My Head in the Morning
When I wake up in the morning, I’m almost always in a bad mood. I’m irritable, I’m short-tempered, I’m grumpy.
Coffee doesn’t help. I can’t watch Joe Scarborough. If I have to drive anywhere (and I do), I’m always pissed off at the other cars. Road rage is only a moment away.
It’s all Resistance.
Maybe you’re not like me. Maybe you wake up peppy and cheerful. Maybe I’m demented. But this is what my day feels like out of the box.
I have to counteract it right away. The worst thing I can do is lie in bed. If I let myself remain horizontal, my head starts spiraling off into dangerously dark places. The day can get out of control in a hurry.
It took me years to understand that the voice in my head is not me.
Hovering before me as I wake is the work I know I need to do that day. Inevitably, that labor is daunting. Inescapably, it brings up fear. I don’t want to do it. This fear and this avoidance combine to create the witch’s brew that boils and bubbles in the cauldron of my brain.
I must take action to counter it.
Two things work for me. They might not work for you, but they do for me. One is exercise, the other is getting out of the house.
I’m a gym person. That’s my medicine. You’ll see my car pulling into Gold’s before dawn and me trashing what’s left of my body on the treadmill or under the bar in the squat rack.
The gym isn’t about exercise for me. It’s about beating Resistance. The purpose of working out, for me, is to give me a “little victory” (my friend Randy Wallace’s phrase). Momentum. Something I can build on.
From the moment my soles first touch the floor in the morning, I am seeking to manage my emotions for that day.
If you’re like me, you work by projects. For me, it’s books. My life isn’t a one-day-one-thing-the-next-day-another affair. I’m almost always working on some long-term enterprise. I’ll have six months put in and eighteen to go.
Resistance loves long-term projects. They’re so easy to sabotage. Resistance can derail them at the start, at any point in the middle, or at its favorite ambush site—the end.
Maybe that’s why I wake up so grumpy.
Resistance has seen me coming. It knows right where I’m going to be. It can take up a hidden position beside the road and wallop me broadside as I go past.
What I’ve found is that if I can get past my bad-tempered, pissed-off self early, I can make the rest of the day go my way.