0382 – wake up earlier for a different life

Yesterday when me and my wife were at the airport sending my parents off, I had a brain wave at some point– I can’t remember what triggered it exactly– but I turned to her and said, we really gotta start waking up early. As in, not just keep talking about it, but actually wake up early. Like, set an alarm at a fixed time and both get our asses out of bed together. And she agreed. It’s something we’ve both been talking about sorta doing for the longest time, and so we finally did it. We woke up at 6am today. She went for a run almost immediately. I decided that I wanted to do a word vomit and instead spent over an hour procrastinating on the Internet. A little silly, my bad. But I don’t want to beat myself up over it. The point was that I wanted to wake up early. I’m going to finish this vomit then I’m going to head out for a run of my own.

The interesting thing to note is how different my mood is. I’m working on firing myself up now, but yesterday night I was super wired and driven, and this morning when I woke up I still had some of that residual stuff but most of it isn’t quite there. And this is the reality of the situation, of the life that I inhabit. And I have to learn to cope with this. Ok the sun is coming up, I’m just going to go and run first and finish up this vomit later. The point I wanted to make was… there’s this constant ‘handshake’ going on, this passing over of emotional state from person to person within me.


Back from my run! It’s always a bit of a struggle. My shins still hurt. I spend a bunch of time getting distracted again, it’s now 10am. Well, I woke at 6am. Lingered until… 730. Went for my run, got back and it was about 815 or so. I’m not very functional after my run– very sweaty, heart rate very elevated.


Okay, now I’m at work and so I’m just going to go really fast through this vomit, finish it and publish it. [1]

Intent: I want to quickly sketch out the range of emotions and states I’ve experienced from yesterday. So– I visitedmy family at the airport, went home, read a book on the bus, felt motivated, dashed off a bunch of ‘high emotional energy’ vomits, went to bed with a strong intent of waking early. Then I woke early today, and I was intent on writing vomits and going for a run. I wasn’t super specific about how many vomits I wanted to write– I was hoping to write a few. But I barely got started, while I languished in distraction. This is a normal thing, especially when I’ve just awoken. I don’t have very much agency when I’ve just awoken. On hindsight, I probably shouldn’t have bothered with the vomit. I should’ve gone for my run. Or if I did want to do a vomit, I should ritualize it better. Maybe I should make a cup of tea and write without the wifi on– this is definitely something that’s doable when I’m writing in the early morning. Don’t need no internet then.

I sort of lazed around a little more. A part of me felt like I deserved it, because I successfully woke up early. That’s a new thing, that’s a good thing. I think I felt like that was my reward. Which is understandable, but probably not a good idea in the long run. I need to find some alternative reward. Maybe I should read a book instead. Random Interneting in the morning is always a bad idea. I think. When is it appropriate to random-Internet? Earlier I was thinking that I already know everything I need to know. But part of that is– I know a bunch of movies that I should watch and books I should read. And I find myself wanting to do research about those movies and books. Fine. Why was I on reddit and imgur, then? No excuses there. Reddit occasionally has gems but for the most part it’s a sort of common town square. And I’m not interested in common stuff. Well no, that’s not true. Common stuff is interesting. Robin Dunbar pointed out that language, gossip, and “common stuff” is the social currency that’s critical to our functioning as a social species. So there will always be an impulse to indulge in common stuff. There’s nothing bad or shameful about that.

What matters is having priorities. Knowing what comes first. Rather than try to figure out “what time of the day is it appropriate to let loose”, I shoudl figure out “how do I make sure that I fulfill my obligations every day”– and having done that, THEN I can let loose without any guilt, and without having to construct this sort of elaborate artiface where I have to figure out what is acceptable and what is not. Because you know damn well goddamnit that the elaborate artiface is actually a farce– it’s like getting drunk so you can pretend you weren’t responsible for what you did. The elaborate artiface is built when sober, and disregarded when tired, exhausted, out of willpower, facing something difficult or annoying.

So yeah. I can simplify my life. I can throw out the artiface. All I need to do is figure out what my obligations are, and what I need to do to fulfill them. And then do them, of course– that’s the most important part. But it’s a far simpler mode of operating, I need to acknowledge that. It’ll let me get more done with less annoyance and stress. It’s cleaner.

And I’m tired of the old complexity, it tires me more than my clunky old writing. So let’s get to work.


[1] Here I realize I was going to say, “What I wanted to do with this vomit is this”. I realize that that’s going to be a common thing throughout these vomits, and it’ll be rather annoying over time. It’ll be a waste of words. So for brevity, moving forward I’ll instead use the phrase Intent.

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