I love mornings. Provided I got sufficient sleep the previous night, my body clock prods me 07:00 to shower and go to a coffee shop. Or sit on Clara’s and my little apartment balcony with an Aeropress and a coffee grinder as I do now.

This always interested me, because most people I know have a preference for sleeping in and staying up late. There was a time in my early 20s when I got a ton of stuff done between 22–23:00, but I still had to go to sleep immediately after. My dad’s new partner talks about how she feels she has energy in the evening until suddenly it drops off a cliff and she feels like a zombie; I feel the same way.

There were practical reasons for getting up early in Singapore. You avoided some of the morning MRT commute crush, and on weekends you could go for hikes in Bukit Timah, Fort Canning, or the Botanic Gardens before the humidity set in. For introverts, you feel like you have more of the space to yourself before everyone else swoops in. And in Sydney, provided your country isn’t on fire, you’re greeted with some of the most beautiful morning skies in the world as you sit there with your laptop, a book, or the Saturday Paper.

All of this is predicated on one thing: exercise. I can’t just wake up early and sit at my desk, or I feel groggy. I need fresh air and movement. This means pacing up and down our balcony a few dozen times while we’re in this current situation, but then I can sit down outside and feel fine beyond perhaps a little embarrassment at the people watching me from the apartment building across from us. That’s fine, I’ve seen what they get up to.