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Check This Out: Mornings

Illustration for article titled Check This Out: Mornings
Photo: AP

You step outside, finding the usually bustling streets peaceful and empty. Despite a weather forecast pushing 80 degrees, the air is refreshingly cool. And while your schedule is filled with work, errands, and work that’s basically just one big errand, in this little moment you have no responsibilities at all. What is this strange magic? Well, it’s a lesser-known time of day I’d like to turn you on to. It’s called the morning and I used to think I hated it, but it turned out I was just a drunk.

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It was easy to believe I wasn’t a “morning person” when I was waking up with a pulsing headache after four hours of sleep. But as I’ve gotten older, wiser, and more handsome, I’ve come to realize that the best fun doesn’t take place during an exciting night out on the town. No, the real “magic hour” is the one where nothing much happens at all.

Skeptical? I don’t blame you. For years, the media has been forcing Big Evening’s propaganda down your throat—an indoctrination campaign that’s so pervasive, you hardly notice the endless depictions of pulsing nightclubs and glamorous, candle-lit nights. It doesn’t help that the twin evils of work and school have taught the average person to associate the morning with drudgery, an almost criminal perversion of the most blessed time of day.

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Consider this: Once, before all the toil and misinformation, there was probably a time that you looked forward to the day that follows night. Children, in their innocence, intuitively understand the morning for what it is, the thin sliver of the clock face that belongs to the individual alone. Do you want to eat cereal that’s basically candy? Jump on the bed? Build a fort? Wake up early enough, and there’s no one to tell you you can’t. “No gods, no masters,” shouts the rising sun.

Maybe you, like me, moved from your hometown to the city in search of adventure and opportunity. If so, it’s probably obvious by now that that was a trap. There’s a lot to do, sure, but it all comes at a price—one that’s easy to find yourself working harder and harder to afford. You know what doesn’t cost jack shit? Taking a walk by yourself while everyone else is asleep.

Do me a favor right now and remember, remember what it was like to open your eyes and know that the first part of the day was yours. It might be hard to think back that far, but once you do, you’ll know that what I’m saying about mornings is true. So set your alarm back an hour, tuck into bed early, and seize the freedom that’s your birthright.

It’s time to break the cycle. The Buddha said something smart about mornings. Probably.

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DISCUSSION

It just means you’re getting old. Same thing happened to me - suddenly the mornings didn’t seem so bad and staying up super-late wasn’t fun anymore.