Today I’m an unwilling member of the 5am club

The 5am Club is an exhausting-sounding book I haven’t read by a hairless CEO/lawyer named Robin Sharma.

The basic premise, as far as I know, is that to not waste your stupid pointless little life you need to get up at 5am every day and immediately spend 20 minutes exercising, 20 minutes planning and 20 minutes studying.

This morning I found myself wide awake at 5am – but not out of an ardent desire to do 50 squats or improve my Italian. Really it was a mixture of 2 things:

a) I’m pining for my absent boyfriend.

b) I have a screwdriver in my uterus*.

I’m actually a big fan of an early start, when I can be bothered. For many years I enjoyed a smug routine of waking early on Saturdays to go to my 7am outdoor fitness bootcamp session, which extended the weekend, gave me more time to do the things I enjoyed and filled me with a sense of immense superiority. Only joking.

But as much as we sometimes resent those early bird go-getters like Robin Sharma for being so darned productive and making the rest of us feel inadequate, there is actually something special about waking up early.

Starting early gives your day a bit of zest: like jumping into an ice bath. Being out and about in the wee hours does give you the sense that you’re part of a special club. You’re one of a minority. Most of your neighbours are still dribbling into their pillows while you’re upright, experiencing things, grasping life by the ovaries. There’s a certain buzz in the air in those few moments before the sun rises; a sense of suspended time and anticipation.

Yesterday I got out fairly early and caught this:

And this…

These spectacular morning light shows are pretty much my only motivation for leaving the warmth of my bed and exposing myself to the icy air of my single-glazed Victorian bedroom (the joys of living in the UK).

When you work from home there’s always the thought at the back of your mind that you could just grab your laptop and spend the entire day wrapped up in your duvet (hoping no-one wants to video chat). In fact I recently wrote a blog for work about how, according to one study, 5% of us have been working from bed during the pandemic. The moral of this story was that in some cases it’s a necessity rather than an indulgence, as a lot of people don’t have the equipment or space to work at a proper desk.

So there we have it. Sometimes it’s nice to wake up early and get shit done. Sometimes it’s nice to snuggle up in bed until the last possible second. By waking up early today I’ve managed to squeeze out a blog post that would otherwise have gone unwritten: just a smattering of random characters floating aimlessly in the cosmos. Not that I’ve achieved anything groundbreaking here. But that’s not what life’s about. We don’t all have to be CEOs like Robin Sharma. Some of us like sleep, and hair.

* I do not have a literal screwdriver in my uterus; this is a metaphor for period pain.