Wake Me Up

I am a morning person.

By saying that maybe I’ve conjured an image of a chipper Sizzle baking muffins from scratch in an apron, the coffee already brewed and three loads of laundry washed and folded. Get that image out of your head. It’s more like: I wake up before 8am without an alarm clock but I can’t seem to interact with other humans without being pissy until at least 9am. Unless you are on line or texting me. I can do that. Just don’t be in my space.

But yeah, there might be muffins from scratch. (Maybe. Don’t get your hopes up.)

I have a morning routine. A cat, usually Dash, pounces onto my pillow then settles into a ball by my head wherein he begins to clean himself or clean me. Usually his licks are aimed at my eyelid. This is incredibly unpleasant so I tend to shoo him away. That last for about, oh, 6 seconds and then he’s back again with the “affection.” Some mornings we battle it out for 30 minutes like this. Other mornings I give in quickly because I do not enjoy the eyelid licking. AT ALL. I get up and stumble to the kitchen, poor myself a cup of ambition, yawn and stretch and try to come to life. Wait. I am not Dolly Parton. Scratch that.

I feed the cats to get them off my back. I brew tea and check my email. Sometimes I write a blog post. Sometimes I just read blogs. I check the news on line. My head almost explodes. I take a break and shower, primp, drink tea. I make breakfast and read more blogs.

Basically I have my quiet and alone time. I’ve had this for many years because since leaving my parent’s house at 21, I have lived alone for ten of those fifteen years. Some people don’t like being alone. I am not one of those people.

But herein lies the problem. How on earth am I ever going to cohabitate with my partner? The Fella and I have had many a discussion about this. We are not one of those couples that needs to be together all of the time. In actuality, on average we spend maybe 2.5 nights together out of 7. Lately given my work schedule and piss poor attitude, it’s more like one night. When I am in overwhelm, I need even more alone time. And when I require so much alone time to begin with, I practically morph into a hermit.

So what to do? Because I don’t know how to begin becoming a morning person who welcomes other people into her mornings. I don’t know how to be that girl who lingers in bed snuggling the day away with her significant other. I get up and get stuff done. I have a problem with being idle. With relaxing. With just BEING. I’ve tried working on it but I don’t think I’ve come very far.

This truth depresses me.

A lot of the time I feel like I am destined to grow old alone. Not because I can’t love or be loved in return but because I seem to be inflexible when it comes to sharing my space with people for long amounts of time. I feel abnormal. I see other people happily cohabitating and I think, “What the hell is wrong with me!?” Am I so difficult, structured and closed off that I can’t let someone in? Maybe I am Sally Albright.

Maybe I am.


47 thoughts on “Wake Me Up

  1. I’m sure you two will find a morning balance that’ll work. πŸ™‚

    I’m now a “morning person,” but that’s by necessity (aka a screaming newborn) rather than choice. πŸ˜‰

  2. I’m with you – I’m a morning person, but I’m a Morning ALONE person. I love living alone because NOBODY TALKS TO ME in the morning.

    The nice thing, however, about the boy is that he works East Coast hours, so when we do stay together, he kisses me goodbye at 5:15 and I’m free to have the rest of my morning to myself.

  3. Just because you’re cohabitating does not mean you have to be *interacting* all the time. It’s entirely possible to be alone in one part of the apartment while he’s alone in another part (even in a small apartment!)

    Seriously, splitting a rent check does not mandate you to become someone who snuggles in bed all day, or who can hold coherent conversations before 9am.

    My father (a morning person) has been happily married to my mother (a night owl) for 40+ years. My Dad has his time in the morning, my Mom has hers at night, and they spend their time together somewhere in the middle. It seems to be working out so far πŸ™‚

  4. I’m not a morning person for the exact same reasons you say you are : ) I wake up pretty early for a night person (never go to bed before midnight), but I need my space in the mornings. Slow breakfast in front of my Internet routine (headline reading, email checking, horoscope verifying and blog indulging) is a must for me, have company or not. I was actually just thinking about this the other day while figuring out what my wishes were and what I really wanted out of life. One thing I know I need is space and this might (not sure yet) collide with cohabiting with a significant other.
    Here’s to finding/being with someone who understand morning rituals and personal space!

  5. My husband learned quickly that I am NOT a morning person, I am not a talking in the morning person, or cuddle with someone in the morning person. I am a leave me alone until words come out of my mouth indicating otherwise person. Otherwise, it will not be pretty.

