This morning I woke up without an alarm, feeling well-rested and ready to start my day after 7 and a half hours of sleep. Before my health crash, I was so arrogant and dismissive about the importance of good sleep. I worked hard. I played hard. I slept if and when I could squeeze it in. It was an afterthought. I was fond of saying, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.”
But eventually my body started talking back, and what she said was, “If you don’t slow down, that can be arranged.”
Getting enough sleep is one of my top priorities now. After just a few years of really honoring my body’s need for regular, predictable periods of sleep, it’s still kind of a novelty. I often marvel when I wake up in the morning feeling like I slept well.
One of the first thoughts I had upon waking this morning was about the passing of time. How is it already the last day of July? The tiny 8 pound puppy I brought home in May is now a 25 + pound puddle of wrinkles, snoring at my feet. My sweet babies are now 18, 21, and 23. I was a kid in the Midwest and now I’m forty in Massachusetts. I lived in three other states in the space between. I’ve been married to my wife for almost four years. I got sick, and then I got sicker, and now I’m healing. When I fell asleep it was dark and the world outside my window was quiet. Now the sun is shining and the birds are singing.
Ever since I was little I’ve had a reverence for the first and last days of all kinds of things. Beginnings and endings, whether large or small, have always felt worth noting to me. It’s not because they’re extraordinary (although some are). There’s always something beginning or ending. It feels good to me to find meaning and worthiness in the common. Everyday life is the altar at which I worship.
My puppy is no longer sleeping. She has the zoomies and she’s gleefully tearing around the apartment with a squeaky stuffed toy that looks like a dancing couple in her mouth. I hear the metallic clang of buttons and zippers against the whir of the dryer. Rogue Wave’s cover of Let My Love Open the Door is playing on Spotify. A thin slant of sunlight across the hardwood floor of my living room draws my eye away from the screen again and again. I just realized I need to floss my teeth. In this moment, this is what my life looks like. Even one minute from now, at least one of these things will have changed. The song will have changed, or the puppy will collapse in a tired heap. The dryer will buzz. A cloud might obscure the sun. Who can say?
The moment is fleeting. It won’t look like this for long. This moment will end and a new one will begin.
On this last day of July, I am enjoying what is, while it is. Tomorrow it will be August. Begin.