I Can Explain

socs-badgeI had planned to write at least one post during Linda’s absence from the Stream of Consciousness Saturday promptmaster role. I wanted to show some appreciation for the wonderful volunteers who filled in for her. But… There really isn’t a good ‘but’ here, I could have done it. Then again, I was working on some other posts, I was busy at work…

“I ran out of gas. I… I had a flat tire. I didn’t have enough money for cab fare. My tux didn’t come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from out of town. Someone stole my car. There was an earthquake. A terrible flood. Locusts! It wasn’t my fault, I swear to God!”

And, yes, I stole that rambling series of excuses from Jake Blues in the original Blues Brothers movie, probably the greatest excuse scene (video) in a movie ever.

I am glad to see this particular promptexcuse’ because I was image hoping to be able to write for the SoCS this weekend. Like Linda, I have been on the road. Not as far (I think) as Linda and not for as long (of this I’m sure) as her, but on the road is on the road. It’s hard to write while traveling for business. It’s harder to write while traveling for leisure, unless you’re traveling with my daughter and you’re a morning person like me. We travel and we stay up late but I still get up before 6:30 am. She…well let’s just leave it at: she doesn’t.

So I have time to write. We try to stay in hotels that have a desk where I can work and angle my laptop away from her bed. The best hotel is the Hyatt Place North Shore in Pittsburgh in which the rooms include a lounge area that is separate from the bedroom area. They aren’t separate rooms, in that you can angle the TV to be seen from either, but the desk is isolated from the sleeping area. It’s the best hotel because it sits between Heinz Field and PNC Park.

Being a morning person isn’t my fault either. My excuse is my father. I’ve mentioned this before, the man was an early bird. He was a mailman and he started work at 6:30 am. That meant that he left for work at 5:45. It was only a 15 minute ride to work, but he wanted to be early. He wanted to get his coffee, line up the stuff he needed for his day, read the paper and be ready to work at 6:30. None of this running through the door and stamping that timecard at 6:50:55 for him. 6:50:55 you ask? The Post Office ran on military time. Actually, I was never in the military so for all I know they ran on a postal variant of military time. In any case, our time clock had 100 divisions during each hour, even though it had a normal analog clock face.

I worked at that same post office image during several summers. On the rare occasion that my father and I were both working the 6:30 – 3:30 “day shift,” we would ride together, a.k.a. I would drive him to work. He spent most of his life behind the wheel of something and he hated to drive. Both my brother and I had been told “the minute you get your permit, you’re driving me everywhere” and that threat / promise came to fruition. Of course, when you’re 16, there’s no such thing as too much driving. However, when you’re 19, there is such a thing as too dang early in the morning. The idea that I was taking a job that often required me to start work at 3:00 AM seemed absurd. However, the fact that that job paid more than three times the then current minimum wage and that was not absurd at all.

Somewhere during the course of several summers, I became a morning person. I became my father. I started getting up and going to work early. To this day, I am usually at work an hour before I need to be. I am on the flex-time schedule of 7:30 am to 3:30 pm but I feel late if I am not at my desk by 6:30. I like to get my coffee, take care of anything that is really bugging me and to catch up on things.

So there you have it, that’s my excuse. My father activated those dormant genes that he knew he had passed along to me.

61 thoughts on “I Can Explain

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  1. Being a morning person has often come to my rescue. It gives me that time to myself to sort my day out, and maybe even the state of mind before I go headlong into the day. That is also the time I get inspired to write. You take it away and I’ll probably end up with crap! So there.. I understand.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for stopping by and adding a comment. I agree. That time before I officially start my day helps me get ready to organize my thoughts. We have a few people in our office who begin early and they usually operate very quietly. We all seem to understand why we came early.

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    1. I totally agree about the me time, and my father would agree that if you’re on time, you’re late. I can’t remember the last time I was late for anything. I even get to the dentist early. Thanks for the comment.

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  2. Nice post! My dad was always a morning person. He made a lot of noise in the morning too. My mom (she and I are both night owls!) always said that morning people came from a “bent branch of the genetic tree” ;-) now I am forced by my work to get up super early some days!

