I love the early morning, it is my favorite time of day.  And I consider it a blessing that the rest of my family would rather not get up as early as I do.  I enjoy the alone time.  Usually, before the rest of the family is stirring, I have managed to pray and read scriptures, do some journal writing, do my stretching and spot exercises, and take the dog for a brisk mile and a half walk.  When I return from the walk I begin my ritual of preparing breakfast and greeting those in the family who are beginning to wake up and wander into the kitchen.  I protect my schedule vigorously.

Yesterday my regular morning schedule got messed up.  It started the night before when my daughter, Huh, was late getting home.  She’d had friends from her old school come to visit.  They didn’t have access to a car and so had caught TRAX (local commuter rail) out to the nearest station and Huh had picked them up in our car and brought them to the house.  At 10:45 p.m. Huh drove them back to the station.  The drop off should have taken only 20 to 25 minutes and then Huh should have been home.  When an entire hour had passed and Huh still wasn’t home I began calling her cell phone every few minutes.  It kept going straight to voice mail.  I have an overactive “worry gene” and began picturing in my mind everything that could have possibly gone wrong.  Did she have a flat tire?  Did she decide to drive her friends all the way home instead?  Had there been an accident?  The TRAX stations aren’t the safest places in the world, had there been some sinister person waiting in the shadows to jump my beautiful daughter, kidnap her, smuggle her out of the country, and doom her to a life of servitude in his country of origin???  Yup, overactive worry gene.  And I couldn’t go looking for her because Hub is out of town with our other vehicle.  

Huh finally returned about 30 minutes after I’d begun calling her cell phone.  She could tell I was angry.  She handed me her phone and gave her explanation.  There are fewer TRAX trains that run that late at night and so she’d waited with her friends in the car until a train arrived so that they wouldn’t be waiting alone in the station.  She’d tried to call but her phone battery had died (why can’t teenagers keep their phones charged?) and neither of her friends had a phone with them.  Okay, it was a pretty good explanation.  I calmed down.

“Go to bed,” I said.  “I love you, you know.  That’s why I worry so much.  If I didn’t love you I wouldn’t even care if you stayed out all night.”

Huh smiled.  “I know mom.  But, I would never do that to you.” 

That’s my girl.

I got to bed much later than I usually do.  Not to worry though, I could still get up at my regular time.  I would just be a little sleepy.  The sleep Gods were against me though.  Sometime in the wee hours of the morning I woke up worrying about my dad who had received disheartening news from a colonoscopy earlier in the week.  He is not handling the news in a healthy way.  And so I worry.  Is there a surgery or medication for overactive worry gene?

I finally managed to fall asleep around the time I am usually getting up.  It was a guilt ridden sleep though.  I kept emerging into semi-consciousness and thinking of what I needed to be doing.  Zzzzzz…I need to make hashbrowns…zzzzzz…I write in Hoob’s journal today…zzzzzz…I won’t feel like exercising…zzzzzz…maybe I’ll pray in my dream…zzzzzz.  I was awakened by Mack gently shaking me.  “Mom, Yawlin and I need a ride to tennis lessons.”

And so my day began.  A full two hours later than usual.  It was so hard to drag myself out of bed.  While I drove Mack and Yawlin to tennis lessons I was berating myself for everything I hadn’t yet gotten done.  In my mind the entire day’s schedule was ruined and my guilt was intense.  I did manage to do some stretching exercises and take the dog for his walk before it was time to pick my kids up from their tennis lesson.  I fixed breakfast when we returned home.  The scripture reading and journaling happened later in the day.  All of the housework and other items on my to-do list still got done, albeit a little later than usual.

As I reflected on it before bed I realized something.  Lightening didn’t strike when the scripture reading happened in the afternoon instead of the morning.  The Journal Police didn’t show up at my door demanding why journaling hadn’t yet occurred.  The Exercise Police must have looked the other way when I walked the dog later in the morning.  And the Laundry Police must have taken the day off.  There were no major consequences for sleeping in one morning.  There was no reason to be so hard on myself for giving in to the need to sleep.  Sometimes I am so hard on myself.  No, ALOT of the time I am hard on myself.  There was no reason to be.  The world didn’t stop spinning just because I didn’t get up at my usual time.  The guilt was unnecessary. 

Lesson learned:  Um, maybe all those police are in my head???

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