For years and years and years, I rose before dawn and took my coffee to my desk to write for a few hours before breakfast.
The Covid-19 pandemic and my cellphone changed that.
For the past two years I awoke and relished the thought that there was no rush. I couldn’t go anywhere – at least during the first pandemic lockdown. It was spring, with all the dirty weather that comes to Nova Scotia in late March, so the outdoors didn’t beckon.
And – I realized – I was tired. I felt exhausted from constant busy-ness but, to be fair, that was, and is, my own fault. I have a tendency to take on responsibilities that could or should be someone else’s, and to commit to crazy goals like making and sending festive cards to every last person I know (I always fail).
Fake responsibilities still wear out a person. The long days and deadlines of about 30 years as a news reporter and non-fiction author, involving a constant struggle associated with self-employment, were real. The guilt at not having enough time for family and friends, the challenge of moving my Mom to long-term care, and my volunteer commitments all weighed heavily. I developed stress-related health issues. Yeah, I was well and truly tired.
I began taking my coffee back to bed with me – and that is where my cellphone influenced my mornings.
It was a reluctant purchase, made at the urging of my husband, who worried about me while I was away from the house. I rarely used it until “the Covid” demonstrated that my phone let me read the news, chat with family and friends, and do puzzles without getting out of bed. My phone soon joined me and my coffee, wrapped up in the blankets.
The last quarter-cup of coffee would be cold, and I’d still be under the covers, searching for something new to read or play with. Breakfast became later, and later – and so did everything else.
It’s hard for me to make up lost time at the other end of the day, as I tend to crash by seven in the evening. My day was shorter. I was no longer tired, but lazy.
I began to complain that there was no time to write, to finish the multiple writing projects, to update my webpage and social media presence. Ridiculous. There was as much time in my day as at any previous time in my life.
This morning I got out of bed and brought my coffee to my desk. I wrote this post. It may not be the best work I’ve ever done, but it’s done.
My coffee is cold. The sky is getting pale.
Morning is breaking.