Today’s inner monologue began something like this: “Ughhhhhhhh – C’mon, ButterCup!!! You damned cat……! Enough already – let me go back to bed!”
I check the clock, although I know, even in my groggy state, that it’s hours before I need to be up for the day’s travel. I’m disappointed by how right I am, as I see 3:35 am against the artificial glow of my iPhone’s home screen. (The home screen also reminds me to pay my bills, lets me know I’ll be starting the day with a 100% charge for my pending road trip, and flashes a glimpse of turquoise blue waves retreating from a sandy beach, postcard-style. I wish I were there!)
When my travel schedule is full, and so is the life I lead back home, sometimes the best way to find a smidgen of work-life balance is an early start to the day.
The alarm on my phone is set for 6 o’clock, with a back-up scheduled to go off at 6:30 am. My 2nd phone chimes in, with a kinder and gentler alert tone, at 7 am – this automatic wake-up call is part of some app that’s supposed to ease me into a more regular sleep schedule, reminding me at 10:30 every night that I need to be in bed by 11 o’clock to get my full 8 hours!
Note – it’s not working! Neither is the melatonin, combined with herbal tea, spa music and hot baths before bed. I like the way lavender smells, but I question its sleep-inducing properties. Perhaps I’ll try hypnotherapy next.
This morning my fluffiest, most roly-poly, fur baby (aka the Devil in disguise) has decided that I need an even earlier start and has been sounding off for hours before the first alarm is set to go off. She hasn’t given me the chance to hit the snooze button even once!
My morning commute is about an hour and a half, to Springdale, OH. I’ll work all day, then make the trip in reverse, hopeful to avoid rush hour on my way back into Columbus. In a foul mood, clearly sleep deprived, I can’t find a single pair of clean black socks. I settle on a pair of orange and black, striped Halloween socks with black cats on the front and back, thinking: “Great – so I can think of ButterCup’s early morning antics all day long!”
When I’m ready to head out the front door I can’t find my new black dress shoes, or my ID badge, or the specialized cup I use to make my Shakeology shakes in. I’ve run out of time to brew a pot of coffee and I can’t seem to find anything I want for breakfast. “Mornings are terrible!” I think, as I realize that I completely forgot to reserve a rental car, per company policy, so I’ll just drive my own. (That’s my preference, truth be told.)
As I stumble to my car, loaded down with the supplies I’ll need for the day, I can’t fathom why anyone would voluntarily commute to work at this God-awful hour. I’m only doing this so I didn’t have to drive down the night before and skip out on an evening on the couch, watching travel documentaries.
Fifteen minutes later, when I have a black cup of coffee in my hand and a peanut butter & chocolate chip cookie from the local vegan bakery in my belly, I’ve changed my mind.
My reward for waking up so early is great! The view is delightful!
A mixture of urban and rural landscapes, stuck under the cloudy skies of an Ohio winter, are transformed by the warm light of sunrise. The sun’s rays peek through the bare limbs of the maple trees that mark the border of one farmer’s territory, distinguishing it from his neighbor’s land, where the grass seems a touch greener. Splashes of color – tangerine, lemon drop, cotton candy and Honeycrisp – fill the sky. The light is reflected towards the highway as it creeps up the Eastern-facing windows of glass high rises downtown.
My spirits are lifted a little higher with each sip of coffee. Columbus’ locally owned and independently operated alternative station, CD 102.5, sticks with me for nearly an hour into my drive. (I’m not disappointed that I forgot to bring along this month’s audio book.) Every 3 minutes, as the sun shows itself a little more, things are looking up a little more.
I’m reminded of the beauty, and the drama, of the early hours of the day. I’m glad to be able to witness the start of the day unfolding. There’s a warm spot in my heart for ButterCup, though I silently say a prayer that she’ll let me sleep in over the weekend.
Join me on my next adventure,
Honeycrisp – the Apple that Changed the World: https://www.npr.org/sections/money/2018/05/03/607384579/the-apple-that-changed-the-world
Pattycake Bakery: http://www.pattycakeveganbakery.com/
Cup O’ Joe: http://www.cupojoe.com/
CD 102.5: http://cd1025.com/