Getting Up Early

I’ve always been rather a night owl. Left on my own without needing to get up early to go to a job, my normal hours were midnight to nine a.m. During the first year I lived here, I kept those hours, finding it amusing that anyone would be awake and alert enough to get to the senior center for exercise at eight. It just seemed so dang early, though I did manage to make it a few times. I also needed to know ahead of time when any workers were planning on coming so I could set my alarm and be up before their eight a.m. arrival.

Then suddenly, for no reason, about the time The Bob made itself known in this country, I started waking at first light. I’d blame melatonin, which regulates one’s circadian rhythms, except that I’ve been taking it for decades without any need to wake early. Even when I wear a sleep mask, the dawn manages to find me and wake me despite the darkness I see behind the mask.

Getting up at five and even before seems bizarre to me, though luckily, the sun is sleeping in a bit later these days, so now I can too. It also seems weird to be able to get so much done before my normal waking hours. Generally, by nine o’clock when I used to get up, I’ve made my bed, folded my daily quota of origami cranes, spent time with my tarot cards, done some stretching exercises, watered my various garden spots, weeded a bit. Then, during the time I’d normally be doing those things, I get other things done. For example, today I went to the library, took a drive (even though the brake warning light is coming on, I figure I need to keep the car in shape), staked some of my tomato plants that somehow became unstaked, and played with my new leaf blower. (I hoped the blower would be strong enough to clear the twigs off my landscape rocks, but it’s so powerful that instead it blows the rocks off the twigs.)

Later, I showered, ate, read, played on the computer, and now I am catching up on my blog. When I’m finished, I’ll be going to work.

It seems that the day is so very long when I get up early, but it isn’t, especially since I conk out early. Last night, admittedly, I stayed up late reading as I always used to, probably because I’d napped in the afternoon, and I did sleep in — all the way until 6:30!

That is so not me — these early hours

Except, apparently, now it is.


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator

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