You know when my favourite part of the whole day is? My most productive, inspiring and hopeful part of every day? Around 3am-6am. Depending on the time of year, but it’s nearly always around that time. And I’m totally getting the feeling you’ll be like, ‘Well that’s not very convenient is it Jemma?’ and you’re right of course. But I tend to be awake around then a lot of the time anyway, so it’s fine.
It’s 4:45am as I write this actually, and I really wanted to share how I feel at this time of day/night, but I doubt I can get the words out as eloquently as I’d like.
I think it’s the quiet actually. I live in the city, well, juuuust ever so slightly outside the city. Enough that it’s a five minute walk away but I’m far enough away that it feels private and quiet where I am. But anyway, usually there’s the hustle and bustle of the main roads outside my window, the traffic, people, neighbours, dogs, kids, and all the rest of it. But at this time, in the dead of night, it’s completely silent.
I’m in that little sliver of time just before dawn comes, when it’s dark out still and the street lights are on, blinking away, but the black sky seems to have turned blue now. When there’s a hint of warmth on the horizon. There might be a bird or too chirping somewhere far off. It feels as if the whole world is resting, and I just get to breathe in and out, if only for a moment, alone.
My office has a big bay window, which is literally a cube that basically protrudes out of the side of the building, and if I sit in it; it’s like my own little cubby of glass, looking out across the city. You’ll find me there at least one or two nights a week, when my boyfriend is working and I’m alone at home. Sometimes there might be music playing quietly, but mostly I savour the silence. It’s like a blanket that cocoons me, wraps me up in its skin and allows me to let go of everything else, apart from this heavy, overwhelming absence of sound.
The reason I love this so much, is because when I feel like the rest of the world is sleeping, I get to feel like I’m the only one awake. I get to slow down, I get to stop working, stop worrying, stop looking at a to do list and I get to just enjoy my thoughts for a moment. It’s totally indulgent, and to someone as neurotic and obsessed with productivity as me; it’s the only time I’m ‘allowed’ to stop. When nobody is looking.
This small window of time often makes me reflect on my deepest feelings at that moment. You know, the things you don’t have time to think about in the day, but are always there? Maybe it’s happiness, and feeling grateful at how content I am; taking that moment to appreciate it. Maybe it’s realising how lonely I am, and how much I need to make time with others. Maybe it’s grief, because the only time I’ll allow myself to think about how much I miss him is when nobody else is there. Or maybe it’s just a feeling of inspiration; letting the cogs in my head take a moment to plan the big stuff.
Nobody else ever gets to share this time with me. By definition these are experiences I can only have alone, and I feel like this makes it even more special. It’s part of the relationship I have with myself, and it’s an important one.
So while the world is sleeping, I’ll look outside my window, watch the light change, and feel moved by these moments I get to savour, and be thankful.
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