Saturday, May 15, 2010


Once upon a time, I rose early every morning and ran 5 or 10 miles before eating breakfast, putting on a suit, driving off to work and punching in by 8 am. Now I tend to stay up much later and rise at 7 or 7:30. If I punch in, it's not until 10 or 11. I managed to put in a 9-hour day several days ago, but I didn't punch out until 11:30 (pm). So much for "early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise." I feel pretty healthy and wealthy anyway, but I've got a long row to hoe before I'm close to wise (unlike Norma, who was born Wyse, ho-ho).

Today I reverted. Up soon after 6, we finished milking the goats and I was off and running at ten 'til eight. After breakfast I read and summarized a court decision or two, then was amazed the clock read 10:30. I checked another clockface to be sure. I felt richer than usual, with an hour and a half left until noon.

I'm reminded of a conductor friend of mine who warns folks not to call him before ten or eleven. Professional musicians, like actors and other entertainers, tend to stay up late, perhaps I should say early, and rise late. Try sleeping after a 10 pm run or late night speech and you might understand why. Many singers don't like to eat before a concert, so they chow down at 11 or 12. Try going to sleep right after that.

"What's this all about?" asks Virginia. "Who cares?"

"I'm just thinking about tolerance," I say. "It's so easy to believe what you or I do is right and if others are different, they're wrong, stupid, unhealthy, lazy or crazy. I was well into my thirties before I realized some people going on a trip hop into their car and start driving, instead of checking a map like I (usually) do."

"It takes all kinds," says Virginia.

"To do what," I say, "waste gas hunting for their destination?"

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