I’m a morning person. Dracula is more of a morning person compared to most of the people I know, which I suppose is fortunate for me as I can devote the time I’d be chit chatting with other humans to getting some writing done. Some people cannot handle the energy I feel in the early morning hours and have established a rule that I cannot speak with them until they’ve had their coffee, which is a boundary I try to respect, although nobody is perfect and sometimes I’ll squeeze in a, “Hey, I had this crazy dream last night where the dog started talking to me in pig latin and…” That’s typically when I get the stare and know to shut up.

This morning, I woke up before sunrise at my parents’ place in Ft. Lauderdale. Given that they are 90 and 89, I didn’t expect them to be up to hear about the crazy dream I had about my sister’s new dog earning her black belt in karate and who has dreams of opening up her own dojo, but figured that my twin brother, who trained for years in the martial arts, might be interested. Before I could even open my mouth, he just stared at me and said, “Too early.” So I said, “F*ck it, Salesman’s like What up? What’s your budget? And I’m like, Honestly, I don’t know nothing about mopeds. He said, I got the one for you, follow me.”

Apologies for that; sometimes I go into random Macklemore songs when I write before I’ve had my coffee. Without anyone to talk to, I strapped on my running shoes and went for a run up A1A— just a short 5K to start off the weekend before the sun came up. It was nice to not dress like a ninja for a change as the weather has still been cold back home in Connecticut.

The sun had not come up yet when I was done with the run so I decided to walk to the beach and wait for it. After sitting down, I felt my phone buzz—it was Mia, my sister and the only other morning person I know, who had forwarded me a job posting to send to my son as she knows he’s hunting for a summer internship (incidentally, if any of you reading this needs an intern who is skilled at script writing, video capture, and video editing, check out his portfolio here).

She was up early with her new dog, Kodiak, or KoKo for short.  Apparently, the dog wanted to practice some katas before her morning walk. I appreciated that Mia is looking out for her nephew and hope that her dog doesn’t break a toe while training in the martial arts. My friend Dan Scherer can relate.

During our exchange I realized that this sunrise was taking a long time. Now, there were clouds on the horizon and I was worried that perhaps this morning’s awakening would not be anything to write home (or a blog post) about. I wasn’t alone on the beach—other morning people were there, mostly alone, looking for the same inspiration I was. Were we all going to be disappointed?

My mind started to wonder about all the things I’d done this week and all I had to do next week. Then I heard a wave crash on the beach which reminded me that there was nothing I could do about what happened and that it was pointless to worry about what will be— the task at hand was simply to experience the here and the now. But gosh, the sun was taking so long to rise. Doesn’t it know that I have places to go and coffee to drink, lest I quote Macklemore again?

Here’s what I realized, though, at that moment, about the sunrise—you can’t rush it. It happens on its own time. No amount of pressure from yours truly will cause the earth to spin any faster and force the sun over the horizon. Then I started to question why I was always in such a rush. It’s like everyday I have a punch list of things I have to do and find more joy in crossing them off my list then in actually experiencing them. This has been true for as long as I can remember and is in stark contrast to how young children experience the world.

I remember taking my kids to the park when they were younger and, while I enjoyed watching them play, my mind was always racing to the next thing we had to do that day. Meanwhile, they were having the time of their lives just living in the moment and not worrying about what they were going to have for dinner, taking an evening bath, and what Wiggles tape they were going to watch before going to bed (Most likely Hoop Dee Doo, It’s a Wiggly Party, if I had any say in the matter). Kids have the ability to just enjoy the moment, which is partly why they get so resistant when it’s time for those moments to end.

And that’s when I realized that I had missed the sunrise. I was so deep in thought that the sun had come up and I missed it, kind of like Linus missing the Great Pumpkin, though I left my blue blanket at home (truth be told, I had, okay have, a bear, not a blanket, but still). Clearly I’m still a work in progress at living in the moment, but at least I’m more aware of it and will try not to rush through things just to get them done. 

There’s an expression that goes, “Getting there is half the fun” and there is a lot of truth in that. If you ask me and my brother about memories of the vacations we took as kids, we undoubtedly would bring up something that happened on the drive to and from where we were going (we rarely traveled by air growing up). The fun stuff (or not so fun stuff, but the stuff we laugh hysterically about now) always happened on the drive. We need these reminders from time to time, and I was happy to get one this morning, on the beach, texting with my sister and completely missing the sunrise.

What’s on the rest of my list today? Well, “I’m gonna pop some tags, only got twenty dollars in my pocket. I’m, I’m, I’m huntin’ looking for a come-up. This is freaking awesome.” Damnit! There I go again quoting Macklemore. Time for coffee!