Monday, September 21, 2009


Way back in April 2008, I wrote about my love of early rising.

For many years, I had an ingrained habit of setting the alarm for 5 a.m. and getting up, even on weekends, to start the day. My reasons were valid: getting ready for work, meowing cats, a cup of coffee, a crossword puzzle, taking a walk, and a general anticipation that this just might be the day (which day was never really specified).

In my retirement, the most incredulous looks I get occur right after people ask me how retirement is going, and if I enjoy the luxury of sleeping in—just lounging in bed until noon or thereabouts. When I explain that I still get up sometime around 5 a.m. or 6 a.m., I am met with looks of disbelief and disdain. ‘Retirement is just wasted on you,’ they seem to be implying. ‘Why don’t you keep going to work and I’ll retire if you’re going to be up at dawn anyway,’ their sneering thoughts seem to insinuate.

Even if I try to sleep late, my body lets me know that I’m just not meant to be a sleeper-inner by kicking into the BDS (Bizarre Dream Syndrome) mode. These are the dreams that occur when you’re half awake, just barely floating unconscious—weird dreams that make you more tired than rested. Admit it: you have them, too. This morning, I knew it was time to get up because I was having the “crawling through a narrowing sewer pipe” dream, where the pipe gradually narrows until I can’t move forward anymore. Usually there’s a line of people crawling behind me and I can’t communicate to them that they’re crowding me into an opening that’s too small to crawl through and we all need to back up—NOW!! (I would make a terrible illegal alien trying to sneak into the U.S. from Mexico.)

So this morning at about 6 a.m., unwilling to participate in BDS, I was drinking my coffee and doing a crossword puzzle when I looked out my window at the morning sky. We’re supposed to be getting thunder storms and rain today, but that didn’t stop the sun from trying to break through as it rose in the east.

Then, in the western sky, big cumulus storm clouds were building into thunderheads, reflecting the sunrise from the east.

And this is why I have to get up so early in the morning—so I don’t miss all this beautiful drama. What’s the point of lying twisted in my sheets dreaming about getting claustrophobically trapped in a sewer pipe with other Guatemalan refugees illegally entering Texas when the sun is rising and the thunderheads are gathering?

I don’t want the day to start without me!


Anonymous said...

your BDS reminds me of that movie El Norte except in that movie there were RATS in the sewer pipe. at least you don't have rats.

2to4aday said...

I not only saw El Norte!, I loved that movie. What made it even more thought provoking was that it was based on a true story. You're right--at least my dream sewer pipe doesn't have rats.

Anonymous said...

You know what's funny, Mom? That tunnel business is one of my worst fears! It's a good thing we're not a family of illegal immigrants or we wouldn't get very far.... s.

2to4aday said...

S: Let's make a pact to never, ever find out from a licensed professional what this dream means in psychiatric terms. Instead, let's just believe it's a dream that all the smart, talented, good-looking people have--just because they're smart, talented, and good looking. Okay, is that a deal??

Anonymous said...

absolutely. what else could it possibly mean?!?