Back when I was living and working in London, I lived for the Wednesday morning grab of a Stylist magazine as I hopped on the tube. The journey provided me with just enough time to read it from cover to cover, skipping over the boring bits (hello travel sections and interviews with celebrities you’ve never heard of) in favour of beauty inspo and well researched cultural articles that left me pondering; one of my favourite bits was the ‘My 9 To 5’ interview, which featured real women achieving great things and sharing their stories of success. Although I loved finding out what they had to say (and how random their ‘Plan B’ career choice was,) one consistent element of their daily routine used to wind me the hell up: how every single blummin woman would claim to get up at 5.30am and fit in a yoga class before they got the kids up for school and headed in to the office to check emails before anyone else was at their desk.
F*ck that mate. Women are under enough pressure to juggle a million things at once, achieve as much as possible in their career, fill their uterus with as many small fleshy people as they can pop out and still have the time to look like their hair is freshly coloured and their nails painted the shade of the season. We don’t need constant pressure to fit even more in at the expense of our sleep, or to feel vilified for not being a morning person.
I’ve always loved my sleep and I’ve never particularly enjoyed the first few hours of the day; I’d much prefer to stumble out of bed at nine-ish than I would be on the 7.07am train into London. I find it often a struggle to get myself up and ready in the mornings, and I’ll do everything I can to ensure I have just a few extra moments lingering between the sheets – which is why I’m often running late or in a last minute panic to get out the door. I find my flow around mid-morning and could easily work until late at night, but I have so much guilt at the fact I’m not up at six making myself a green smoothie and hitting the treadmill; I’m more likely to be scrolling Instagram or on my second cup of coffee instead, but that’s what works for me.
Over the years I’ve read so many books written by successful women, read so many interviews with celebrities who are smashing it, and generally been exposed to every blogger and their bestie showing me how the secret to success is simply getting out of bed. But you know what? It’s really not. The secret to success is having belief in yourself, dedication and a desire to make things happen – no matter what time you arise from your silk pillowcase. It’s about having passion for something that makes getting out of bed everyday seem worthwhile, or a vision that keeps you at your laptop until the middle of the night because you’ve got so many ideas spinning around. You really don’t need to be a morning person to be able to whizz through your to-do list or find yourself bashing out five posts in a single day, in the same way you can be a grump before you’ve had your third coffee and no good in a meeting until at least 11am. Different courses for different horses and all that.
I for one am sick and tired of hearing that I need to get up an hour earlier to fit more things into my day, because I know that just means I’m ready for bed by 9pm. It’s lazy advice, not suited to everybody and is just encouraging us all to juggle even more at the expense of our own wellbeing.
It’s time us mid-morning bloomers were celebrated in the same way, because I tell you what: as soon as the sun goes down and you morning people are starting to snooze, that’s when we really hit our stride.
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