I made a goal a few weeks ago to start waking up earlier than my children. There were no stipulations in this goal of say, how much earlier I planned to arise nor what I would do with my extra morning time. As most guilt-ridden church goers know, promises to pray and read the Bible more, especially early in the morning, typically end up leaving us with more guilt and little else to show for our lack of discipline, except maybe a reminder that we are weak, weak humans, who can’t even sacrifice a little bit of our first moments of the day with the One who created us.
I don’t know about you, but I also ignore my husband in the morning. It isn’t personal, God. Really.
The first week of the goal went much like every other week of my post-professional life. My eight o’clock wake-up time remained undisturbed, even with my Morning Edition alarm.
Here might be a good time to insert a description of a strange little super power I possess. When I know I have to be somewhere important, say, the airport or an early morning race, my body always wakes me up at least a half an hour earlier than I need to be awake. Always. I’m sure I’m not the only one. Sometimes I am even able to completely psyche out my subconscious the day before a necessary early morning. Other times, I can wake up in a super early morning panic on behalf of someone else, say, John, for his Tuesday morning men’s group.
Last weekend was such a weekend. I know I mentioned the anxiety and the thunder that awoke me last Saturday morning, as my mind was working twenty-four hours in advance for a race I hadn’t even paid money for yet. After laying in bed mostly awake from five-thirty to six-thirty, I at last pulled myself out of bed around seven and joined John for my first cup of coffee in months that wasn’t reheated in the microwave.
Sunday was of course, the same thing. This time I was merely motivated by waking early enough to empty my colon before running three miles.
So far, two days of early wake-ups (on a weekend no less) and not a single moment of Zen to show for it.
Sunday had been a particularly cool day so John and I left our windows open that night. I woke upagain at six, this time to the incessant barking of a dog somewhere behind my house. I got up, listened at the window, debated throwing on a robe and walking my neighborhood with the intention to release this hound from his chain of fury (then pray for a semi to round the cul de sac corner at break neck speed), and ended up going to my back porch to get an eye-level perspective on where the sound might be coming from.
I couldn’t even hear the stupid thing from my back yard.
I remained awake however.
Yesterday I sent John this message: Even though I have nothing to show for it, I think I’m starting to like this idea of getting up early.
His response: I can see that. It’s snobby, getting up early for no reason. It suits you.
And though my body is not loving it yet, it does seem to be getting easier.
So, naturally, Eliott has tuned in as well. After
weeks months of fighting her teenager morning breath at eight twenty every school day, within two days of my newfound me-time, the girl has begun to creep out of her room earlier and earlier, as if it is her unconscious super power to thwart whatever brilliant mothering tactics I come up with to ensure I am the most powerful one in the house.
Secretly, she believes she’s missing something.
I made her sit in bed and look at books. (I cannot wait until the day the girl can read.) I think I’m going to get her an alarm clock, which will signal the moment she’s allowed to leave her room.