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Early Riser

My schedule is such that, on some days, I need not venture into the world until around ten o’clock. On other days, however, I face the day at eight. To maintain consistency, I get up at the same time everyday regardless. As a matter of principle, that time is six o’clock.

Now, some may wonder why I, when I take all of half an hour to get ready in the morning, would so choose to rise before the sun each day. I answer that query with two words: Carpe diem. When I get up early in the morning I feel I am taking full advantage of all the moments life allots me. I use the time to wake up slowly, enjoy reign over our shared bathroom, take in sustenance, catch up on work, and generally putz around. I find that, even if I’m not doing anything of upmost import, I end up feeling much more fulfilled than I would were I to catch some extra Z’s instead. That, compounded with the fact that I need never feel rushed as I prepare for the day, reinforces my early rising ritual.

There are those who nurture a kind of love affair with sleep. They probably don’t accept my habit as one of a sane person, but that’s alright. To them, I must admit that cons accompany the pros of this lifestyle. Come weekends, I retire my alarm clock in favor of a more innate one. Surrendered to this internal timer, I find I will rise anywhere in the interval from eight to ten. On those days I tend closer to eight, I delight at the sun filtering through my blinds and the audible evidence of life begin to stir outside. I emerge from my comforter refreshed and ready to slip into being. However, on those days my eyes flicker open only to fall on a clock that reads “9:45,” I cover my face in infinite frustration.

I feel I have denied myself the full value of the day. My timing is all off; breakfast establishes itself as more of a brunch, dooming lunch to be struck by a sudden identity crisis. Having wallowed in and finally surfaced from that, lunch turns to dinner and says, “Make what you will of that.” Meanwhile, the day’s activities falling between these meals have also fallen into limbo. The ample time I would usually have to collect my thoughts and partake in general idleness was squandered long ago in the thieving land of sleep. Efficiency struggles to find its feet as productivity attempts to assert itself without adequate preparation. The most testing aspect of this struggle is that I encounter it whether my to-do list is lengthy or nonexistent. Returning to bed at the day’s end, I retain a sense of having been cheated. Throwing a slightly cold look of reproach to my oh-so-soft pillow, I lay my head down with the solid intent of not being taken advantage of a second time.

These sentiments are not absolute, of course. There are those days when I duly appreciate a bit of extra sleep. I do occasionally indulge in waking to early birdsong only to roll over until the equally melodious sounds of brunch preparation reach my ears. I find it guiltless and highly enjoyable. However, I find that these occasions are coming fewer and farther between. Perhaps this is born of my ever increasing perception that time is moving faster. If this is the case, I can only hope that I never give up on sleep completely in an attempt to make acceptable use of my time. Ironically, that would probably result in my having less time at my disposal in the long run.

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