I've been a morning person for a long time, for my entire adult life, with the exception of the first many months after Josh died.
One of my frequent quandaries has been how to spend the best few hours of the day, those beginning at about 6:00 a.m. If I have something major to accomplish, that's been the time for me to do it. A lot of my writing and planning have taken place in those early hours, when my concentration and efficiency have been at their peak. I can probably accomplish three or four times as much during the morning hours as I can during their evening counterpart, and so I've often completed a sermon or a paper by 9:00, and only then gotten up for a shower and breakfast.
The dilemma has been that the early morning hours are also my favorite time to walk. Gym or outdoors; it doesn't matter. It would make more sense for me to walk late in the afternoon, to take a break and clear my head, but I've loved the sense of clarity and energy that those first hours bring.
Notice that I've been using the perfect present tense. I have completed . . . I have loved . . .
There's been a change.
I know it's been only seven weeks, but that surgery has depleted me of my morning energy. I am exhausted until 8:00, 9:00, 10:00 ~ a shadow of my previous self finally appears sometime late in the morning. Those days on which I've been required to get up and get going much earlier have been a major challenge, as have my efforts to conceal my weariness from others. And, as a consequence of my late mornings, I am often up very late at night and into the next morning, which furthers the cycle.
I don't think it's entirely a matter of physical energy. When I wake up these days, I am often discouraged before I am anything else. Uncomfortable, knowing that the simple tasks of showering and dressing are going to demand a noticeable amount of energy, having to exert some imagination to dress ~ day after day after day. It's hardly anything at all ~ nothing like having to endure chemo, or the loss of a child ~ but it takes its toll.
I dream of waking before sunrise, tossing on a t-shirt, and going for a long walk. Still at least three months away.
In the meantime, as I write this, I realize that I need to begin to build a late afternoon walk into my schedule and start working up to my old three miles. If physical pain or a snowstorm causes me to miss a day or two, so be it. I know perfectly well that I need to expend some energy in order to develop some more of it.
I think that herein lies some advice I could have stood to hear before my surgery: To know that even as my physical healing continues, my life has been altered in ways that discourage and depress me, and that I need to plan ways of circumventing my inclination to lie down and wallow in self-pity.