Part of the original premise of my year long early rising blog project was to give myself a good reason to get out of bed every morning. It is embarrassing, or maybe even depressing to admit that I could stay in bed almost indefinitely if I really wanted to. Not every day - life and family responsibilities would catch up to me - but much of the time, my jobs, duties, projects, and responsibilities do not demand immediacy in a daily context.
So what is to require that I leave that comfortable, warm, escapist place between the covers of my bed?
One answer is: something that you must do.
The other answer is: something that you want to do.
So I created a context for which I was required to get up every day - early, consistently, without fail. It may be an illusion of my own creation, but it has worked for 204 days so far. There have been many days when it was only the "must do" aspect of the project that made me haul myself out of sleep, but then there are other days...
The best days this year, the best days in life in general, are those days when you bounce up out of bed with a flutter of excitement in your belly. Something wonderful is coming, some excellent prospect is so enticing that you don't want to miss a moment of it, and you cannot stay in bed a minute longer. You can't wait to get up and meet the day.
For no profound reason I felt that stirring today. It has happened to me several times this year, simply because I look out the window and see a tantalizing glow of rosy sky. Something excellent is happening, and I don't want to miss it. A line from a song comes to mind - "Open the gates and seize the day" (from the show "Newsies"). For that reason alone, for those mornings when the vibrant hues of dawn were all it took to get me excited about jumping into the world, this year has been well worthwhile.
My father-in-law, a twinkling idealist full of compassionate nobility about whom I have written several times, loved his work as a family doctor. He told me once that "not a day goes by when I don't look forward to getting up in the morning." I suspect there might have been some exaggeration, but perhaps not. He had a source of energy and vitality and optimism that felt boundless right through his final days of life.
I always envied him that excitement about living and working. I certainly cannot say that I look forward to getting up every day, but I'm working on finding that kind of motivation for daily living. It's nice to know that the rising sun can help me get there. It is one thing that will never go away.
Well, at least by the time it does go away none of us will be here to worry about it.