    We both figured out pretty quickly that we need our own alone time–and I’m sure you and the Fella will figure it out too!

  6. I say embrace who you are and if you really want to live together, find a solution that honors the essence of you. The SO and I (years ago) looked at a house with two full kitchens and two master bedrooms. Perhaps an arrangement like that can work? Also have you read QuirkyAlone? Exactly what you describe is referenced in the book.

  7. Living together is totally a process, and you are bound to bump up against some obstacles and problems along the way, but it’s okay. And there’s nothing wrong with having a “no talking until 9 am” rule or something.

  8. Isn’t it possible to have boundaries even after the move-in? It is. The Fella is a reasonable guy, at least as far as I can tell. πŸ˜‰ The hard thing for me has been knowing where mine are, and having the chutzpah to guard them carefully. I have to remind myself that it’s for everyone’s good, not just mine. I get up earlier than BG, so that I can get that coffee/surfing/bath time in peace.

  9. My husband, whom I’ve lived with for 9 of our 10 years together, knows that if he speaks before spoken to in the morning (which sometimes lasts until lunch) that the quality of his day will decline rapidly! He is a singing cleaning ridiculous morning person and he loves me enough to stay out of my way πŸ™‚

  10. It’s hard, and I don’t really believe anyone who says it isn’t, because I am the same way about my personal space, and my personal time, and there are days I have to go away, anywhere, by myself and it’s not always easy for Chris to understand. He isn’t that way, though he is a less than a stellar morning person. Think: Zombie, with a hint of hungry.

    I ADORE being up early in the mornings, and having quiet time to myself. I crave it, and when I don’t get it, either on the weekends or throughout the week, I am a grumpy Kerri. Grumpy Kerri isn’t great company.

    I think in any relationship, one of the keys is to learn how to keep yourself happy, and to carve out the necessary time and activities to keep yourself sane. Your partner should help, and most of all be understanding, but ultimately, as I’ve found, it’s my responsibility to distinguish what I need, and then go get it. Which, somewhat ironically, isn’t always so easy for me to do, but I’m steadily working at it and know I will get better.

  11. I, too, am a morning person. Matthew, however, is not.

    I find that I like to get up before the rest of the household does so I can be “alone” in a quiet house.

    You will make it work for you somehow, someway. There is no perfect way to do it πŸ™‚

  12. Oh, clearly you have never lived with a man or been married. You just get used to it. And every week or so, you kick the guy out — making him sleep on the couch, not because you are mad at him, but because you want a good night’s sleep.

  13. I have to echo the comments others have made. When my husband and I were dating, I had watched one too many episodes of Sex and the City and I was terrified of crushing my fragile relationship by being too needy and spending too much time with the boy. We spent one weeknight together and one weekend day and night. Any more than that and I was scared I would smother him. I stuck to this schedule rigidly for about a year and a half (blame Carrie and Big for that).

    But gradually it turned into a thing where we were together just about every night. It’s the opposite in our relationship – I have always had roommates because living alone sucks the life out of me, but my husband needs HIS time.

    I knew this about him and when we moved in together (before we were wed – scandalous!), I just left him alone unless he made overtures that he wanted to talk/hang out/have sex/whatever. Even if we were working in the same room, I just left him alone.

    Sooo…it’s hard, but the other person has to understand you and you can make it work out. Set some boundaries (don’t talk to me until I have had two cups of coffee and surfed the Internet for at least forty-five minutes, etc.). You can make it work if you want to make it work.

  14. I don’t think there is anything about you that makes you destined to be alone, unless that’s what you want. If it gets to the point where its important to live together, you guys will make compromises that work for both of you. Having an extra bedroom is key for my husband and I, who both need a fair amount of alone time, but we found ways to make it work even when all we could afford was an efficiency.

  15. There is this idea that because you live together, you are always interacting. In any relationship that works, I’ve found that it’s a mix of doing your thing in common space, and interacting when you want. Conversations in the morning here tend to be minimal. But it’s busy, with lunches to prepare, showers, getting dressed (and with child it’s a bit frantic.) It’s usually limited to plans for the evening.

    Here is my take on this: if you decide to move in together, you (as a couple) have to make a conscious decision that the relationship is the important thing, and that you’ll work towards the goal. I’m sure he knows by now that you’re not a chatty morning person, just like I’m sure you accept some of his quarks.

