There is a sense of space to it. Here I am, awake, all by myself with no distractions except cold feet, and I can do anything I want, even put on socks so I can think of other things I might want to do. There is the self-evident: I can write. I can also order one more Christmas present. I could update my commonplace book, tidy my office, floss my teeth, research soap operas, take out the trash, read, paint with watercolors, compare my editions of Don Quixote… I probably shouldn’t play loud music and dance, just in the interest of family harmony, but really my good judgment is the only limiting factor. Good thing I have a rule about that.
Digression: When I worked at Canterbury, I developed two essential rules. I later had to add a third because certain people failed to understand how the first two rules applied in particular circumstances. Perhaps I am giving up my chance to make a gazillion dollars and work the talk-show circuit by expressing them so briefly rather than blathering on for 300 pages and marketing the results as the best self-help system ever, but:
1. Don’t be a jerk.
2. Use your good judgment.
3. No sangria ever, under any circumstances.
Following these three rules will lead to community harmony, clean kitchens, and shiny, bouncy hair. Or something like that. End of digression.
The contrary force to the sense of space I get in being up right now instead of cuddled up under the covers is one of hopelessness. All my plans for today, which, admittedly, are subject to change without notice because today is Thursday The Official Day On Which Nothing Can Be Accomplished, seem absolutely impossible. How can I possibly function? I’ve been up since 2! What do you mean I still have to be a useful and clean and moderately cheerful individual?
It will all be fine. The artificial energy generated by the shower I’m going to take when I’m done typing may evaporate by the time I’ve got the kids safely off to school, but I’m pretty sure that the inspectors aren’t going to come around to see if I’m making widgets at the approved rate; I can go back to bed before my strenuous poetry lunch.
I’d still rather be sleeping. Oh well.