I’m up early today. Early for me, at least. Nowadays, that’s 6:00 AM. When I was young, early was 4:00 AM. Early was Sunday morning when you’d decided NOT to get all the newspapers you had to deliver that morning prepped and ready to go the night before. Early was lugging a wagon full of newpapers around a neighborhood of sleeping people in sub-zero temperatures so that when they woke up, their newspaper would be neatly waiting them between their front door and the storm door… “neatly” being a relative term and all. Early was beating the sun up in the middle of the summer to see how fast you could deliver Tuesday’s papers, which were always the smallest. Early gave you chances to practice your newspaper throwing skills from sidewalk to porch.

“Back in the day,” early was before podcasts. Before I had the Daily Audio Bible. Even before MP3 players. What did I listen to back then? Seems strange now, looking back. Early truly was… ME TIME. Me and my newspapers.

Nowadays, early is just an hour before the rest of my family wakes up. It’s a chance to drink a cup of coffee before everyone else. To read a book. To write a blog. To sit and watch the sky go from dark blue to pink. To listen. To wait. To anticipate.

Why do I love the morning? I’ve been thinking of that for awhile now, as I’ve been practicing some routines to reclaim this important time of day. I love it because of how it changes me. I’m a happier guy when I go to bed at a decent hour and give myself some wake-up-time before fully engaging the day. I’m more relaxed when I’ve had the chance to do what I WANT to do before I do what I HAVE to do.

I read in a book today that you can change your life by choosing what to do with your life for only one minute a day. “One minute a day!?” I thought. No way. But yes, I think it might just be true. That moment when the alarm goes off, and I choose… will I lift head, rotate body, plant feet on floor, and push… or will I lean over, push snooze, and get another 8 minutes of “rest.” That one minute, the minute I decide to start my day or put it on hold, will set the course for the rest of my day… and even my life.

I hear my son starting to wake. It’s 15 minutes early for him. But I’m not frantic. He’s not going to get up before me or find me grumpy or hard to drag out of bed, because I’m already here, posting a blog, drinking my coffee, looking at cool pictures of my daughter that my wife posted on FaceBook. All is well in my world, at least for this hour of the day. And that reminds me that all is really OK in my world as a whole, no matter how frantic, idle, scary, or boring the day ahead may be.

That’s why I love the morning.