    It sounds nebulous but honestly, you just have accept and be willing to work with it.

  16. I felt the same way. I lived alone for 13 years before moving in with my boyfriend, now husband. I thought for sure that I would never be able to live with someone else.
    I’m not saying there aren’t struggles, but you definitely can do it. I’m not a morning person, my husband is. But we’ve wordlessly come up with a routine where he spends his mornings playing video games until I get up. I get to sleep in. He gets quality time with his Playstation 3.
    Stuff like that just works itself out.

  17. I have basically lived alone for 35 years except for a few boyfiends(two years each)and a few roomates in my younger days. I have felt the same as you, but I think if it is the right guy and he “gets” you, he will give you the space you need. One boyfriend and I talked about living next door to one another as we were both loners :-). It is an idea worth thinking about.

  18. I don’t like to be bugged early in the morning either. My husband leaves for work before I get up, I get up before my kids do and run on the treadmill first so I am ready for human contact before they are up. I think you will make adjustments and get used to it…I did. It helps though that my husband travels a lot so I get some “me” time as well as the companion time. Maybe you could talk to the fella about traveling for work? (I am totally kidding on that last part).

  19. i’ve always been a morning person, not sure why but i sort of like it… i also enjoy my alone time and it takes me to get accustomed to being with eric on the weekends, esp. if i’ve been on my own all week… he’s all “lets be together” when i get to his house and i’m more of a “i need to straighten the kitchen before i feel settled”… it irritates him but that’s just who i am and that will never change…

    i think the more time you spend as a couple, things will work themselves out – you will learn how to compromise and how much give/take is needed… i also think that it IS important to have alone time – regardless if you’re dating/married because it allows breathing space and room to grow… you guys will get there, just don’t think of all the “what ifs” because they may never happen… πŸ™‚

  20. I am exactly like you and I have managed to have a man and be married – you just find a rhythm that works, trust me. I am the world’s biggest hermit and I manage to make it work. My cat licks my eyelids too – it hurts!

  21. What’s this sleeping and cuddling business you speak of? I’ve been married for 8 years and let me tell you, we go to our respective corners in the morning.

  22. I was afraid I could never go back to sharing living space until the the Captain invited me to move in with him. He and I aren’t usually in each other’s space. He gets up and leaves for work before I even wake up. On the weekends he usually gets out of bed first and goes right to the kitchen or his office to read the paper. I tend to hang out in the living room or my office. We have unofficial “me” areas and “us” areas in the house. There are some rooms you go to when you want to be alone and some you go to when you don’t mind company. Is that weird?

  23. I’ve been married for 15 years–nearly all of my adult life. We have survived having only one TV, one computer and one bed (but a big King-sized one), despite the fact that Esso needs A LOT of alone time–at all hours of the day, not just the morning. He hasn’t killed me…yet. πŸ˜‰

  24. Sometimes I’m desperate to be alone. Blessedly alone. And I need a certain amount of morning time when I get up, no matter what time it is. As long as these things are known (and accepted) before hand, while it will take some time to get used to, it will be workable.

  25. I get up earlier than Steven every weekend and go take care of things, usually on the computer. I enjoy the time alone. Then I sometimes get back in bed to snuggle.

    I don’t know if that will work for you though.

    I hate when people at work bother me before 9 too πŸ˜‰

  26. well it sounds like you want to and you will make it work bc yr struggling with it and talking about it and wishing for a solution right? Well, just don’t break. Bend and such- but sty who you are and what you need. It works. Until you have kids πŸ™‚
    seriously- he loves you for who you are- just breathe….xoxoxo

  27. never change for anyone. I’m a morning person like you and my husband is not. I make him coffee so when he wanders out of bed it is ready for him. Rarely do we have a conversation before 10. It works. you figure each other out and adjust as needed but don’t try to change

  28. I hear you! I used to have the same fears — that I need so much solitude I’d be impossible to live with. But I married a man who understands me and, fortunately, is very independent. It took years of marriage before we actually discovered things we like to do together (hobbies and such). Before that, on his off time he pursued his interests and I pursued mine. All I’m sayin’ is I’m living proof two old codgers set in their ways and extremely independent can cohabitate.

