Every now and then I have a morning like the one I experienced today; just two hours ago. I woke up at 5:15 a.m. which is about 15 minutes later than normal for me, and I felt groggy, disoriented and tired.
My usual routine is to wake up around 5:00 a.m. and sit down 15 minutes later with a tea and write a daily blog – this blog. Today, I knew better than to force myself to write when nothing was there. Instead, I waited until now. However, getting going was sluggish at best. I hit the shower; which under normal circumstances makes me feel refreshed, alert and gets me going. After the shower today however, I felt better yes, but not really my normal peppy self. (This is the first time I believe I have used the word, ‘peppy’ to describe myself).
After the shower I turned to shaving, and believe me, if you’re a man, you know you’ve got to have your focus on this thin piece of sharp metal that you’re scraping across your face or you’ll end up slicing your cheek or neck. Fortunately, I escaped this daily routine unscathed.
I knew instinctively what I needed and no it wasn’t a coffee. As a side point, I’ve never had a coffee in my life – not even a single sip. I don’t get the obsession with coffee but I don’t have any aversion to those who love it, crave it or need it. I guess I just don’t get those that say they can’t function without it. No, I didn’t need a coffee; I needed John, Paul, George and Ringo.
Once I listened to the news at 6:30 a.m. which is when I roll out of the driveway, I threw on Beatles ’65. Right from those opening words, “This happened once before, when I came to your door, no reply”, I was singing along. My vocal chords could have used a little warm up as the first verse was a little sketchy at best, but by the chorus, Paul would have given me a wink and a thumbs up for the voice and the smile.
Suddenly I was awake, alert, focused and the grogginess of the morning was shed like a waterlogged raincoat dropped in the mud room. I had found myself and was back. All the way in, I was singing. From, ‘Baby’s in Black’ and ‘Rock and Roll Music’ through to ‘She’s a Woman’ and ‘I Feel Fine’, I was the fifth Beatle. (Sorry Pete Best or Brian Epstein – no offence intended.)
It didn’t matter whether the drivers I pulled up alongside at street lights mistook me for having a conversation on a Bluetooth device or thought I was having a conversation with my imaginary passenger. I was singing, I was awake and I was ready for whatever the day brings me.
Okay so for me it’s the Fab Four; the Beatles.
What of you? What is it that you resort to and count on to transition from sleep, through your zombie or autopilot period and into full consciousness? Is it in fact a cup of coffee, that cold shower, the sharp intake of minus 30 degree air that assaults your lungs as you emerge from the front door to take your early morning run? Maybe it’s a slower transition period including some Brahms, or some extraordinarily annoying alarm that you must exit the bed to shut off?
Whatever it is that wakes you up, I hope it doesn’t take until mid-morning for it to kick in. In your workplace, it would be unfortunate for your co-workers and clients or customers if they had to co-exist alongside a Grizzly Bear with attitude until you morphed into yourself.
Do you work have a co-worker like that by the way? You know, the one you had to tip-toe around until 10:00 a.m. most days? The one who says, “Don’t even think about having a conversation with me before I’ve bathed in my morning coffee.” Should you even be allowed to get away with having such an attitude when you’re on the company payroll?
My point here is that I think most employers, (and most co-workers for what it’s worth), appreciate dealing with people who have a consistent mood, attitude and outlook. Wondering what mood so-and-so is in today and whether they are approachable or not isn’t productive. Things need doing in the workplace, and if someone’s mood swings or attitude on a regular basis change how others around them go about their work, this isn’t a good thing.
One of your key assets to showcase to your current employer, or to possibly highlight in an interview, is your consistency of attitude and alertness. Not many people go for this soft skill in the interview process. The thing is though that every interviewer probably has some experience in their past (possibly present) where they will immediately think of an employee who starts off their day in slow motion and then picks up speed mid-morning. If you are productive and on top of your game as you walk in the door to the workplace, you’re productive right from the time you arrive. That productivity is a valuable commodity, and cuts down on workplace accidents at the same time.
So thank you Beatles for your songs I love to sing along with. I can hardly wait for the drive home and listen again to, “I’ll Follow The Sun”!