The last couple of weeks have seen a change in my daily routine, a change that came about in an odd way.
My family loves to tease me, about anything and everything. Frankly there are times when I amaze myself, because I always laugh and almost never get upset with them. One such occasion recently had my loved ones speculating on the value of their “own personal retirement plan”—me. I’ve been fortunate to have found myself with a following. People actually buy my books! It’s exciting to me, because it means people are reading my words. That means, I’m a real writer!
Of course, my loved ones can sometimes have a more, shall we say, material view of things. One day, the entire gist of their teasing revolved around the idea someone had to chain me to my desk. The theory was that if I was chained to my desk, I could write more than I already was, thus completing more books in less time.
This was one of those occasions where, it wasn’t so much that I became upset as I did have something to say right back at them: If they wanted me to write more, then they needed to see what they could do to relieve me of some of the many things I do every day that cut into my writing time.
One of the tasks that I have been performing since the dawn of time—or so it feels—is getting up very early each day to take Mr. Ashbury to work. Mr. Ashbury doesn’t drive, you see, and so he must be driven to his job, and brought home again every day. There’s no public transportation—he works in a rural community.
On any given day I would take him there and then come home; only to return to pick him up at the end of his shift, and then come home again.
This is a drive of 100 miles each and every day, taking a total of about three hours. Because I arise so early to make this daily, morning drive, I get home again anywhere from 6:45 to 7 am—and then I generally have to go back to bed, unless it’s a day I have my grandchildren to help get ready for school, first. Bottom line, I still have to have a morning nap, and don’t fully get busy with my own agenda until sometime after 10:30.
In the last few months I’ve noticed this early morning drive has seemed a bit more difficult than it used to be. As far as I’m concerned there’s no mystery there. I am simply getting older.
My family took my comment to heart. Two weeks ago, my daughter took over this morning commute, taking her father to work each day. She uses my car, and then gets to use it for most of her own work day, too. It’s a good deal for both of us, as I have more time and am less tired, and she saves money on gas, and wear and tear on her own vehicle, which quite honestly has seen better days.
She also picks him up in the afternoon, on all but 2 days of the week.
I don’t think I fully appreciated how much the early rise/early drive took out of me until I didn’t have to do it anymore. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this is a permanent arrangement. One never knows, because circumstances can change.
But as long as it lasts, I’m going to enjoy it. I’ll be grateful for each and every day that I get to wake up on my own—so far, it’s been between 7:30 and 8:30. I can ease into my day, and not have to worry about anything except waking up my brain and then getting to work.
And yes, I’m pleased to report that without that long drive and subsequent extra sleep, I have been able to get in a lot more writing every day.
Less wasted time feeling drowsy and more time being productive. What could be better than that?