  29. At first there is fumbling about as each person involved figures things out but eventually you work on a routine. Me, I’m a morning person all the way but like you, that doesn’t mean I want to interact with people. Hubs is a niteowl and will stay up till 3am. I’m in bed by 10:30 usually. I have my mornings to myself for whatever and after a few hours I go and wake him up. He’s got the evenings for whatever while I’m all snuggled in bed.

    And since The Fella has seen you in the mornings, it’s probably a safe bet he already knows you don’t really wanna interact right away. πŸ˜‰

  30. I’m a great morning person on my days off, when the time is all mine for the day. But when the alarm goes off and I know that getting out of bed/the whole day = work? I am the WORST EVER morning person.

  31. You’re worrying about something that hasn’t even happened yet! Don’t worry about it. Jason is like you, he likes to get up straight away and start doing stuff, whereas I like to stay in bed and cuddle. We both love our alone time, but i thinkI might like mine more than he likes his because I start to get annoyed when he comes checking on me all the time. We make allowances for each other. The fella loves you and will accept what you do, and you will accept what he does. If something he does drives you crazy, tell him and he can do something about it, and vice versa. Relationships are about compromise and you’ve both got to be willing to make some compromises.

  32. I just adore this post. I knew I would, so I saved it to linger over πŸ™‚ First, 9 to 5 is my song that I blast on the drive to work each morning. But also – I could have written this post. I’m actually relieved to read that you and the Fella don’t spent 7 nights a week together. I wonder sometimes if I’ll ever find someone who also doesn’t need to be connected at the hip. I get replenished by being alone. I don’t know if you’re Sally, but if you are, then I am, too. Maybe we can be next-door-neighbors. πŸ™‚

  33. Since day one, Daniel and I have been happy with our living arrangement because we give each other our space. He wakes up at an unreasonable hour and is quiet as can be for my benefit. He does not bug me, but goes out into the living room for coffee and reading and whatnot while I get whatever last bits of sleep I can. When I wake up, I do it at my own pace – as long as Z cooperates! – and then I come out when I’m ready to have a conversation without sneering. It works for us. Discovering what works is really the key. πŸ™‚

  34. It’s a learning process thats for sure. My girlfriend is a total morning person. She always wakes up chipper and full of the joys of spring. She knows that I’m not always on the “same page” in the mornings so she goes gently. Don’t worry, it didn’t come naturally to us at first either. It takes time.

  35. That picture of the perfect morning apron donning wifey poo is an unrealistic fantasy conjured up by some well dressed, cigarette smoking ad execs in the 50’s to sell aprons, coffee pots and stoves. I say be yourself, grumpy, happy, bedhead, snoring, smelly breath, and realize “the one” will love you through it all, every day of the week just as you do them. And have a guest bed or a nest for your own space if/when you need it.

  36. When you take the plunge there will be bumps and it may be uncomfortable but because you love each other and you want to make it work it will. With time you will learn to be “alone” while being together in the same space.

  37. I didn’t read the previous comments, so this might be repetitive, but I think it is completely normal to/want need your own space. I know I treasure space and time to myself. It’s a challenge since my husband mostly works from home and is ALWAYS there. You definitely make compromises when you live with someone, but if they are worth it, it won’t be so bad.

  38. I’m the same way. I can only handle so much socialization, then I have to have some hermit time. It has been a problem in some relationships, but I don’t think it’s been a deal breaker or anything.

  39. I love being the only person up in the mornings. Ian would sleep all day if I let him, but I usually remove myself quietly from the bed on the weekend mornings and putter. Yes, I putter. I blame my granma for creating this genetic puttering defect.

    I have snuggle moments with Ian, but really he likes it way more then I do. I’m more about bear hugs and squishing. :o)

  40. You’d be surprised how many people are just like you. Me included. Or you are like me. Whichever you want to pick. I wake up daily at 6AM to get to work by 7AM and I don’t even drink coffee or barely eat breakfast except now I’m forced since I’m now a diabetic. I speak on the phone all damn day long and officially I do not wake up till 10AM CST. And like you or you like me, I sometimes prefer to be a hermit. And I’m proud of it. So no, you are not alone. People adjust.

  41. you need separate wings.
    i think it’s helena bonham carter and tim burton who have two houses right next door to each other with an underground connection so they can go back and forth.
    i wish i could afford a hamster trail house.
    p.s. i TOTALLY have 9 to 5 stuck in my head now.

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