For twenty one years I was up at 5 on weekday mornings, except when I was up at 4:30, and out the door at 7, or before. I was always at school before 7:30, getting all of my supplies and materials and room ready for the students to pour in the door at 7:55. I greeted each one with a smile and we began our work as soon as the bell rang. Almost every year I would hear grumbling from some of the kids, “why are you so cheerful in the morning?” or “do we have to start when the bell rings, can’t we wait awhile?” Many teachers did not teach from “bell to bell,” but I did and I did it with energy and good humor.
So, how did I do that? How did I ever manage to leave the house, day after day, all school year, by 7 am? Getting out of bed at 5 was part of it, I’m sure. Now, I don’t get out of bed until closer to 6:30. After making the bed, feeding the cats, emptying the dishwasher, eating breakfast and reading the paper and sundry social media, it’s soon 8:30. The morning feels half over. On days that I go to Columbia, I’m leaving anywhere from 9 am to 10:30. On those mornings, I’m scurrying to finish up running the sprinklers and putting on my makeup. All those things I did when teaching as well as make a lunch and make plans for dinner. I just can’t seem to work as efficiently in the mornings as I once did.
Take this morning for example. We got up about 6:15. While I washed my hair, Terry fed the cats, emptied the dishwasher and started to make pancakes. I cleaned the bathroom, ran the sprinklers and raked leaves, ate the pancakes, paid bills, read the newspaper and various social media and it’s now it’s almost 9:30. I’m certainly not ready to leave the house if I needed to do so. I don’t, for which I’m grateful.
I’ve lost my morning mojo, but feel grateful that I’m not required to leave home every morning at 7 am. I would, though, prefer to be a better steward of my morning hours as this is when I am the most energetic and the most clear headed. Many of my retired friends don’t really get moving until after 11 am, doing the bulk of their activities in the afternoon, by which time I am winding down and calling it a day. Again, grateful I don’t have to be somewhere in the evenings like all those sports events, dances, awards banquets, even graduation, when teaching. I would probably now fall asleep in my seat.