Early to Bed, Early to Rise

I can’t win.

On weeknights when all I want to do is get to bed at a decent hour for maximum sleepage, I fail miserably.

And on nights when I don’t have anything I need to be up early for the next day, it’s not uncommon for me to hit the hay by 9:30 or 10.

What gives?

It’s a similar phenomenon when my alarm goes off in the morning. Usually it’ll go off at 5:15, I’ll snooze for 30 minutes then get up, feed the cat, toast a muffin, scarf said muffin, make some coffee, hop in the shower around 6am and — so long as my makeup is done and my hair is underway by 6:45, it looks likely that I’ll be out the door by 7:15 — a necessity for tackling rush-hour on the city streets and being at work by 8.

But no. Usually I stumble somewhere along the way, and inevitably I run 5-10 minutes late.

Today I snoozed too long, lingered over the toasted muffin for too many minutes and, even though I noticed the time, I still bothered to make my coffee. I didn’t make it into the shower till 6:20, so what happened? I was out the door at 7:10.

I can’t explain either situation, so I’ll resign myself to the fact that they’re simply mysteries of life.

But the wheels in my head starting turning, and before too long Ben Franklin’s, “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise” was reverberating inside my brain.

I tend to agree with this, although I’m more often late to bed and rushed when rising. But over the past couple of years as writing has moved toward the top of my list of things I’d rather be doing at any given hour of the day (no, I don’t really have a list but, yes, writing is way up there), whenever I’ve done it in the morning, it’s paid off in spades.

I find my brain is clearer, despite having woken from its recent slumber. The air is still. The morning light — something that usually takes a backseat to evening light for me — is brilliant and illuminating. It’s like when light floods a canyon, shining its golden hue on every crevice — you can’t stop it; it makes its way everywhere. That’s the way the morning light is for my thinking. My thoughts. My brain. All synapses are firing. And it makes me appreciate that I’m not in bed, even though I consider myself a big fan of sleep.

While tonight isn’t an early-to-bed evening, it makes me thankful for the weekend that we’ve already begun to enjoy, and for the abundance of time that’s directly before us. We may not be early to rise, but we can still wrangle those minutes and make them whatever we want them to be.

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