My 2 & 1/2 year old son does not sleep late. Ever. I now am an early riser, though I'm not a cheerful early riser. I'm dreading Daylight Savings this Sunday; we'll "fall back" and I fear that means Gareth will be getting up at 5 instead of 6. That's TOO EARLY.
I voted early this year - the first day I could. I feel that I should now be exempt from all political chatter, as I have done my civic duty. I wish there was some way to input a "I voted early" code into my tv or computer that would then filter out all political chatter till after November 6th.
Saturday I got up very very very early (even earlier than usual) and left home by 6am to go visit Cliff. It was cold and I'm pretty sure God was still asleep. On a gruesome note, there is a LOT of road kill on the side of country highways very early in the morning.
I celebrated Thanksgiving early this year - Saturday afternoon, in fact.
In just a few short weeks I'll be reliving the past: the one year anniversary of Cliff's trial, conviction and incarceration is just on the horizon. And because it happened JUST before Thanksgiving, and because Daddy got his cancer diagnosis JUST DAYS before Thanksgiving, I knew this year that the holiday would be full of bad memories. So, instead of having Thanksgiving and the beginning of the holiday season ruined, I decided that I was going to have Thanksgiving early, preempting the weight of the anniversary of "All the Evil."
My mother, father, brother and sister-in-law all came to Waco for what we called "Harvest Day" or "Late Canadian Thanksgiving" and we had all of the traditional holiday foods: turkey, gravy, stuffing, rolls, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, green salad, pumpkin pie, & strawberry rhubarb pies. I made the pies and cranberry sauce the day before, brined the turkey, prepped fresh green beans from my father's garden, and my mother generously prepared everything else. And it was not fraught with pain - we'll call that a win.
Sometimes "early" is unavoidable - especially if you have small children. Sometimes "early" is by necessity - a measure of responsibility and time-management. Sometimes "early" is a matter of survival - an attempt to preempt suffering or loss. I think about "early" a lot. If only Cliff had confessed EARLIER, he would have been able to accept a plea deal with a vastly shorter sentence. If only I had confronted Cliff about his patterns of infidelity EARLIER, he could have gotten help and (maybe?) avoided his crimes. If only....
But I can't change the past, and ruminating on if only's is a recipe for disaster, so now I just consider the "early" that I can control. I CAN have Thanksgiving early so I can enjoy it. I CAN plan a birthday party for myself early so that I don't spend the day ruminating on what I'm missing. I CAN make plans with friends and family early so that I don't spend day after day after day without adult companionship. I CAN schedule therapy appointments early so that I make my mental health a priority. I CAN vote early so that I don't spend election day in long lines listening to political opinions I find alarming.
So right now, I'm trying to think ahead, trying to plan early for the "DAY OF", trying to build an emotional fall-out shelter to survive the storms of grief that are right on the horizon. The Early Bird gets the worm? For me, it will probably be more like, the Early Girl has enough wine.