I get up early.
I get up early because I crave quiet. In the morning, before the boys are awake -- all 4, including the big one -- my time is my own. I can sit and do nothing, or I can tic of things I've been listing in my head to see, take care of, or do. Mostly, because my time is my own, I enjoy a cup of coffee, listen to the morning sounds and take care of what might need to be done.
I get up early because I like to listen to the wind chimes right outside the window. Makes me think of our house at one post where our neighbors (not other diplomats) wanted us to move our wind chimes from their side to far far away. "Too distracting and loud," they said. Wind chimes. Go figure. Not everyone enjoys their singing, I guess. Here, in the quiet, I can hear the music the chime makes, and listen as the birds come awake, and add their own song.
I get up early because every day is busy -- too much go go go -- and this time is my time. Just me and two of the cats. One is curious about everything (even at 2 1/2 she still thinks everything is a toy), the other just desperately wants attention. The third would love some, too, but the lure of the warmth of the transformer she is sitting on is too great. She just watches from afar.
I get up early because during the day, I am at the beck and call of 4 people at home, and so many more at work. This time is my time. I don't have to chat, or be tasked, or listen to anything I don't want to. I don't have anyone showing me their latest lego creation, or asking to use the computer. I don't have the boys' playlist on uber repeat. This ear, the internet generally works, and I can get through my unread emails without having to wait for things to load.
I get up early because this is the time I give to exercise. Every day is a new chance to do something for my body. I might do a hard and fast workout (such a fan of HIIT), I might try a pilates class, it might be one of the regular running group days ... something. Every day. If I make time for it first, this block of time won't get filled by something or someone else. As a working mom of three, I know the likeliness of that happening; by gifting this time to me first thing, I know I'll be able to keep my date with me.
My body and eyes are still tired; don't get me wrong. I could sleep more. As I think of my boys upstairs asleep, I feel a little bit of a tug to go back and try to get more sleep. But I also know that these early morning minutes are mine, and they are precious, and I am not willing to give them up.
I get up early because time is precious, and time counts, and the less of it I feel I have, the more I realize how important it is. The more people I have asking to share it, the more I realize it matters with whom I share it. And right now, I choose to share my morning time with very few.