Early Riser


The sound of Molly’s four feet hitting the floor, jumping directly from the bed, her failure to use the miniature staircase placed beside it indicative of her emergency need for the backyard.

My eyes jolt open, and glance at the clock on the dresser.  4:11 a.m.

She trots urgently toward the back door, and I stumble along behind, my heart sinking as I feel my eyes opening wider and my mind begin to crank itself into gear.

There will likely be no more sleeping for me this morning.

Oh, I give it my best shot – attempting to woo myself back into sleep with hot chocolate Ovaltine and cinnamon toast.  I even heat up the microwaveable neck wrap, curling it around my neck as I crawl back into bed and prop myself up with lots of pillows.   I take up my book and read for an hour or so, finish another chapter at 5:23 and think I might just be able to close my eyes again, get another hour of sleep before the real wake up time arrives.   I turn out the light, curl up on my right side so that Magic can insert himself into his customary place beside me, and try to fall back asleep.

No dice.

Admitting defeat, I get up and make coffee.

I’m also admitting to some difficulty getting my life in gear this week.   Topping off the trauma of the past couple of weeks is the fact that I’m still getting sorted in my new work routine.   This business of leaving for the office every day at 9 am and not getting home until nearly 6 pm is new for me.  So while I’m in the process of grieving for my aunt, I’m also faced with grieving the loss of more than half my personal freedom.   

And I’m not liking it so much.

I miss having mornings to walk the dogs and go for coffee afterward.  I miss spending an hour or two writing after breakfast.  I miss practicing piano until lunchtime and then eating my sandwich at the kitchen table with a book for company.  I miss the afternoon shopping trips with my mom, and stopping at Panera on the way home for coffee and a danish, and feel guilty about spending less time with her as I know she’s grieving these days too.

And it’s silly perhaps, but I think about all the days now that I won’t get to spend with Magic and Molly, and I jealously watch them grow more attached to Jim because he’s the one here with them all day while I’m the absent figure who comes home exhausted and desultorily throws the ball a couple of times before collapsing on the couch to watch television.

I find myself thinking more and more of the broad spectrum, the long term picture, because I’ve learned this summer how fleeting the happier moments of life can be, how very fragile life itself really is.  I’m angry at circumstances which force me into this position, angry that when my boss pulls one of her little power trips on me I don’t have the luxury of saying fuck-you-and-your-little-job-too.  I’m angry about thrusting myself back into life with all it’s busy-ness before I”ve had a chance to properly come to terms with yet another loss, angry that the modern world expects us to simply pick up and carry on as if nothing ever happened. 

Ultimately, I’m just tired of feeling that life is out of my control, because you all  know  how much I need to be in control. 

All this and it’s only 6:00 in the morning.

I have a feeling it will be a very long day.


6 thoughts on “Early Riser

  1. oh I always try to stay “asleep” as well when I must get up for some reason at night….try desperately to not get that brain working.

    I’m sorry to hear your new working schedule is hard on you. I hope you get some relaxation in the weekends and some good nights of sleep. All perspective is different after a good night of sleep.

  2. Oh, Becca — I hear you, loud and clear. Recently I’ve observed that so many of us are “grieving” — certainly loss, as you have, but also the “losses” of the type you’ve described here. Time to ‘be,’ change of routine through obligation, not choice. Grieving loss of our health (that’s me) or of jobs or a routine we loved and chose not to lose. I’m so sorry you have to experience this on top of everything else. Perhaps this weekend you can restore a bit…

  3. Oh Becca! I wish things were different. Maybe somewhere out there is a different opportunity for making money? Some of my colleagues are dumping traditional jobs for consulting businesses and other endeavors.

    Sending peace & love,

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