This morning came early. My pregnant daughter and her partner were here overnight and up very early to get to the airport. I used to be an early bird and I have retrained myself to relax more in the morning.
I had a professor in graduate school, Dennis Slattery, who told us several times the best time for writing is before the sun comes up. He would write from 4-6 AM. You can hear the quiet at that time and listen to your inner voice. Dennis is very successful, writing entire books or compilations of a subject in cooperation with colleagues, in collections, producing books of poetry. It is clear his very early writing time is productive for him.
Two of my good friends are also early risers. They are up at 4ish AM and go out to walk in the desert by 5, even in the dark of winter. I am told they go to bed by 9 and often earlier so not to call after those hours. I am amazed at their dedication to exercise.
Five o’clock arrived early today and I was able to prepare coffee for them as they organized their departure. Have you ever trained yourself to sleep certain hours? I have and know I can do it again; so I am going to aim for 6-8 AM for writing. Dennis can hold onto the 4-6 AM timeslot as he must go to bed at 8 PM. I like the night too much to turn out the light that early. It is possible to retrain ourselves for a new sleep schedule. If you take a new job and have to be ready to work at 7 AM, you will rise and be ready. You may be tired for a few weeks as you figure out when you have to turn in or how you will make up the extra sleep hours you want. My daughter is doing that now. She lives in LA and used to work out of San Francisco. Now she works out of Atlanta living in LA and is at work early Pacific time.
Covid has given us gifts and changes that are good in some ways, challenging in other ways. So many of us prefer to work at home. I am much more productive without interruptions. The other side of this coin is it can be a lonely space. Though I have meetings and work at a distance, I like to be around people. The proverbial water fountain exists in memory and companies with virtual employees are creating ways to collaborate and communicate easily. Coffee shops and cafes have grown to meet that need with “early coffee work at your computer” surrounded by strangers or a lunch break in a busy restaurant to return to my computer enlivened by human energy. These actions help me make sure I avoid being a hermit!
I like change. It seems to be a constant in my life. The world is changing so much: climate, politics, healthcare and even religion. It’s important to know who we are, what we stand for and when to work for something. The air is thick today with heat though slightly less dangerous in its steep climb in numbers. Plants are begging for water and Austin is unsure about its climate changes. As both a South Carolinian and Arizonan at heart, I shop early and late and stay out of the noonday sun! I’ll see those of you who are early birds around 6 AM as I readjust my sleep habits…..again.