The reason I became a morning person is not because I couldn't sleep in any longer, which I hear happens as you grow older, nor was it because I had to get to work; but rather, I became a morning person because of 20 lbs. of black, fuzzy, four legged Scottie-poo dogginess that liked me insofar as much as she liked to hold my hand---in her teeth.
I grew up with dogs and as most kids do, played with them for 2 minutes at a time and grumbled about calling the CDC every time you were ordered to pick up the dog poo, or child services if you had to take them for a walk. Parents could avoid a lot of unnecessary yelling if they just acknowledged that THEY are indulging themselves when getting a dog, and abandon the illusion that it is a "family" pet. You are only fooling yourself.
So that is what I did. I told everyone the dog would be mine. I would feed and walk and bathe and clean up after said dog. Help would be great, but unexpected. The Spouse reluctantly agreed after stipulating a few conditions:
Nothing white. Nothing fluffy. Nothing under 20 lbs. Nothing big. No puppies. Nothing that had -oodle or poo in its name.
I finally found a 5 year old female scottie/poodle (the only poo in this dog was what came out from behind--you be the judge--look at her picture) cross being sold by a senior who didn't have the energy or funds to continue her care. His daughter was the one I talked to and she assured me she had the medical records and that the dog was very sweet. We looked at pictures, set up a meet, and her passive, quiet nature won us over--- so we brought her home.
The next day I got up at 6 AM --an hour before my normal time, got our new dog out of her crate, put on her new collar and leash and took her for a walk.
It was like it was a whole new world. Things were quiet, you could hear birds, feel the breeze on your skin, breath in the fresh air and the physical motion woke me up. Instead of hoping I had a mild slip and fall accident and could call in sick-- I was humming in the shower after the walk. I was amazed.
Each day we walked, even in the sprinkling rain---me with no make up on, no hair perfectly quaffed---in track pants and layered sweaters. Each day I went to work a little bit more energized--a smile on my face.
Then something happened. I got sick or one of the kids did----something---that made me start to skip some of our daily walks. Then, I hardly went. I knew I would abandon them all together when winter came because I don't like the cold...and it would be DARK in the morning and I am pretty sure I am part bear since winter makes me want to hibernate.
But I have rediscovered my love of mornings. On my deck there is the small world of the birds, the flowers, my dogs (we now have two) curled up or chasing squirrels, coffee; and beyond that, the sounds of traffic; laughter from the bus stop across the street; the sound of paws on walks past our fence; airplanes overhead as the big world starts its day.
My deck is high enough that if I sit up straight in my chair, I can see over the fence a bit...and I can see the big world in action. I am still in awe of all that goes on out there and remember I used to be part of it; externally focused on getting things done to get to where I needed to be; work consuming my thoughts as I blew dry my hair. Impatient breakfasts. The countdown continually beeping out a frantic pace----hurling us out the driveway in different directions at the last possible second.
I kind of want to be one of the people on the bus---with somewhere to go or something to do that gives me joy and purpose and meaning. From here, it looks interesting---which I am sure is a LOT of my imagination. However, it is the first time that I have really peeked my head over the fence to see what is going on out there and not wanted to immediately run back inside.
Today I am grateful for London, my black, 23 lb, not fluffy, small, 5 year old dog who introduced me to mornings. Summer and the gift of this time have allowed me to reconnect with myself in my smallest of worlds (inside me) and start to expand from there to the small world of my home and yard. For now, I will just keep an eye on the big world.
As always, I am a work in progress.....