that?” my heavily sleep drunken mind asked sluggishly. Unable to forfeit the comfortable warmth of my bed and the welcoming darkness of my eyelids, I opened them a fraction of the way.
A pale, purple color had colored the clouds from my window, suffusing them with a soft light. The birds were gaily trilling to each other from adjacent treetops. The branches of the trees gently swayed in the breeze. My cellphone was emitting a series of harsh beeps. It couldn’t be-could it? My worst fears had just been confirmed. It was the dawn.
If sleep hadn’t made me so terribly uncoordinated, I would have jumped to my feet and cursed the earth’s timely rotation. “Why now! Why not later?!” I desperately wanted to scream at the clock on the wall. Lacking the motivation, I threw my legs over the side of my bed and got to my feet. A few moments later, I walked over to my cellphone and put it to rest. Having grudgingly silenced my screeching morning companion, I would then trudge to the bathroom to begin my morning routine.
After several of such miserable mornings, I realized that I would need to make a change. I needed to get more sleep, because six hours just wasn’t cutting it.
I considered my options: I couldn’t wake up any later than 6:00 AM because I had morning classes, which meant that I would have to change what time I slept. While the first few days felt a bit strange, I consistently managed to force myself to sleep by 10:00 PM.
Having maintained my new routine, I found that it was dramatically easier to wake up in the mornings. Rather than feel as if my head were full of rocks and spinning, it was more clear and sharp. I no longer struggled to silence my morning alarm, now walking with ease to my bedroom window.
Now that I was more alert, I found that mornings could be immensely productive. I could catch up on last-minute work that I had forgotten to do earlier. I could study for an impending exam. I could even watch the morning news! Of course I could’ve done all of these things before, but I was too sluggish and apathetic then!
If you told me that 6:00 AM was the golden hour several months ago, I would’ve laughed in your face. And not the affable laughter of polite conversation, no, I would use the derisive, incredulous laughter that comes from those who are too stunned and ignorant to accept the truth. But now, I would second that phrase and herald it as the truth, 6:00 AM is indeed the golden hour.