It's Sunday. For the last 2 days I've been practicing again how to wake up early. The Gulfport trial is in 2 weeks. I only get about 5 hours of sleep per night these days. I can't fall off to sleep, then I can't stay asleep. I never feel fully rested.
Our alarm goes off at 5:30 a.m. for John to get up and off to work by 6. It should be easy for me to arise with him, but it's not much easier than waking the dead. I'm not exactly asleep, but my whole body is sluggish, my brain turned off except for the most basic routine matters. I can find my slippers, walk to the bathroom, drift into the kitchen to heat up a cup of coffee (if made the night before). I manage to uncrate Lucky and sleepwalk out to the back yard to potty the dogs. I sit, stare into the distance, taking note of where they pooped so I can pick it up later. I really don't dare try going down the 3 steps to ground level at this point. So I sit there and smoke 1 cigarette until I feel my nature call coming, then take care of that, then go back outside while the dogs finish their business. By then I feel the urge for a second nature call. Then I'm ready to throw on some clothes. 30 minutes has gone by.
While dressing, brushing my teeth and combing my hair, images begin to drift slowly into my mind of how I want to shape my day. Appointments. What I need to do. If no appointments, what I want to accomplish. Where do I need to be, how to get there, what to bring, etc. I check my emails to see if there's any direction/inspiration there. As I throw on a load of laundry, tidy up the kitchen, feed the dogs, do my stretches, grab some breakfast, take something out of the freezer to thaw for the evening meal, I begin waking up more and more, and begin to make little piles of stuff needed for each different project I'll be working on later today, sometimes making lists. I usually double check my thinking on everything, make sure I've got it right. Respond to a few emails. Next thing you know it's 2, sometimes 3 hours later, I'm finally awake, organized and ready. I am finally beginning to feel like I could walk fast or run a few steps without tripping over myself. (I am always afraid of falling, torquing my back, twisting an ankle or spraining a knee again.) But by this time it's 8 o'clock, sometimes 9! The sun is up in the yard and it's too hot to do agility practice. At a trial, it's time I drive to the arena and settle in, by which point it will be at least 8:30, the Excellent dogs will have already competed, and I'll have missed my run.
RIDDLE: Why do Excellent dogs always run first in the morning? They just do, that's why.
It seems to me to give an unfair advantage to early risers. Dogs belonging to later risers can also be very good at agility.
Oh Lordie, what's the use complaining. I HAVE GOT TO SHORTEN MY ROUTINE! I have to condition my body to get moving faster in the morning. Maybe a shower first thing out of bed? No morning cigarette? Breakfast in the car? Sleep in my clothes? I don't know what I will have to do. Whatever, I need to spring up and be ready for action.
Some people thrive on early mornings. Believe me, I adore the dawn too. It's beautiful, fresh, the energy so calm, the earth bathed in soft cool light. I have nothing at all against early mornings. Sometimes when there is a bad storm in the night, we get up before dawn and watch the spectacle of lightning, wind and rain from the front porch until traffic picks up from people going to work and the magic dissipates. It's just that there is also magic in late nights after everyone else goes to sleep. So cozy, quiet, motivating. I can tunnel my vision, focus, concentrate and do my most complex work late at night. Midnight to 4 a.m. is the greatest time slot to build websites. That's how I make my living. But then I need to sleep in til 10.
So now I am missing Sheryl, my training partner, who is out of town for a week. For some reason, I am able to get up earlier and get moving by 8 a.m. when I know she's coming out to practice with me. It seems I am more motivated to do something for someone else than only for myself.