All those years of teaching…I would be up by 5 a.m. and usually out the door by 7. That meant getting up in the dark, and on winter mornings, leaving in the dark. As my retirement day got closer, I was getting more anxious about those early mornings. I just wanted to stay in bed until daylight. Was that too much to ask?
Now, retired, Terry and I feel like lay-abouts if we are still in bed at 7, which rarely happens. Most mornings, except for the coldest and darkest in the winter, we are up around 6:15. The heater, or air conditioning in the summer, comes on at 5:40 and the house is fairly comfortable by the time I throw off the covers and spring to action. I am a morning person.
I try to get all my chores done before noon, and if I have errands to run, I really want to get out as soon as the places open. I make all my appointments for the earliest possible time. My mind is alert in the morning, running on all cylinders. I have lots of energy in the mornings. I feel great, ready to seize the day. By 4 p.m., however, that is another story.
My mind has begun to coast. My body is slowing. The enthusiasm for most tasks has dwindled to nil. Even talking to people, an activity I love, becomes a dreaded chore late in the day. As you can probably guess, I’m not much of a partier, especially if the event is after 6 p.m. That’s why I like my “ladies who lunch” group. We meet at 11:30, and by 2 we are on our separate ways.
Recently I read an article about “sundowning.” At first I was concerned as it sounded a bit like me, tired and melancholy at the end of the day, but it turns out that it’s more about anxiety and agitation in the evening, a symptom of Alzheimers. I am still concerned, though, that as I get older, I find myself less and less inclined to accept evening invitations or take on obligations that would require me to do something in the evening. Our church holds its Vacation Bible School in the evenings, and I have told a number of people lately that I am unwilling to participate. I am quite happy teaching in the early hours of the day, but after 4 p.m….well, you know the story.