Friday, March 30, 2012

I don't do mornings

It's no surprise to family or friends that the cartoon character Garfield and I share a common trait -- we don't do mornings.

I was so bad growing up that my mom used to bring me breakfast in bed until Dad decided she was spoiling me and started waking me up by yanking the cover as hard as he could, which inevitably would unroll me onto the floor. Not pleasant, but I was certainly awake.

Today, I don't have my mom living with me to bring me my breakfast and provide a slow, gentle wakeup, nor my dad to force me out of bed. Instead, I have my own free will. If you've ever studied the Bible, you know the dilemma that lies within that.

I've been trying for a year to get up around 5:45 so I can be ready by the time the kids wake up. I even have visions of them bounding down the stairs to the smell of bacon frying and sitting down at a perfectly set table. In my mind, I see a nice vase of fresh flowers on the table because, of course, I had time to go out and clip a few from my rose bed. In my imagination, I forget that the dog ate my rose bushes, thorns and all. I see only the thrill of being the early bird catching the proverbial worm. Alas, another time change has rolled around and that has proven to be but a dream.

I have tried every trick that I know to reach my goal. I've announced to my family numerous times that I'm going to get up early. Sometimes I even tell the kids, "I'll probably be gone to work way before you get up. I'll leave you some homemade biscuits on the counter."

"Right, see you in the morning, Mom," they say. I think it was the homemade biscuit part that gave me away.

I moved my alarm clock across the room thinking that would get me out of bed. It does -- for about 30 seconds -- and then I jump right back in it. In order to compensate for this routine, I set my clock 30 minutes earlier. The end result? I sleep an hour later.

Next, I decided I needed to go to bed earlier. As soon as I tucked the kids into bed at 9, I'd come downstairs and announce dramatically to my husband, "I'm going to bed now because you know I have to get up really early in the morning. In fact, I'll probably be gone by the time you get up. I'll leave some biscuits out."

To which, he replied, "See you in the morning."

And, he did, minus the biscuits.

Obviously, losing an hour recently did not help me on my quest to become an early riser. What's worse is I can't figure out how to change the time in my car. I rush around tossing pop tarts to the kids and searching for my missing heel and signing last minute permission slips, until I finally slide behind the wheel and there the clock sits -- mocking me. A mere week ago, I would have been early.

So, as I sit typing this column at 10:45 p.m., I have finally concluded: I am not a morning person. Perhaps, as Garfield put it, I would be -- if it started at noon.

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