The Curse of the Morning Mind

Do you ever worry that you’re turning into your Dad? My dad had many good qualities, but I always worried about his pride at waking up around 4am every morning, guzzling a 7-11 super mug-sized liter of homemade coffee and then falling asleep around 7pm every night.

Here’s me this morning. I slept in until 6:30 (It is quarantine time, with no one getting up for “work” or “school”). I made my coffee, made heat for the house and then sat down for my morning read.

When my husband wakes up a while later and asks “what’s happening this morning?” as he does every morning, I say something like “well I figured out why formerly fiscal conservatives (aka Republicans and Neolib Dems) are no longer concerned with amassing federal debt. It’s because we are increasingly financializing our economy and those in the financial industry want nothing more than for us to be in debt because it keeps us in servitude to banks who practice predatory lending to local, state, and federal governments. Just look at Puerto Rico, which has been an economic experiment since we colonized it—we aren’t interested in grassroots, sustainable economic development, we’re only interested in their ability to have a good credit rating so that they can be in a position to borrow more money so the banks can make more money and why in the world are we so afraid of talking about revenues? Why is revenue such a bad word in government, or at least in politics? And OMG, we’re about to be taken for a real ride here, with our economy tanking. If we don’t start talking about revenues, the authoritarian-oligarchic-financial sector take over of our government in our neoliberalism late capitalist system will be complete and we will be fucked.”

Also, “there’s hot coffee for you, my love.”

He’s a little less of a morning person, but I can draw him in to one or two mini-conversations where he provides his own observation that is so astute—like “and conservatives don’t care about debt because they’re just in a hurry to get to heaven.”

And then, “Anyway, that’s not what I want to talk about right now.”

Every morning is like this. After his coffee kicks in, he’ll start back up and he’s glorious—presenting one ferocious and informed and insightful opinion after the other on the current state of affairs. I love this wake-up back-and-forth time. In this covid-19 time, I have no where to rush off to, and I can settle in to our daily back-and-forth.

The kids get up, ask about breakfast, and my day gets started. My day gets away from me and there I go, doing the things everyone else is doing, making food, doing dishes, facilitating online school for two boys still learning the technology. I literally could do dishes all day if I wanted to do dishes all day. I sometimes “help” my husband rake rocks out of the dirt or carry buckets of debris or carry very heavy timbers, but I’m honestly not much help.

I’ve tried to drink less coffee, I’ve tried to get more sleep, but I’m having a moment. I’m a pretty high-functioning human, but there’s always a little part of me that’s manic and anxiety-ridden. The work seems urgent at 5am when my mind is racing. By noon I’ve turned into mush.

The days go on forever, but sometimes I fear the end of this lockdown too—that it’s going to surprise me and end suddenly and I’ll be completely unprepared to be a social human in the world again. I must accomplish something.

I am in transition and already was before the world turned upside down. I like to think I’m turning into something world-shattering, but in reality, just like everyone else, I’m growing in spite of myself even if mostly I’m just doing the dishes.

And yes, perhaps I’m just turning into my sleepless Dad.

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