he alarm is set for 6:50 – car day, so no early-morning cycling.
But it’s 5:50 and the wild things awake. From cute warm fir-bagels laying against my legs, suddenly on cue they become little sabretooths, rolling and biting and squeaking. Yes, Chinki and Ritz, our two little kittens, are activated.
There isn’t much for it. Once they’re up, they’re up. So I do the old trick – I roll out of bed, fake a few wake-up yawns, walk to the doorway. Two furry flashes tear by, bound for the kitchen and points east. Then I close the door and go back to bed. Or try to.
See, that’s the problem. I used to be able to sleep late whenever I wanted (ask any college student). But as I got older, my mornings became more regimented. Get up, feed the cat (the prequel cats: Scud East, then Prince, then Mookie). Shave, shower, get my stuff, mount the bike and ride in. And all during this time, I’m thinking. I’m usually coding something. And writing something. And working on something in my model railroad club. Honestly, who needs a smart phone when you have a smart brain? Interests line up just to be mulled over, considered and planned. As long as it doesn’t get in the way of safe cycling, my brain is awhirl.
However, the downside to this mental conditioning is that it comes on automatically now. Sure, I bamboozled two creatures with brains the size of walnuts to dash off and get locked out. But laying in bed (ignoring the indignant mewing from the other side of the door) suddenly I feel my own thoughts waking up. Suddenly I’m thinking of code written, code to be written, words, books, DOG EARS, and maybe a little, tiny bit of work. I’ve got fifty minutes of sack time and I’m as alert as a chihuahua on cappuccino. No rest for the weary. Might as well get up. And feed the cats.
Still, overall, I’d say that sort of mental conditioning is a good thing. I’ve written about waking up with a clear mental storyboard of a difficult plot point of a story I was working on, resolved. It’s good to walk out into the new day with interesting things to ponder.
But if you train yourself to do this, don’t think you’re going to get a lot of sleep. Not with two cats and an overclocked brain.