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Grumpy Morning Faces. Wednesday October 2, 2013

I rather like mornings. Especially mornings at the moment, early October, when the air is crisp with the first promise of autumn, but at 7am it is still warm enough not to need a coat.

I really like mornings when my daughter and I leave the house for the bus stop so she can catch the 7.20am bus to school. She is eleven now, and goes to the senior school twenty miles away.

That fifteen minute walk - just so long as we have left on time and it is not a ten minute run - gives us just time enough to have a little non-pressured conversation: a mother/daughter space with no agenda. I really, really like that.

But as we stand at the bus stop, with a steady stream of cars passing us on the way into the local town, I can see that not everyone likes mornings as much as I do. Car after car after car passes us with just one occupant, a grumpy person at the wheel. This morning I counted eighty seven cars. Out of that eighty seven, I counted just three people who did not look grim. One person was even smiling; perhaps Chris Evans on the radio had said something funny; he usually does.

And it occurred to me that human beings were not designed to travel like that, in our little sardine cans, with just the radio for company. I don't think it was a co-incidence that the two other non-grumps were among the seven cars with more than one occupant.

Having someone there (and really there, not just listening to their ipod) helps us communicate with, not just that person, but the world. Walking in the fresh air (or cycling) lifts our spirits and gets those endorphins buzzing.

When I get back to the house after seeing my daughter onto the bus I feel energised and ready for work.

I wonder if there is any practical way more people can walk or cycle in the mornings, or even just car-share for the company (and it saves money too).

Of course, the frost and snow and wind and rain have not arrived to lower my spirits yet. So I'll let you know in February, if I still love mornings.

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Anonymous Wed, Oct 2nd 2013 @ 8:10am

Nice positive message, Mary. Very inspiring. Thanks for the suggestions

Anonymous Wed, Oct 2nd 2013 @ 8:37am

Oh the weather outside is frightening...

Julia Wed, Oct 2nd 2013 @ 8:45am

Those moments with young children are special. Your description of the walk with your daughter to the bus stop brought back happy memories.

denisthemenace Wed, Oct 2nd 2013 @ 9:30am

Yes, a nice story. Glad you enjoy the walk to the bus stop with your daughter. But for myself, I don't agree with the rest. I am very much an owl, rather than a lark. Always have been, always will be - late for school every day, go to work as late as I possibly can within the rules, and keep myself in a little bubble of quiet while I wake up on the journey in. Family, friends and colleagues know not to talk to me until I've had that first cup of tea and come round - otherwise v grumpy.
So really best avoided, and no desire to share my early hours communicating with anyone.

Julia Wed, Oct 2nd 2013 @ 10:01am

I don't like the mornings either. I start to feel as everything might be alright after all, around 11am. But when I am forced to get up at the crack of dawn, no choice, and I can be on my own,I can appreciate how lovely the peace and colours of the morning are. But overall I am like you D the M in the mornings I would think.

Anonymous Wed, Oct 2nd 2013 @ 11:59am

I'm so lucky to have a quiet start to my a.m.s I'm in Cape Town, where Spring has just sprung, so my first morning moment is to have a quiet cup of coffee in my garden, and watch the Cape White Eye Birdies, and the sugar birds enjoy their a.m. nectar, a very special start to the day !!

Anonymous Wed, Oct 2nd 2013 @ 2:37pm

I used to be so terrible for waking up last minute and rushing around feeling stressed before I had even started my day! I've started to get up early and learned to enjoy my half an hour walk to work every morning. It also makes me feel energised and prepared for the day ahead.

olegzaezdny Wed, Oct 2nd 2013 @ 4:15pm

I like today's post so much! First, because it's nice to live every morning "with open eyes" - actually living, and not struggling to overcome your drowse. And morning walks are one of the best things you can do to actually wake up. Secondly, because I totally agree it's important to share our commutes with someone else. Mary, may I ask, in which part of the country do you live? You are lucky to have warm mornings :)

Anonymous Wed, Oct 2nd 2013 @ 6:42pm

wow how strange recently I have started to have an early morning dog walk with my 11 year old and it has increased our conversation and he even wants waking up to go. I have to say its helped our relationship and due to my busy job (counselling) he doesn't always feel I am available to listen!!! Now I am so it works for us both

Anonymous Thu, Oct 3rd 2013 @ 10:12am

I think a lot of people, like me, spend all day in offices surrounded by people. At home, I am rarely alone. I love my quiet hour in the morning. I may not look smiley, but that's mostly from concentrating on driving, not because I am grumpy. I think exercise is healthy, as are social contacts. But I think commuting is stressful enough without adding human interaction into it.

Tim Clayton Fri, Oct 4th 2013 @ 11:56am

I'm naturally an owl. At least I thought I was. Doing my best work after everyone else had buggered off, the late evening still and enabling. But since becoming self-employed, I'm rather raring to go and identify with the clarity and crispness of early mornings. And, after very many years, Autumn is threatening to topple Spring as my favourite season. The point about "really being there" is great. That's why I've always liked buses: OMNIbus rather than AUTOmobile (note the emphasis on all-in-it-together, versus reliance on self). The "me" time, or "us" time in the case of this story, is so valuable, too. Funny how necessity presents us with quirky opportunities to get (and feel) better. Funny also, though much less amusing, how we shun social contact - much less engagement - when we're low. But one thing I have come to appreciate since living with bouts of depression since 2000: others rarely see us misfit-ting as much as we think we are, and even less often judge us for it. So let's just get on being the normal/abnormal idiosyncratic folk we delightfully are!

Julia Fri, Oct 4th 2013 @ 6:21pm

I really like this Tim. And agree.

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