trying to be a morning person

[think kit. day three.]

sleeping in

INDIANAPOLIS — I like to wake up early in the morning, but I am not good at it. In July, I made the decision to be a morning person, which was weird and wonderful and completely unsuccessful. I have spent weeks at a time fighting my tendency to stay up late, but give me one Saturday night of productive crafting, and I have to start all over.

For the most part, I favor working odd hours and taking naps whenever and wherever I please, but that doesn’t mesh with most things, particularly store hours, public safety and other people’s schedules. Welcome to my lifelong struggle:

“You sleep until noon?” Catherine asked with a sneer, as if she decided in that moment that we could no longer be friends. “I hate the feeling of sleeping until 10! Half the day is gone. Noon? Why would you do that?”

I recall feeling embarrassed. Inferior. Lazy.

I was 8.

I still sometimes sleep past noon on weekends, but 10:30 a.m. has become the norm since we got a dog. I occasionally wake up early, but every once in a while, I sleep well into the p.m. hours. Despite the shame I invariably feel after spending half a day in bed, I don’t get up much earlier the next day. It tends to take a firm appointment to get me up before 10, and even then I’ll snooze my alarm between two and seven times.

July 28 was a rare occurrence: I rose at 8 a.m. to go on a bike ride.

For two hours in the saddle, I observed. I wondered. People were all around me, and the morning felt light and energetic.

What is it people do while I’m asleep?

Brunch. People go to brunch, and my god do they look happy about it.
Speaking of God — church. People were brunching after church, and perhaps the ones I saw going to church would head to brunch afterward. When I was little, I hated waking up early for church, but I liked stopping at the White Hen for milk, the Tribune and chocolate-frosted doughnuts afterward. I suppose that was my family’s version of brunch, or brunch wasn’t as big in the 90s. Whatever.

Besides the brunching and the churching, there’s shopping, strolling, running and dog-walking. All these things happen while I’m asleep. I never knew.

Well, of course I knew. But it all seemed so distant and unimportant in comparison to my comfortable bed and the ease of doing nothing. Oh, the sheets and the pillows, the perfect coziness of the sun on my blanket, and the cool relief of rolling over — just for a few more minutes. Just a few, I swear.

In case you’re curious, my friendship with Catherine fizzled, though I can’t trace it back to my sleeping habits. Regardless, I connect her reaction to the disappointment I feel each time I finally emerge from slumber, aware of how gross I look at 12:30 p.m.

Thinking of all the things that happen while I’m asleep motivated me to join in on those sunshine-filled a.m. hours. All the exploring and brunching — it seemed so nice, not to mention productive. Catherine was right for judging me so harshly in the third grade. Damn it, Catherine.

Alas, I still do not go to bed early, and I made no significant sleeping changes following my eye-opening experience on July 28th. But for one glorious bike ride, I was a morning person. Perhaps I would have stuck with it had I enjoyed a nice brunch that day.

[Think Kit Dec. 3 prompt: Share the strangest experience of your year. Did you do something new or unexpected, see something out of the ordinary, or have a unique experience? What was so strange about it?]

Note from the editor (aka me): I’m certainly strange, but I’m not all that interesting, which is why my attempt to be a morning person is the weirdest thing I’ve experienced since January.

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