I set two alarms in the morning. The first one goes off at 3:45 and the other at 4:00. It’s been this way for years, and I usually wake up automatically before the first alarm.
Usually I shower first, but this morning I decided to mix things up a bit and let the dogs out into the backyard first, for their morning potty break. The whole pack doesn’t go out, but Trudy usually does. My biggest and oldest dog, she sleepily trudges downstairs with me. I sometimes wish that the people she annoys the most, could see her first thing in the morning when she is a totally different, more subdued “person,” with her big, sleepy Boston Terrier bug-eyes.
Griffin usually gets up with us, but he never goes out back for his potty; unless he really needs to go, he prefers to wait until later in the day when I take him for his walk. Weird, but that must have been how he did things with his previous owner.
I can usually wait until I get to work for my first cup of coffee, but this morning I make myself a French pressed coffee. While the water heats up I throw together my “lunch,” which I’ll eat around 7:00 a.m. at work. Like most days, it is leftovers from last night; today it’s chicken and rice.
I bring the French press upstairs and let the coffee steep while I am in the shower.
By 4:10 I am settled in front of the TV with my coffee and my laptop, watching news and catching up on Facebook. I enjoy having at least a half hour of time before I need to be out the door. I hardly pay much attention to the news, as all this David Petraeus scandal stuff bores me. Do people really care, and if so, why?
Around 4:30 it’s time to throw on either work clothes or gym clothes, apply a little make-up, make sure the dogs are all back in the bedroom with Chuck, then it’s out the door.
It’s a little scary walking to my car at this hour when it is still dark, but I look up at our small balcony upstairs and I see Griffin watching me through French doors up there. I wave and blow him a kiss.
Driving out of my neighborhood I usually see the same stocky Hispanic gentleman walking down the street, to his job either at the Hospice or at UCSD hospital. I have started waving at him, but for now he seems oblivious.
On my way to the freeway I drive through the quiet village of Hillcrest – quiet right now, anyway, as any other time of the day or night it is crowded, vibrant, energized. As much as I appreciate it during the day and evening, there is something special and privileged about experiencing its alter-ego in the wee hours.
As much as I love to sleep in when I can – on weekends and holidays – I enjoy my weekday mornings. Peaceful, reserved and fresh – my own special start of the day.