Even though I stayed up much too late last evening, I did make an advantageous choice before I assumed the curled-up, nighttime sleep position. I shoved both bedroom windows wide open as the night air was warmish. Happily, the delicious fresh early-morning scent awakened me this morning before the alarm clock's diligent, but annoying, beeps. In the darkness I shut off the clock before its rudeness broke the silence.
Breathing deeply, my body and mind began to ponder the choices and opportunities before me. Early hours offer silent calm, the space to respond rather than react. The difference is enormous for someone like me who, more often than not, finds herself behind the eight ball every morning, hurrying against a stern time system that takes no prisoners. It just kills me off with unplanned minutia.
Two days ago I heard an ABC interview with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. He mentioned his determination to teach his children the benefits of early rising. He told his daughter, "If you don't get up at 5:30, you can't get anything done."
He went on to explain to Diane Sawyer, "If you want to accomplish a lot, in the morning is the action, because you get your training done, you get your reading done, you get your preparation done."
I see his point. Because of Tom's swing-shift, I generally sleep later that 5:30 - much! Except when I had a job and ran before work or when babies graced our home, my norm has been to wake whenever my sleep cycle is finished. Sunrises are rare for me. That fact makes me sad. I adore watching the sun rise. My sleep cycle ends earlier in summer, the pleasant weather entices. However, the darkness and chill of autumn and winter are off-putting. But so is that rushed feeling that envelopes when the day has begun without me. I often feel like the football player desperately clutching a football under a dog pile of heavy men, only the heap on top of me is the demands of life.
Until recently I never genuinely attempted Arnold's discipline. But I'm giving it serious consideration. Especially after today. I greeted the morning, watched the day unfold from darkness, fog, and gloom, to mid-60's clear-blue sky. Errands were run when business employees were fresh from breakfast. Lunch was on time. School was more relaxed. When I think about all I've accomplished today I am relieved, happy. Ordered calmness with room leftover for serendipity.
I wonder if Arnold has been right all along? "In the morning is the action."
Fifty years of sleeping in. Maybe I'll spend the next half century discovering the action!