‘Tis the voice of the sluggard;
I hear him complain
“You have waked me too soon,
I must slumber again.”
Who wrote that? Well ’tis buried deep in the bookcase somewhere – I believe it’s included in two volumes of poetry called Come Hither, but I don’t feel like tearing apart the swaying bookcase to get at it. Not at this time of the morning.
Staring out at a day that’s all too dark, preparing to do some editing work. Somebody’s security light is on over there. It’s never, ever off (at least at night), and that really irritates me.
I hate, hate, hate, getting up when it’s still dark.
I blame those terrible winter mornings back in Edinburgh when the blizzards raged in the streets outside and we still had to go to school. I never really liked school. It wasn’t too bad once I got there, but on the whole school was a burden I could have done without. My stomach clenched with dismay when, in the pitch black of night, someone turned the main bedroom light full on. “Time to get up for school!”
Being ripped untimely from the quiet, snoozing warmth of the home when it was still black outside, to spend my day with the pale visages of my peers and teachers – it didn’t seem right to me.
My feelings on the matter didn’t improve when I began work in an office. My joy at landing a job changed to terror when it dawned on me that I had been landed by the job.
More days of getting up when it was freezing cold and dark, with slick slippery frost on the pavements, to go somewhere (initially on a roaring, squealing bus) when my stomach was still plumping up the pillow beneath its head and groping sleepily for the clock. This time the aim was to spend the day with the polite but distant visages of colleagues. I wonder if it is a more relaxing business to rise early in a hot country? When there is ice lacing the window panes, both inside and out (as it used to do before we got any double-glazing), getting up before the sun is the last thing you feel like doing.
That old feeling of reluctance lingers. As a teleworker, when I don’t have to step outdoors if I really don’t want to, and ‘work’ involves making coffee and sitting down at my own friendly computers at my own desk – that’s marvellous compared to what went before. Once I would have killed to be allowed to do this. But I still find it incredibly hard to get up when it’s dark outside.