How ever did I manage?

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.

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11 responses to “How ever did I manage?

  1. I am also a morning person and was at the office by 7:30 every morning for decades. I got so much done before other people arrived. And now I keep up the same routine because it suits me. I am out the door at 7:05 for a half-mile walk to the bus, then to the coffee shop and finally to the gym. I’m home by noon and have the whole rest of the day to play. I love it. 🙂

  2. you are a very scheduled person, as I am. It’s good to have a routine I think.

  3. I am a morning person now, because if it doesn’t get done by noon it doesn’t get done. I have a a tendency to be lazy. I have to push myself to do things, but I get them done.

  4. I too was looking back the other day, wondering how I managed, as a single parent, to do it all – early rising, getting the girls off to school, sewing, knitting, keeping a clean home, full time job, continuing education, social life. There just seemed to be so much time (and energy) back then. Nowadays, I’m still up early and, with only myself to cook and care for, it seems like there’s not enough hours (or energy) in the day to keep up with marketing, housework, and my walking routine. The mornings speed by. I’m convinced we lived through a miraculous time back-in-the-day. A time when the mornings moved slower, and the 24 hour days were longer.

    • Shirley, I don’t think the time was magical, but rather our youth! Somewhere in my early 50s I realized I did not have the stamina I had at 40. It was in my early 50s that I decided I would leave teaching (a career that took mountains of energy) and find another, less strenuous career. Well, that third career never materialized, unless I count my volunteer work, but I am thankful that I do not have demands made of my time and energy. I just couldn’t keep up.

  5. We kept awesome schedules when we worked for a living.

    TIAACref made one of my favorite TV ads, the six o’clock scholar.

    I was a single parent, had teenage kids, worked first parttime then fulltime, attended undergrad college fulltime then grad school parttime. I rode the bus to work and school. Commuted by car to Maryland later in my career, but came home on the bus near midnight several days a week before that. Shopped for food the evenings I arrived earlier and cooked.

    Kids learned how to cook, wash their own clothes, etc.
    Many days I stopped by the grocery store and picked up one bag of food to cook that evening. My daughter made enough money waitressing to pay for her first year of college. She participated in many activities in high school and earned excellent grades. Boys didn’t do so well in school, but have turned out okay. Both boys have graduated college on scholarships, loans, etc. One works for the Navy the other teaches special needs kids in an elementary school.

    Weekends, I studied, taught church school, etc. Don’t know how I did it, raised wonderful kids, earned four degrees, and made enough money to provide for my retirement.

  6. Just a bravo from me for all you do.

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