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  3. I am in awe of morning people, I try my best to hunker down and be one on a daily basis. My two parents sets of genes, though, have ‘night owl,’ in them. They could get by on four to five hours a night during the week of sleep. They had to get up early, one a teacher and one an engineer, but they were sleep until noon on weekends and after 55, permanently on retirement. I like the way you used the prompt and this was a great piece of thoughtful writing… Stopped by, Dan, to wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and the best in the new year, too!! Hugs, Robin

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    1. Thanks so much Robin for your support of this blog. I share the same wish for you, now and into the new year. Four or five hours wouldn’t work for me, I do it when I have to, but I get cranky.

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  4. “Of course, when you’re 16, there’s no such thing as too much driving. However, when you’re 19, there is such a thing as too dang early in the morning.” – this put me in stitches – oh, so true!! But just like you, once I was old enough to start working – I was always early on the job and now that I’m retired, I’m still up early. I went from a preteen that could sleep till noon to 5am everyday – who would have guessed?

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  5. Great use of your prompt, Dan. You write memories of your Dad and brother like I’m watching the old black & white reels with the projector whirl in the background 😋

    I’ve always been a morning person, rising at 5am to workout before work and in bed promptly at 10pm. The last two years, I’ve been creeping towards midnight, 1am and 2am. I totally blame reading blogs. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it.

    My excuse for not putting up a Christmas post, which I fully intended, is we all got hit with the flu – we all had the shots, but apparently a strain wasn’t in the vaccine. I’m on the mend, as are the grandkids, but Hub woke up with it this a.m. So … Merry Christmas; stay healthy; I look forward to our friendship growing in the New Year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Sammy, I’m so sorry to hear about the flu. The one and only time I had a flu shot, I got the worst case of flu I’ve ever had. Thanks for the nice compliment, and good use of the prompt in your comment. I hope you all recover before Christmas and that you can enjoy the holiday. I do enjoy reading your posts, so shoot for New Years if you can. Thanks for reading (but I am not responsible for your being rundown and getting the flu) and for taking the time to comment.

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  6. I don’t mind morning people so long as they don’t 1. wake me 2. think they’re better than night owls.
    Ugh. My parents are morning people. I can’t really blame anyone for my being a night owl, but I suspect summers at the lake with my grandparents might be a contributor. My grandfather worked evenings and came home after midnight. He’d have a cocktail and I’d be sent to bed around two am, where I’d read until Grandma showed up in the bedroom, and then I’d fall asleep to her reading. I’d wake up to Perry Mason and breakfast around noon.
    Waking to an alarm is an all-too-common atrocity humanity faces. It’s unbearably painful and happens to me five or six days a week. I don’t mind when I wake up on my own, but to wake with an alarm? Oh the horror.

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    1. Oh I so relate to you; I hate alarms too and wish I could wake up each day whenever I wanted! I like your look back to what may have given you your night-owl inclinations. I am one too and think it stems from years growing up being aware my mom was still up late watching Johnny Carson; I’d often come out and ask to stay up and she’d often let me, especially if it was a weekend. Now, I am firmly anti-morning and wish society would let me live my life accordingly. :)

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      1. Just to reinforce what I said above, I’m not judging AT ALL. Stay up, sleep in, I don’t care. When I work around my house, I try to limit the noise until after 8:00 M-F and after 9:00 on Saturday. Everyone should be allowed to find their rhythm and enjoy life. Thanks for dropping by.

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    2. I am a pretty good morning person. I try not to wake others, although everyone here but the dog is already up when I roll out of bed at 5:00-5:15 M-F. Yeah, we’re a sick household. The other thing my father stressed is that “you are no better than anyone else” so I’m fine with night owls. People that work off-shifts do have an excuse. My mom was never a morning person, but she worked 2nd shift for a long time.

      I do have an advantage though, I almost never wake to an alarm. I set them when I travel, but I am always up just before it goes off. I don’t know how, but even when I’ve had to get up at 3:00 to pack up and get to the airport for an early flight, I’m awake at 2:55 or so. Thanks for the comment Joey

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    3. I’m a morning person but I love waking up before anyone else does, and the more time I have without others being up, the happier I am. If I were to be a guest in your home or you in mine, we’ll get along just fine.

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  7. I am a morning person because of my dad, too! I think it’s genetic. Unfortunately, while I would love to use the morning to write, my kids are morning people too and get up wayyy too early for my taste. So I don’t get much writing in.

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    1. My wife is also a morning person, but one who likes it quiet. We squirrel away in our respective comfy spots. If your kids are in their teens, or remain morning people when they get to that stage, you may have a shot at a world record. Thanks for adding a comment.

