Friday, May 31, 2013

The older I get, the earlier I wake up

My wife is philosophically opposed to the idea of, as she puts it, "getting up in the 5s." By which she means waking up before 6 a.m.

You might take from that that she would be OK with getting out of bed at, say, 4:30 a.m. And you would be wrong. Terry would no sooner get out of bed at that hour than she would eat blue cheese.

(Terry hates blue cheese, you see. I love it. Terry prepares the food in our house. Guess which ingredient you never see in our meals outside of the occasional rogue bottle of salad dressing?)

Anyway, Terry does not like to get up early, or at least what I consider early.

Most days, I'm out of bed at 5 a.m. Occasionally it's 4:50 a.m., and I don't need an alarm to do it. I just wake up, lay there for maybe a minute, and my feet hit the floor.

I realize there are many people for whom a wake-up time of 5 o'clock would be "sleeping in." These people generally fall into one of three categories:

(a) They deliver newspapers
(b) They have blue-collar jobs that require them to be at work at some unacceptable time like 5:30 a.m.
(c) They are 104 years old

That whole thing about needing less sleep as you age is true, right? I assume it is. How else do you explain the line of senior citizens at the buffet restaurants every day at 4 p.m.?

My sister Judi used to get up around 4 in the morning. She would use the early hours of the day to exercise, clean the house, and watch reruns of "Cops."

My family loves "Cops." It's a thing with us. There's something about seeing shirtless white people of Southern descent getting arrested that appeals to us.

Anyway, I get up fairly early only because I have to. If I'm not up by 5:00, there's no way I can do everything I have to do in the morning. That list, in order, includes:

- Get dressed for running
- Feed the cats
- Go downstairs and clean out the litter boxes and sweep around them
- Go outside and get the newspaper
- Get a drink of water
- Lace up my running shoes
- Go and run 2-3 miles depending on the day
- Stretch
- Come in and record the run in my running log book while getting a second drink of water
- Shower
- Dress
- Read the paper and eat breakfast
- Brush my teeth and head out the door for work

If I'm not out of bed by 5:15, something on that list is going to get sacrificed. And I don't want to sacrifice any of it.

Well, I would gladly sacrifice the cat-related items. But those have been my jobs for many years now, and I'm fairly certain no one else in the family is going to take them over. So I'll continue doing them.

During the summer I have the house all to myself in the morning because none of the kids have to get up for school, nor does Terry have to pack their lunches and see them off. My teenagers would, if given the opportunity, sleep until 3 p.m. every summer day.

We don't let them do this, of course. (Most of the time.)

As I type this, it's 9:20 in the evening, which means I'll be waking up in a little more than 7 1/2 hours. So if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go and eat my nightly chunk of blue cheese and head off to Dreamland with the rest of the old people. Good night!

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