Good morning by Celine R. Lopez

(I can’t relate to her insomnia and late night activities but I definitely agree with her morning observations.)


Every morning, my governess Joy wakes me up with an iced Starbucks drink at exactly 9 a.m. Even on weekends. She draws the curtains, turns off the air-conditioner and is always just an inch shy from smacking my head to permanently rouse my snooze-hypnotized self.

It takes me maybe 15 more minutes to truly wake up. I start by reading my SMS messages with one eye open, then I progress to scrolling through my e-mails (each of which will hopefully be answered within the hour) and finally a refreshed feed from my Instagram account for a nice happy lift before I take my sleeping mask from my forehead and finish what’s left of my calorie-infested latte.

I need this morning ritual. It’s something I’m rediscovering. I do most of my work at home, save for some photo shoots for my work at the newspaper and magazine and meetings that I have for my jewelry line. A bulk of my work is done at night.

I’m more than just a night owl, I have a clear and determined case of insomnia. After I finish whatever pending task I have I usually reward myself with a couple of episodes of a TV show that I am following. Then I realize that there are birds flying in the sky and my eyes are red from watching TV for four hours straight. I end my day feeling guilt and regret for doing something so harmless.

Sleep is serious business. I dread it just because it takes so much to achieve it. I sleep in my guest room. It’s a comforting space because all there is in this warm but spartan room is a twin sized bed and a little desk. My bedroom is furnished with a bed as big a tugboat, a flat-screen TV and everything that you can find in an Apple store. It has that upbeat purgatorial feel of a casino. It even has a refrigerator, tastefully hidden under the corner of my beautiful gray marble writing desk, that houses everything I need for my midnight cravings. My bedroom has become my private living room. Needless to say sleeping there is close to impossible. So I retreat to my smaller room where I have nothing to do but wait for my loss of consciousness.

I put on my eye mask, say my prayers and breathe deeply until the noises in my head silence themselves into infinite dreams. The transition can sometimes take more than an hour. Usually I nod off at 4 a.m. but there are times that it strikes not until 6 a.m. Nevertheless, at 9 a.m., late for worldwide standards, I am up.

If it were just me sans alarm clock, Joy and Starbucks, I would wake up at 3 p.m. and feel like a loser all day. I am single, I work on flexible hours and I have an Apple TV; any profiler would agree that I’m not made for daytime.

As the in-betweener, I live by myself (thank heavens I don’t do roommates). I used to have a desk job but now I work on my own schedule. I already have had a sabbatical. I have friends who have children and run around in the children party circuit. I have friends who have really made it and speak of their early days and give advice in newspapers and magazines to inspire the rest of the populace. As for me, I live from deadline to deadline. Even if I have my own place, I still have grilled cheese for dinner and cupcakes for lunch. I still don’t know how to carry a baby (I actually have never carried one in my arms yet) and I am too dissatisfied with life to find levity in dating. Plus, I have yet to inspire people.

My place in the world has not yet been determined. Late nights are made for people like me. Lots of thoughts, little action, forgotten dreams, to-do lists written on wet tissues and a lot of comfort food.

When I took a break that lasted for a little over two years, I read all the classic novels that I missed, watched the Kardashians and became obsessed with Carl Jung. I slept at 6 a.m. and woke up at 3 p.m.

In-betweeners are creatures of the night.

When I decided to go back to reality, I never felt so past my prime. I was always two weeks late when it came to current events (which made them not so current), and I have not heard of Gym Class Heroes. Yet I barely remembered the names of the TV characters I followed at night.

This is why I needed the return of my mornings. I need to get back on the horse. My time alone has given me a more nuanced understanding about many things. The problem with this is that you get stuck in thinking too much. My mornings tell me that I’m here and present. Mornings have no time for self-evaluation, deep thoughts on what you’re lacking and participating in that search for catharsis and epiphanies. During the mornings, you are a soldier. A soldier just does things and doesn’t try to find a profound meaning in every action. There is no time to cry over a boy, no time to think about that last five pounds you need to lose and no time to tend to anything that keeps you up at night. Agendas are filled and life is surprisingly light.

Ihighly recommend mornings. It’s great if you’re feeling depressed, confused, heartbroken or homicidal. Mornings are not there to make you feel special. It’s like that swim coach that just throws you in the water. It’s a time where you just go through the hours figuring things out in a tactile manner. Your mini-tragedies seem irrelevant in this moment of pure functioning. Maybe that’s why daytime wear calls for a more utilitarian look as opposed to the more calcifying trend of evening wear.

I would love to have more of the morning. However, I have to keep it real for now since I do still fall asleep in the morning as well. But I’m getting there. Everything you do is much better with the sunshine. As a transitioning morning person, I have found myself feeling less sorry for myself. I am slowly feeling less guilty about watching Real Housewives of New York after dinner. I am feeling more in touch with the world even if I don’t have a Twitter account nor follow anybody else’s.

You eat more healthily partly because you’re seeing what you’re eating more and it’s not from the 24-hour 7-Eleven around the corner. You work out more. You remember people’s names and faces more. You value your time more as you have more things to accomplish. You make more friends because they are just more people around in general. Mornings allow you to pay attention and get in touch with the world in a natural way. Unlike eternal evenings in which you have the tendency to numb yourself with drink, mornings are about smoothies and coffee breaks. You are less likely to become an alcoholic because there’s just so much more to do. Name one morning person you know who is an alcoholic. None!

Jung’s belief in achieving the balance of the introvert and extrovert in oneself is key to having a healthy life. You can say the same for the A.M.s and the P.M.s.

Mornings are when you have a relationship with the world around you. You are around people and create things with people. Evenings are for you. It’s the time you shut off your phone and read a book or watch a movie. A time you sit by yourself with a cup of tea and reflect on your emotional condition. Alternately, it is also the time you wear something unreasonably festooned and dance yourself silly. The night is for the dreamer, the artist and the philosopher in you. There’s a reason why we fall asleep and fall into dreams at night: it’s for the magic we must have in our lives.

You balance both well enough, you have just the right amount of time to spend within the day and night.

I’ve lived in my thoughts for far too long. Mornings allow me to let go and just do it. It is my time for liberation. I wrote this article in the morning; in the past I would have been typing this at 3 a.m. After I finish this, I will be going to my gym then walk my dog. I will go home and eat dinner with the five different food groups present. Then I will watch some Bravo TV shows. As I have been awake for more than 14 hours, falling asleep will come naturally and easily. They say it takes 21 days to form a habit, so for night owls, do this until it feels like second nature.

In the long nights there are mournings. Then there are just mornings where the sun shines as long as it can. Take your pick.

The Philippine Star: FIGHT!


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