Since moving to Los Angeles from New York City I have learned that there are many differences between LA and NYC. Some of these differences are minor and some are major and with that said, some may be minor but seem major to me. One of the changes that I am still adjusting to is mornings in LA.
Over 5 1/2 years in NYC I developed a pretty standard ritual that most of my colleagues and friends were also accustomed to. I would wake-up, walk my dog, get ready for work, ride the subway, walk to my office, sit at my desk, and work for 30 minutes to an hour before I really said a word to anyone. I would operate in my own bubble until at least 10:30 am allowing me to both wake up and get my day started. Everyone seemed to operate along the same lines in NYC (although I realize there are plenty of New Yorker’s who are early birds). We respected the silent commute and the need for many of those around us to ease into their days. To be honest, half the people I have worked with over the years in NYC didn’t even arrive to their offices until 10/10:30 am.
People here in LA often seem to operate in a much different way in the morning. You see, here, people seem to wake up and start pounding the pavement… literally! Everyone seems to workout in the morning, go to coffee meetings and enter their offices in the mornings as energetic as can be. No matter where I am or what I am doing it seems as if people want to talk to me the second I roll out of bed. I’ve met more of my neighbors on my morning walks with my dog here in LA than I have at any other time of the day. Let me tell you, when I walk the dog in the morning I have no interest in meeting anyone! I roll straight out of bed, pull on the first items of clothing I can find and walk the dog looking like a hot mess. This little fact took me two weeks to really learn! I finally started waiting to walk my dog until after my morning shower just to save face in my neighborhood.
It always seems around here that if people aren’t at the gym waking themselves up in the morning they are surfing in the frigid waters of our area beaches. No wonder they are wide awake! If they aren’t surfing they are doing something else. By the time 10:00 am rolls around and I am finally starting to wake-up and be in a talkative mood, everyone around me seems to have been in a wide awake state of mind for at least 2 hours.
Rolling with the punches and trying to acclimate myself to the culture around me instead of expecting the culture to change for my comfort I have begun waking up a little early and running in the morning. It hasn’t become a ritual yet, but I would say it is on the way to becoming a ritual. I’ve noticed the people I know here in LA that wake up and start there days early have very positive attitudes and are very productive. I wouldn’t mind a positivity boost and productivity boost in the mornings.
While I would like to say that I would award a point to NYC for understanding the need to take it slow in the mornings I have to give a point to LA for teaching me how to take advantage of my day from the second I get up.