Tuesday, January 17, 2012

An early bird...

There is at least one quality I totally lack but would absolutely love to have: the ability to wake up perky at the early hours of the morning. I cannot but envy and wonder people who have this gift. By the time I wake up, they have already performed a major job or two, and a few more by the time I’m ready to proceed into any occupation.

Daybreak at Porto Santo Stefano, peninsula of Monte Argentario, Tuscany.
In Aristotle’s words: “It is well to be up before daybreak, for such a habit contributes to health, wealth, and wisdom.” It may no longer be necessary to start your daily pursuits before sunrise like the ancient Greek, or people only a couple of generations ago, but I do agree it would be excellent for your productivity and spirits to start early – and have your hardest and least favourite tasks completed by noon.

Who wouldn’t be happy to achieve that? But when early rising isn’t in your nature it is a habit hard to absorb. It has always been so much easier for me to extend the day, even until the morning if necessary or if I feel like it. I’ve spent many a night at my desk, or sewing machine, either to meet a deadline or just because I haven’t been able to stop once I’ve got warmed up.

Moreover, there is a limit to the tasks you can take up at night without disturbing other people in their sleep. And there is a limit to the amount of sleep you can deprive of your own body without causing trouble to your physical or mental health. So as years go by, staying up late will inevitably mean waking up later and later, at least for me, and this is not acceptable!

An early fisherman will catch the fish.

They say you can learn to be an early riser not by adopting a strict sleeping protocol but simply by making sure you get up early at the same time every day. On the other hand, you should not try to go to bed at the same time every day but only when you a tired enough to fall asleep at once. Well, I’ve followed the latter advice to the letter and look at where I’m now. Writing my blog post in the middle of the night only to have another dark and miserable Nordic morning wasted.

Isn’t it so that any bad habit, however innate you pretend it to be, can be changed? In my part of the world, there couldn’t be a better time to start racing with the sun than right now when the day breaks at around 9 am and total darkness falls at around 4 pm.

Present reality at its best: morning glow seen through our upstairs window.

Needless to say, the sun will seldom be actually visible this time of the year here even if you were awake when it rises, nor even later in the day for that matter, but I’m promising myself to witness far more sunrises this year. Not only those I happen to see when taking friends or relatives to or picking them up from the airport.

Teresa Maria

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