“When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.” – Mark Twain
I love that quote.
I also think you could increment the ages to 21 and 28, or 28 and 35, or 35 and 42 – it’d still be valid.
On my walk to the bus stop early this morning I thought to myself: “When did I become an old man?”
The thought entered my head because It just struck me how much I crave and need my morning routine, which goes like this:
Go to bed before 10PM.
Fall asleep reading some fiction.
Wake up naturally at 5AM.
Use the restroom.
Maybe crawl back into bed and catch a few more Zs before alarm goes off at 5:45AM.
Enjoy my quiet walk through Downtown Boulder to the bus stop.
Ride bus, listen to music and enjoy the sunrise.
On days where this is interrupted, and I don’t get this type of quiet self reflection time, my emotional state can change dramatically.
I get grumpy and I am not pleasant to be around.
When I was younger, my sleep schedules were all over the place. I was a night owl. I’d often pull all-nighters working. On the weekends, I would close down the bars at 2AM.
As a result, my moods were all over the place too.
So now I realize maybe why all those “old guys” like to wake up early.
Maybe they have figured out that keeping routines and rhythms is a good thing for their emotional well being and spiritual health.
Or maybe they just like a little peace and goddamn quiet.
Either way, the old men might know something.