When I was younger, I ran on a noontime schedule as much as possible. Anything beforehand was heresy. I mean, there was no need to be up with the birds since one could do whatever needed to be done later in the day, or at least that was my thinking at the time. Instead, morning time was reserved for sleeping. After all, other than watching cartoons and eating Frosted Flakes which would sometimes lure me out of bed on a Saturday morning, what else could be so important at that non-functional time of the day?
As one might expect, my lack of an early morning mentality did NOT sit well my dad who was and is a farmer at heart. For him, the day was half over if you weren’t up and at ‘em by 7 at the absolute latest, having eaten and gotten ready by then. It makes sense though. A day of planting or harvesting went twelve to sixteen hours, so it was best to get started as soon as possible. If the weather was good, which is famous for changing by the minute here in our parts, you had to act and act quickly. Add in the usual machinery break-downs which you had to assume would be a part of your day, and there was no time to waste in his daily world. As a snow removal operator in the winter, it was no different for him since he also had to answer the demands of the job regardless of the hideous hours.
From an eleven year old’s perspective, however, my priorities were a little bit different than my dad’s—a privilege of being a kid in a somewhat middle-class household. Aside from doing homework and keeping my room clean, play/friend time was most important and as luck would have it, none of the aforementioned required a six o’clock wake-up call. Even on school days, six o’clock was unheard of. In fact, it should come as no surprise that I had a bad habit of pushing my alarm back as late as I could, pressing the snooze button incessantly at that. To my credit in my teenage years, I tried to combat my noontime circadian rhythm by employing the ‘move-the-clock-ahead’ trick by adding various minutes to the time on my clock to make it appear later than it actually was in the hopes that the potential of my being late to school would prompt me to get out of bed right away. Let’s just say that all that came out of that feeble attempt to mask time is that I became really good at adding and subtracting in my head. It must have been a fun game to play though, because I kept up with it for a long time. In fact, I am still known to have the clock in my vehicle set a few minutes ahead to try and deke myself out with respect to getting to work on time. Fortunately, or unfortunately, my iPhone has put a stop to playing the clock game in bed since it is now my very precise alarm device. The fact of the matter is that my present age wouldn’t allow for those kind of shenanigans anyway. I’d take too long to do the math and I really couldn’t be bothered playing games since I’m already bothered enough by having to go to the bathroom two, three, or even four times throughout the night/early morning.
If I stop and think about it for a minute, it is kind of funny how my internal clock has changed over the years. It’s like Mother Nature has brought me around full circle to the notion that one NEEDS to be up with the birds as my dad was, if not because something on my body hurts, it’s most certainly because I have to use the facilities. Sleeping until noon is now a very distant memory mixed with a deep admiration for how it is that I could hold my bladder for that long.
So, this morning, when I actually managed to fall back asleep around 6:45 AM after only having had a second trip to the bathroom, I was astounded to learn from my husband that the time was now 9:05 AM upon waking for the third time. Remembering the words that my dad had said so many times before, I echoed to my husband, “The day is half over!”. I had a list of things that I had wanted to accomplish similar to how my dad must have operated for all of those years (and still does by the way) and there is no way that that list would get done given the late hour.
Moral of the story? I guess you can take the late out of the riser, but not the early out of the bird, and if you are not careful, you might find yourself eating worms after thinking otherwise. 😉