Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Chapter 2: Early Bird

Do you know any Marines? Have you heard of boot camp? Do you know what time drill instructors rouse Marine recruits at boot camp? Let's suffice it to say, early. Now imagine being raised by a man who spent over 20 years in the Marine Corps. That only begins to explain my early bird habits.

I have strong early memories of my father running into my sister and my bedroom with a large stock pot and wooden spoon hollering, "Good morning! Good morning! Good morning! Rise and shine!" I remember being told to get up at 5:30 on Saturday mornings so that we could get a good breakfast before starting the yard work. I remember hearing, "We do more by 9 am than most people do all day." It's true for the military personnel and true for their families by association.

When I left the family home and went to college, I was so used to getting up early that I really bugged my room-mate with my schedule. She was a natural night person, so we definitely clashed. To complicate matters, my dad tended to call at 6 am. My room-mate, justifiably, thought I had the strangest family. In defense of my dad, there was a time difference, so it was 7 where he was, but 7 was still too early for communication to my room-mate.

I am a firm believer of the idea that you are what you are, when it comes to sleep. So what does that mean really? Well, it means that regardless of when you go to sleep, your natural pattern will remain with you. For example, throughout college, I stretched my bedtime to 11-12pm most nights, while still rising at 6am most days. Tired as I was, I couldn't comfortably sleep easily past 6. It was just my way. I was and remain a morning person.

My kids have become the same. The schedule I live by, has trained them to be early risers. They rise daily between 5 and 5:30, but they go to sleep between 7 and 8. It puts kind of a crimp in any night life I may have, but you may have noticed by now, I don't even really pretend to have a night life, except for the occasional date with my husband.

That fairly well sums up the early bird piece. Soon Chapter 3 ... Risk Averse.

No comments: