My grandfather Karl woke up every day at 5:30 am. Voluntarily.
I am not normally a Karl. Not by a long shot. I’m more of a watch-Gilmore Girls-Reruns-until-1am kind of gal.
Sunrises. Something new to me. (photo my own.)
That is, until recently.
My toddler wakes up early. Like 6am early.
I used to dread these mornings. I would barter with my husband in an attempt to weasel out of 6am childcare duty. And when I did get stuck with the morning shift, I would drag my blurry-eyed self to the couch, plop the child in front of the tv (no shame amiright?), let Peg + Cat do its thing while I mindlessly scrolled through Facebook, sipped coffee and pined for more sleep.
I’ve had a recent change of heart about these mornings. Now I eagerly get up with the kiddo and I’m not ashamed to admit there is even a little spring in my step.
I’ve embraced these early mornings as my stolen time to write.
I was inspired after hearing Tara Mohr encourage women (and men) with care-taking responsibilities to embrace stolen time as a way to create art. Yes, I know it sounds crazy. You say, but Sarah, I don’t have the time, or energy, or caffeinated beverages necessary for this task. This is the thing: it doesn’t matter.
By showing up anyway, you join a long tradition of creative fore-mothers who had no choice but to create in their own stolen time.
It makes sense. Great-Great-Aunt Mabel, you want to be an artist? Better stitch a quilt while the baby sleeps. Oh, and you want to work with fancy textiles? Fat chance. Here, why don’t you turn these *actual rags* into gorgeous quilts. And quick, now. That butter isn’t going to churn itself!
Adopting this new perspective was the swift kick on the butt that I needed. No more whining, no more wringing of hands. Time to sit down and write. In my stolen time, with stolen materials. (Well the stolen time thing is accurate. I promise I’m not writing on a boosted laptop.)
Which brings me back to my decision to embrace my inner early-bird. (With coffee though—let’s not get too crazy OK?)
I have created a new routine, my friends. As I type this, it is barely light out. I make my coffee and settle into my desk with my official Skunk Ape Headquarters coffee mug on my left and children’s programming proceeding on my right.
And here’s the thing. The more I write, the more I’m hooked. I now look forward to my morning writing sessions. And I swear my muse knows the new drill and shows up pretty regularly. It’s pretty cool.
Now, I rise at 6am, voluntarily.
Just call me Karl.
P.s. Share your own successes (or failures) of writing with stolen time. Feel free to comment below or on the Facebook page!)