I have re-instituted the habit I formed a year ago when we were on Hilton Head Island; namely, laying in bed until as late as 9:30 a.m. Granted the extension of my wake-up time has occurred gradually as I have contemporaneously begun staying up later and later at night, often until 11:30 p.m. or after midnight instead of hitting the hay by 10:00 o’clock at night as I had been doing for some time. One reason for the difference is that I have set up my keyboard here and I play it late at night. That always gets me wound up. Frankly for most of my adult life it was my routine to go to bed late anyway. I could never bring myself to go to bed any sooner. I had to run myself into the ground before I’d succumb to the iniquity of sleep. Besides the reality was I would sleep better if I were tired even if it meant I slept less. When I was working I always got out of bed by no later than 7:00 a.m. no matter when I went to bed; and when I had my little French bulldog I got up even earlier so I had the time to take care of his needs before taking care of my own. Those days are now gone. No more work. No more little dog.
If you’re one of those people who sees nothing wrong with staying in bed until noon then you’ll perhaps find it difficult to understand my abhorrence of rising any time after 7:30 a.m. I am to this day overwhelmed by anxiety if I awaken after 7:30 a.m. Everything in me tells me that I should be up, that half the day is gone already, that the precious morning hours are irretrievable, that the day will be exhausted all that much sooner and that I’ll have to do something extraordinary to pack even more into the remaining time to justify myself! The idea of chopping the morning in half is like burning money!
Fortunately for me there is no longer anything particularly compelling for me to do any morning, unless it’s a medical appointment or I have to take my car in for service. Otherwise, even if I get out of bed no later than eight o’clock, I still manage to fritter my morning away on the computer, drinking coffee and arguing with Bell Canada or OnStar about their latest mixed-up account. That’s the point, the whole business of getting out of bed early is a fiction because nothing really gets done. But it does make me feel better. I like watching the sun come up; I like knowing I’m having breakfast not brunch; and it positively staggers me to imagine having my shower mid-day. Some things are just too awful to contemplate!
Today is a case in point. I slept until after 9:30 a.m. Actually the disturbing element of my tardiness was that we were expecting a plumber to arrive so it wouldn’t have been good if I were still loafing in bed while he is trying to earn a living. He did in fact arrive as promised and not long after I had completed my daily ablutions – which conveniently made the bathroom smell clean and fresh! After the plumber left I prepared my Breakfast Standard No. 1 (ham, cheese and one egg with grape tomatoes). Lots of strong, black coffee too of course. Oh, and fresh fruit to start – grapes and two Mandarin oranges. Afterwards I puttered on my computer and succeeded – following a lengthy harangue with Bell Canada – to obtain an impressive $10 credit for bitching about their misleading statement. I listened to classical music from Songza through my Bose SoundLink. Music is an important part of my morning too, well anytime really.
By then it was after noon. The initial grey skies had cleared, the sun was glittering on the Sound. We quickly forged our plan to go bicycling. Our normal jaunt is between 2 -3 hours so we didn’t have time to delay.
Even though we hadn’t taken the precaution to check the Tide Chart before leaving the condominium, we decided to enter the beach at nearby Tower Beach where we investigated the beach and the prevailing winds. Both were fine, lots of dry beach and only a moderate north wind. But tons of sunshine and blue sky and crashing waves! As usual at this time of year there were hardly any people on the beach aside from ourselves. We cycled quite effortlessly to Coligny Beach where we stopped as is customary to check our email and the children. Moments later we were on our way back, sailing along the beach, facing into the dazzling sunshine. When I arrived home I immediately went to the pool where I plopped on a chaise longue, fell asleep and soaked in the declining afternoon rays.
Not long afterwards the sun was blotted behind the palmetto ferns. I put on my socks and sweater and returned to the condo where I telephoned two friends in Canada who are having problems. The talks went on for a long time. They were good talks. But they were serious. Last evening we had had a far less solemn telephone (actually Viber) conversation with other friends in New Zealand. Earlier this morning I had as usual telephoned my elderly mother to reassure her as I regularly do that there was nothing for her to worry about.
It’s now 10:50 p.m. We’ve had a very satisfactory evening meal, crab cake, three salads and nuts and plump prunes for dessert. We watched a documentary about Woody Allen on Netflix. Another day is coming to an end. I’ve already interjected some playing on the keyboard so I won’t likely do that again today. I didn’t take the car for a drive today. I nearly did but decided against it. We plan to shop for some fresh food tomorrow.
All in all we’re in a very good space. We naturally have the common concerns of older people; viz., weight, aches and pains. Other than that we have no complaints whatsoever. We’re proud that we bicycle every day, something which appears to be keeping us fit in spite of the perpetual weight problem. Being able to spend our winter on Hilton Head Island is an incredible privilege; and we’re equally thrilled to be in Almonte for the summer. Our family relations are as good as can be expected. We continue to pursue our modest intellectual and artistic resolves. I suspect I’ll soon get back into reading more, something which has understandably taken a hit during the beautiful weather we’ve recently had.