It is 5 am. I wake up at this time not by choice, but out of habit. I have recently wrapped up a contract at a company in Vancouver that required me to commute daily into the city from my home on the Sunshine Coast. As most would agree, 5 am is much too early to be waking up and being a fully functioning person. However, necessity is the mother of invention and I needed to develop a morning routine that best balanced optimal sleep and getting out of the door on time. In order to achieve this, I needed to become The Morning Ninja.
I had a routine that was refined and perfected over several months. The morning started by slipping out of bed quietly, careful not to disturb my wife or our two dogs, with the latter having permanently set up residence at the foot of our bed. As quietly as possible, I would traverse through the darkness on my way to the bathroom, guided by cell phone light and the mental blueprint I have of every nook, cranny and misplaced toy on the floor. Not to brag, but I got to be pretty good getting up and going every morning. I especially took pride in seeing the fruition of my planning the previous night. Little know fact about being a successful morning ninja is that at least 90% of your success is due to thinking ahead and anticipating. I would have a mental checklist that I’d run every night before my head ever hit the pillow. Not until all of these had been satisfied, did I feel confident that I could get out the door and on my way to work undetected.
Set out the clothes I want to wear in the morning
Plan route from bed to bathroom
Ensure all doors along the route are cracked slightly
Leave bus fare by the door
Pack portable food for breakfast to eat once out of the house
Continue to abstain from any morning coffee dependency
Once out of the house, my whole body would relax and my mind could get lost into whatever podcast I had queued up. I was no longer The Morning Ninja. I was now The Commuter.
I went from the faux excitement of sneaking around my own house, constantly fluid yet economical in movement to doing a whole lot of standing around and waiting. I waited for the bus. I waited for the ferry. I waited on the ferry. I waited to get off the ferry and finally, I waited in traffic on the way to work. 8 hours later, I would do it all in reverse.
This morning I slept until 7am, brazenly flipped on lights, made noise and got the chance to set my eyes on everyone in the family and it was absolutely glorious. Good-bye Morning Ninja. Good-bye fellow morning commuters. Good-bye alarm clock.