Right away I noticed quite a few pictures of sunsets and sunrises. Many of the sunsets are from the deck. May of the sunrises (I maybe shouldn’t admit) are from the window of the car going a little over 70 mph on the way to San Antonio in the morning for work.
I put all the sunrise/sunset pictures in one album and was struck by how similar they were. For the most part it was easy to tell which ones were taken in the morning and which in the evening but there were a couple where it wasn't so obvious. There also wasn’t a clear leader in which types were prettier. I found myself wanting to have a favorite. Did I prefer the sunrise or the sunset?
Maybe preferring one vs the other would somehow determine whether a person was a morning person or a night person. For myself, I’d like to think of myself as both. OK, for those of you that really really know me and just rolled your eyes a little bit, I said I’d "like" to think of myself as both not that I am both. You see I’m that person who wakes up every morning between 5:00 and 5:30 no matter what! I only use an alarm if I have to get up at like 3:00 am and even then I set it for 3:15 cuz I’ll wake up at 3:00 am if I tell myself to before I go to bed. It’s odd, I know, but true and it's not just me. There are others out there who have similar abilities. Even If I go to bed at 4:30, I’ll wake up between 5:00 and 5:30 and although I will most likely go back to sleep, it’s extremely rare for me to be asleep past 7:30 ever. In the last year, I’ve slept past 7:30 maybe 3 times.
Please don’t get me wrong here. This does not mean I’m a “jump outta bed, get at ‘em, go getter”. Quite the contrary, I just really enjoy the morning. This time of year especially, I like to hunker down in the covers, cuddle with the dogs, read a book, plop in front of the TV to catch up on-demand or maybe throw on some sweats and tennies, pull my hair back and drive to a lake to watch the sunrise with my sister for her birthday.
The other thing I like about getting up early, is thinking about and planning with giddy anticipation, a nap later in the middle of the day. The dogs get super excited if they see me go to the kitchen to fill my water bottle. They stop abruptly at the edge of the kitchen, watch intently on whether they’ll see the spark in me which means I’m headed downstairs to take a nap. I don’t know how they know for sure but as soon as I decide it's time in my head, they figure it out and run as fast as they can, sliding sideways on the hard wood floor, all four feet scrambling, as they corner the living room banister to catch the carpet of the stairs, taking 3 or 4 steps at a time with a final leap at the door and, what seems like, a slow motion hanging float in the air until they land on the bed, turn around, flop down and, with tails wagging, wait anxiously for me to get there.
I’m not always able to sleep (unlike them who seem to nod off instantly). Side note here, I had a roommate years ago who used to say "Sleep isn't important. Just laying there and resting does as much good for you as sleeping". Yeah, NO, I think that's BS personally but when it comes to napping in the middle of the day, I'm ok with not getting to sleep, the attempt is still blissful. Now if I am able to sleep, bonus, THEN I can potentially be a night person too!
As I continued thinking about this, a couple of things struck me: Number 1: I’m a morning person and as much as I’d “like” to think of myself as both, my only hope at being both is if I have a nap and that may only buy me til 11:00 pm. Number 2: What I find so pleasing about the sunset / sunrise pictures isn’t only the beauty in the colors, but also the recognition of taking a moment to appreciate the beauty in those colors.
That’s what I want more of - “recognize, acknowledge and appreciate”. Yeah, I know, even as I wrote it, it sounds a lot like “stop and smell the flowers”, right? Except, I don’t think it always has to involve the “stop”, maybe it can just be a “pause”. I want to be the kind of person who’s attentive to her surroundings and not only easily sees beauty in everything, but takes it in and lets it fill her. What a great time of year to put this into practice. There is so much beauty I pass by everyday so why not take pause to recognize it, acknowledge it for it’s beauty and appreciate it for being part of my day?
Today’s was a flock of wild turkeys in a hay field. At first I just passed by with a glimpse of them caught out of the corner my eye. For the next mile I couldn’t get them out of my head and felt compelled to turn around, go back and get a better look. It turns out the view wasn't the only cool part. I rolled down the window to take the picture below and was pleasantly surprised to hear the singing of their very loud gobbles.
I hope you’re enjoying a holiday season surrounded by warmth, love and beauty!