The Sunrise Is So Far Away In Winter

Like Lileks, I am not a fan of getting up before the dawn:

I never do anything of consequence between 3 and 5. Good for me nothing is required, either, or I might have to go to bed at a normal hour.

NORMAL ACCORDING TO WHO, the night owl screeches. The high achievers? Hah: they get up too early. Wife regularly has meetings with doctors that start at 7. People in finance and high-powered law firms are on the treadmill at 5:30. Normal for them, I suppose. When I had to get up early and get to work to do the news broadcasts I was compelled to take to bed early and wake in the bleak dark, and I hated it. The day seemed impossibly long, like a frozen baguette you had to gnaw from one end of the other.

If I could control my sleep with willful precision, I’d rise at 7:00, then sleep from 2 to 6, then stay up until 2. I’ve always hated afternoon. The very word sounds like a yawn.

You know, I’ve had to get up early for work most of my life. When I was at college, I had to get up early many days to get to campus, and I had to get up to open the grocery store produce department other days. After school, I had a bunch of jobs where I had to be at work at 7 or 8, often an hour away from work, so it was up at five (often after being up until after midnight the night before, but I was young).

But I had a brief idyllic period during my first remote working experience, before we had kids. I could sleep until 7am, hit my desk at 7:02am, take a nap at lunch, work until 4pm, doze until my beautiful wife came home from work, and then stay up until 1am or 2am. I wrote most of John Donnelly’s Gold during that, what, year and a half? But then the boss rented some office space downtown, and I had to be up at 5 again to be at the desk at 7am, and then we had kids, and I was up at 5 with our early rising baby and then up a 4am or 5am to get a couple hours of work in before having to take the kids to school and taking off early in the afternoons to retrieve them.

I have given some thought as to what life will be like when the boys leave us in only a few years. The evenings will be quieter; I will not feel like I need to be available for guidance all evening long, so perhaps I will undertake projects in my office or garage or maybe leave the house. Weird thought, that.

But I have certainly thought that if I’m still working from home, my schedule will involve waking after sunrise.

I feel this most acutely this, the first week of January. Over their Christmas break, I’ve slept in as I’ve not had to run into town in the 7 o’clock hour. And we’ve put the Christmas down, so Nogglestead is suddenly darker without the lit Christmas lights (we leave the trees on all night and all day). And the sunrise is so far away. It’s, what, almost 7am, and it’s going to be dark for another hour or so. The oldest tends to put on a bunch of lights on the upper level of the house as he gets ready to get himself on the high school bus. Normally, I go along after he’s left and turn those lights off. On days like these, though, I leave those lights on until after dawn.

C’mon, dawn, I’m waiting.

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