The Magic Hour


It is 4:26 in the morning. The only light in the house is coming from my computer, and the only sounds are from the tapping of the keys.

This is my “Magic Hour.”

Wikipedia describes the “Magic Hour” as the period of time right before sunrise or shortly after sunset. During this time, the brightness of the sky matches the brightness of streetlights.

In my house, it matches the brightness of my computer.

I started waking up around 4 o’clock a little over a year ago when I needed extra time to finish a work project. Since then, I have kept up my early mornings two or three days a week. I start the coffee pot, stay in my PJ’s, wrap up in my robe and start my day while the rest of my family is still asleep.

During this magical hour, I can focus on the to-do items that keep my brain awake at night.

It could be the upcoming holiday party supplies that need to be ordered for school; the sports registration form that is due next week; online shopping for my Mom’s birthday; my out-of-control inbox; completing our family photo yearbook; paying monthly bills; scrolling through Pinterest for ideas to replace the ten-year-old rusted patio furniture.

It’s a never-ending list that goes on and on.

When I lay down for bed, and my brain starts playing these tricks on me, I can push the thoughts aside, knowing I can concentrate on my outstanding list during my magic hour.

This morning I wrote this blog post. Last week, I used my magic hour to map out our plans for the summer and research summer camps. At least once a week, my time is dedicated to work projects and catching up on email.

There have even been a few mornings that I took my coffee outside around 5:30, right before the rest of the house starts stirring, and I watched the sunrise. It has not happened often because I am usually wrapped up in my to-do list. However, I need to take my own advice and gift myself ten minutes of a “brain break” more often.

Warning for the night owls: the first few mornings are hard. The alarm going off at 4am is annoying, and it is very tempting to roll back over for two more hours of shut-eye.

But a good friend of mine often says, “Is the juice worth the squeeze?”

For me in my magic hour, it definitely is!



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