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Blue Sky

The Honor & Horror of Waking Up: Everyday Magic, Day 434

Updated: Oct 6, 2023

Given that I’ve written of falling asleep (or not) and napping in the last week, I figured I’d better complete the bedtime trilogy by writing of waking up (or trying to).

Yes, it’s good to be alive, and to wake up another day, but it’s still just a little bit of a horror for me, especially lately when I have to wake up at a time normal for many people: 6 a.m. Ken being in Peru necessitates that I take over the laundry drive the kids around twice as much as usual, do some extra housework and check on his mom everyday, but the only part that’s really difficult for me is the crowning glory of what he usually does: waking early to take our son to high school (0 hour of course because otherwise, I could sleep until 7ish).

For Ken, this isn’t an issue: he’s a morning person, and he leaves early for work. For me, a little house of horror each morning. The alarm goes off, and the first thought I have is, “Oh. My. God.” Then I have to get vertical and just awake enough to drive. This means putting on sweat pants under and a down coat over my nightgown and blinking my eyes a dozen times. Obviously, I’m what you would call a night person, or more precisely, someone hard-wired to go to sleep after midnight and to hardly ever glimpse a sunrise.

People have told me I could adjust my inner clock to waking early repeatedly, but really, that’s never happened. Even when I worked an 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. job in Kansas City without a car, which meant waking at 6 to catch two buses, I never got used to waking early. Unlike Ken, who is prone to joke around and even sing a little at 5:45 a.m., when I wake up early, I am caught in a haze that makes me feel like the world ended an hour ago.

Here’s the deal: there are a lot of things I’m good at, but waking up isn’t one of them. It’s the hardest part of most of my days. Luckily, I’ve invented a life, thanks to flexible jobs usually done at home and my lucky stars, that has allowed me to avoid waking up early on purpose much. The gods have been with me on this: when I was pregnant with my first child, despite people telling me my days of sleeping until 8 or 9 a.m. were coming to a close, I trained my baby (and the next two) to sleep late with me. It was easy actually: I just kept each baby up late. When my kids started school, again, the universe lined up according to my sleep cycle: our school of choice didn’t begin until 8:45 a.m. (and although I brought the kids late often, there weren’t many consequences for my excessive tardiness).

So I’ve gotten off easy…….that was until my kids started high school, and difficulties with schedules, plus the terrors they experienced on the school bus, necessitated me driving them in for several years. Now I return to those early mornings, but only for a few more days (I’m counting) until I can return to my slovenly-sleepy ways. In the meantime, yes, the sunrises are beautiful, but so is coming home by 7 a.m., climbing back in bed, and then not getting up to a brighter hour.

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