I don’t know quite how it happened, but I’ve successfully made the transition from night owl to early bird. These days I’m waking up before my alarm and staring at a clock that shines a four into the early morning darkness.

I’ve never been one to just lie in bed—not when there are books to be read, words to write, music to listen to (with headphones, of course). I do try to wait till five, though. If I wake up any earlier, I’ll soon find myself craving Bob Evan’s early bird specials at four in afternoon and tuckering out before nine in the evening.

How has my schedule shifted to that of a father who wakes up before dawn and gets in some work (or just alone time) before the brood awakens? It might be that such children have been waking up earlier and earlier, appropriating more of the hours I’d originally staked a claim to.

It could also be that in Toledo I had space in the basement for a sort of office. I didn’t have to wake up much earlier than everyone else, because I could retreat to my cave.

Probably the likeliest explanation is that I’ve cut down on caffeine. I drink about two cups, both early in the morning, because I often read Scripture and pray in the quiet hours and I’m not sure the Holy Spirit could cut through the fog without some natural (legal) stimulants.

Sometimes I work at area coffee houses, where I’ve found I’m quite productive. At first, I thought it was just the atmosphere, with people coming and going and espresso machines resounding and the aroma of roasted beans—the feeling of being in a city—but then I realized it was just the caffeine.

I suppose I’m a little concerned where this is all headed. Not this blog post, since it’s not really going anywhere, and I didn’t expect it to.

I’m curious: If this trend of waking up earlier and earlier continues, will I eventually reach a point where I start the day before the previous has even ended? Will I go to bed at six o’clock to wake up before midnight? Could I eventually get a day ahead of everyone? It’ll be Friday for everybody else, but I’ve already started the weekend.

Holidays could get confusing. I’d be expecting turkey and stuffing on a Wednesday. Or lighting up sparklers and blowing noise makers on December 30th. I’d wonder why no cake on March 8th, why no one said “happy birthday” to me—not even my twin sister. What? No green beer on March 16th? No Mexican specials on May 4th?

This is all so disorienting. Perhaps I really should just get more sleep. Or maybe another cup of coffee.

A loud and cheerful greeting early in the morning will be taken as a curse! —Proverbs 27:14 ESV

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