I like mornings. I like the quiet. I love letting my eyes soak in that unbelievable, mellow gold morning light. You know the one. I like the stillness in my soul. I don’t know if it’s from having rested, or the softness of the sun’s brilliance at that hour, or the romance of waking up with my hemisphere.

The early morning is perfect for sitting still. For watching a loved one sleep. For reading by the window. For that first cup of coffee. For thinking, in that diffuse, unfocused, luxurious sort of way (for the seeds of ideas to slowly germinate or ripen – NOT for tilling the context or pruning the argument).

But I don’t fit the usual definition of a “morning person.” I don’t greet the day with gusto and the resolve to conquer it. I don’t want to conquer the new day. I don’t even want to shake its hand to close a seven figure deal. I just want to look tenderly into its just woken eyes and share a gentle smile in mutual silence. If it’s stormy, I want to witness its passion in quiet adoration and not say a word.

And I most certainly don’t want to hit the gym.

No denying that starting the day with a good workout has its dividends. As your mother (and your financial advisor) always said: pay yourself first. Just like saving money, budgeting time for exercise works best if you get it out of the way before your routine starts and a million demands draw down the moments from your coffers.

But not in the early morning. Not for me. My relationship with those hours deosn’t allow anything more energetic than watering my plants or checking newsfeeds in my email. During my sabbatical, I worked out in the mid-morning. Now, of course, it would mean (figuring in the commute), the office would have to expect me at around 11. God I miss my freedom!

But, I put up with the rushing around after work, the second shower that dries out my skin, or missing the workout altogether more often than I should. It’s a small price to pay for knowing who I am each day. For really waking up.