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  8. Don’t we all make excuses? As always I like how you tie a writing challenge to your personal life experiences. We end up being our parents, I read once. A little scary, isn’t it? But they also pass on to us some good habits. Work ethic and being a morning person aren’t bad at all. In my case this is my husband who turned me into a morning person. Yet deep inside I’m still an owl.
    Like you my family likes the hotel rooms with distinct lounge/work area that allow privacy. Good excuse to say up late for me!

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    1. Thanks Evelyne. I’m pretty happy to be like my dad in many ways. My daughter and I divide the room according to owl/early bird lines. She claims the bed near the TV and I take the one near the desk. I’m so happy that IBM added the LED keyboard light to the laptop screen and that Lenovo kept it there. She keeps the sound low and I try to remember to mute mine in the morning. Wait until (perhaps it’s already happened) your children realize that they are like you :)

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  9. I had to read all of the comments before mine to make sure what I wanted to say hadn’t been said. I guess I’m safe. :P

    The quote you put in by Jake Blues reminded me of another one for one of my favorite movies. Because I’m female, it’s a chick flick, of course. In “You’ve Got Mail”, Tom Hanks tried his darnedest to explain why he didn’t meet Meg Ryan for coffee. As he writes the email, he is fully aware that the whole thing is a lie. A very funny scene.

    Now, what you said about why you wake up so early doesn’t sound like an excuse to me. It sounds like a reason. It does fully explain, with truth, why you’re a morning person. (Just my opinion. :) )

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll go with your logic Glynis. You’re way makes it sound like there’s nothing wrong with being a morning person (which is my opinion). I did see “you’ve Got Mail” but I don’t remember that scene. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment or two.

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  10. I’ve become so accustomed to getting up early, Dan, so you are not alone. My cats make sure I am up IF I decide to play lazy. The saying comes to mind … “The early bird gets the worm.” (smile) May you and your Loved ones have a very Merry Christmas!!! Love, Amy

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  11. I really enjoyed reading this, Dan (even though I don’t have a valid excuse for being on WordPress when I should be Christmas shopping). I’m guessing that your early-bird habits cut down on your need to give excuses, whether at work or elsewhere.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Ditto. My Dad was in the Navy. He spent over thirty years getting up at 4:30 to go to the Borden Co plant and do inventory and keep books. I am such a morning person and my husband is SO not. Even if I can drag him out of bed early, he will take just that much more time to drink coffee and “wake up”. If I sleep past 7:30 I feel a loss. We are just so weird…lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 4:30 is too early for me. Sometimes, I get up at 4:45 so I can exercise, but I actually have the clock near the bed set 30 minutes ahead. I know what time it really is, but it looks like it’s 5:15 and somehow, that helps me get out of bed. I can’t remember the last time that I was still in bed at 7:30 but I’m guessing I was sick.

      Thanks for the comment.

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  13. I’m a morning person too, but I wasn’t until my 30’s. Until then I could sleep til noon. My kids are still late sleepers, and I cherish the quiet early hours that I have to myself to have my first cuppa, read the news, do a little stretching out/yoga, and greet the day slowly on my terms before the rest the house wakes up and all is chaos.

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  14. Nice post! I have to be at work for 8:10 AM, but if I am not there by 7:40, feel as if I am running late. There is a certain leisure about getting to work and taking my time to start my morning. I don’t like rushing at all in the mornings.

    I can emphasize with your dad for not wanting to drive once the boys got their license- I used to work in a grocery store and now shopping for grocery can be a chore!

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  15. I read this post and I thought I left a comment about my own horrors of waking up too early, even on days that I do not go to work. But I didn’t see my comment, so here I am doing it again. I am an inveterate early riser. No matter what I do about it. My whole sleep pattern is really nasty. Some days, nothing comes at all. And any sound can wake me up from an even incredible deep sleep. Some days the thought of going to bed fills me with dread and I have to stay up till morning. Lying awake at night makes me dread going to bed. So I just stay up, reading, Math, writing, etc. Recently, a certain doctor asked me to go for eye check up and brain scan. I didn’t go. I don’t trust our doctors. There is a time they killed a little girl. They amputated her arm and left it to rot until it was black as soot. It was on TV. There are other horrifying stories about them. So I think I’ll just hang on to the horror of sleeplessness.

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