Good morning everyone! (Or good evening, other side of the world.)

I have a question.

Is there anybody else out there wakes up every single day at 5:30am, as though electrocuted or slapped? No matter what time you went to bed? Anybody else but me? Because seriously, every single morning of my life, I wake up in a flash of total shock at 5:30. No alarm clock needed. I AM the alarm clock.


I will admit that it is sometimes a good thing to have this clanging inner alarm when I'm actively working on a book, because that weird adrenaline rush at dawn propels me out of bed and drives me to start working. (See attached photo that my husband recently took of me working on "The Signature of All Things". Forgive the poor light, BUT IT WAS 5:30 IN THE MORNING.)

But mostly, I am not working on books all the time.

And mostly? I would love to sleep in one of these days. I would love to not wake up with a sore jaw from grinding my teeth in sleep anxiety as the dawn approaches. I would love to wake up relaxed, like "Ah…another sweet day…" I would love to not wake up sometimes at 5:35 with the panicked thought, "OH MY GOD, I'M ALREADY 5 MINUTES LATE!!!"

But five minutes late for what, Liz? Five minutes late for waking up five minutes earlier? For no reason? Because I am SELF-EMPLOYED, my friends! I am not a nursing mother! I don't need to be waking up at 5:30am!

Sometimes I think my early morning freak-out is just a residual panic from having been raised on a farm, and from having generations of farmers in my past. Maybe it's imprinted into my DNA: "WAKE UP, GODDAMN IT, OR THE ANIMALS WILL DIE AND THE CROPS WITH WITHER AND YOUR CHILDREN WILL STARVE AND YOU'LL LOSE THE FARM!"

But it's kind of weird to wake up in New York City, for instance, panicking about losing farms my family no longer owns? Right?

So…any thoughts?

Love, Liz

PS — And don't you dare tell me to meditate, people. I'm serious. I don't want to see the word "meditate" in any of these responses. I could no more meditate at 5:30 in the morning during a state of total panic than I could perform an elegant ballet. I love spirituality and all, but I would be more welcoming of suggestions along the lines of, "Why not smoke some pot for breakfast, Liz?" Or whatever. Brainstorm here. You guys know stuff, right? Please share.

via Elizabeth Gilbert’s Facebook Wall