Yawning? No, no, it’s a…um…stretching exercise

Boy, I had a great idea yesterday for today’s blog and didn’t write it down because I knew I wouldn’t have any problem remembering it this morning; it was that good an idea.  Sh’yeah, right.

By the way, those people who like to say “well, it couldn’t have been that important if you can’t remember” are so wrong.  Sometimes your memory is what’s bad, not the idea.  That’s why I keep a little pad near my computer to jot down ideas, or more accurately, usually jot down ideas.

So, with my “great” idea lost until it bubbles back up from my subconscious, does that mean I will just give you the day off from my babblings?  What do you think?  Yup, you guessed correctly; which means I won’t disappoint you (well, as far as meeting your expectations on quantity; quality is never guaranteed in these ramblings).

As I’ve nothing better to chirp about and I’m coming off another of those late night basketball watching extravaganzas, I thought I’d give a little background on why I have such a tough time staying up late.  I blame it on my Dad.

I’ve chatted with you before about my early years, growing up with my sister under my Mom’s watchful eye.  My parents were divorced back in my low single digits, so I spent all my youth visiting with Dad and his parents on an every other week basis.

You already know about Grandma and Grandpa’s house, with the big dock sitting on the canal.  As soon as my eyes opened each weekend morning, I would slip on some clothes, tiptoe to the garage, grab my rod, quietly exit out the side door in the garage and be fishing in the pre-dawn darkness.  When you fish the same place over and over, it’s almost unnecessary to see around you; you just know where everything is.

Over all those youthful years, Dad would take us on many, many trips to the keys for fishing, either for our fish tanks or for food.  All those trips required getting up very early in the morning.  More pre-dawn scrambling.  Even as I grew older, Dad and I would continue to get together frequently for fishing trips, requiring more regular “early to wake” mornings.

After college, my first stint was with a retail chain.  Before I moved to the main office, I had late hours, which allowed me to play tennis during the week, in the early morning, naturally.  When I went back to college for my second degree, the classes and my job as a security guard were late enough to allow me to continue to play tennis daily.  Of course, in those days, I had the endurance to “work” (it was only security for a condo on the beach, not police work) late and still get up extra early.

Later, when I finally landed a “9 to 5” job, I discovered that I was already hooked on an early morning schedule, getting up at roughly 5 am each day.  This turned to my benefit when I simply went in early each day (around 7 am) and got a good portion of my work done before anyone else had arrived.  And I was always Mr. Cheerful and alert in the morning, all without the need of coffee.  As you might imagine, that could be irritating to the non-morning people, especially those that had not sipped their first cup of magic “wake me up” elixir.

Today, I use my early riser status to couple a morning workout with breakfast, creating a routine which helps me exercise at roughly the same time every day without fear of interruption.   This allows me to actually get a workout in before a day of tennis, something that I would never have the energy to do afterwards.

There are some drawbacks to my pre-dawn routine, especially as I collect more years.  Late night TV and movies present a problem for me, especially in my comfortable reclining couch.  Even more of a struggle is the monstrous battle I wage against yawning while I’m out on my sporadic dates.  It certainly costs me some of the points I earn for being such a good listener, but it does offer me an opportunity to have some conversation be about me as I try to explain the yawns (“It’s not you!”).

It’s been interesting these days as I try to alter my late night routine to watch the basketball playoffs.  Given decades of habit, I wake up in the early morning regardless of when I go to bed, so I’m extra tired the next day.  I wish I could say this is good training for my occasional date nights, but based on my nodding during the playoffs, I’m not sure my date would agree, especially after a full meal increases the pull on my eyelids (there are some puns or innuendos I could insert here, but this is a family blog, so I’ll let you exercise your imaginations).

Social complications aside, I love being awake and alert in the early morning.  The air is clear and crisp, the world is quiet of most man-made noises and the day stretches out in front of me with all of its promise.  If the price I have to pay for that is occasionally nodding off in my soup, well, that’s why I always pick up the check!

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