With Attitude, Timing Is Everything


What a surprise to wake up and find a white world, after watching eight pairs of jeans flapping in a sun-warmed breeze just the day before! In March, we should expect the unexpected with weather.

As I drove cautiously over snow-covered roads on my way to Salem, the sign at Mason’s Steak House, that I mentioned in an earlier column, read “5 days till spring.” Too bad that the date on our calendars doesn’t mean there’s a seasonal dial for atmosphere that we can switch like we do our clocks.

In a few days, we will all have to adjust as well as we can to the time change. After a few weeks, we’ll find the mornings growing brighter and be glad for longer sunlight in the evening. No matter where we set our sundials and clock dials, there are some biological clocks that remain set as usual.

Our animals, having no concept of our timely trappings, will be ready to be fed when they usually expect it. They’ll be ready to turn in when the twilight feels right to them, same as ever.

My kids will still want to snuggle in their beds as long and late as possible, their ears deaf to my loud pleas to rise and get ready for school, their minds lulled in slumber oblivious to the rising sun.

I’ve always been one who rises with the sun.

Although I don’t mind lounging in bed when I have a chance, reading or just thinking about the day to come, I don’t like to stay too long. I’m ready to be awake; it’s time to be doing something while I’m fresh; and it’s time to eat. I think I’ve mentioned before that if someone wakes me and immediately sticks a breakfast tray under my nose, I will gladly greet it and dig in.

When I read articles about the importance of breakfast, how much we benefit from it in so many ways, I wonder where I went wrong with my kids. They rarely want to eat anything in the morning so it remains one of my constant frustrations to get them to have breakfast before they go to school.

This is clearly not simply a case of setting an example because they have watched me indulge daily within the hour of my waking since their lives began.

I’m discovering that it might be a question of marketing. This applies two ways: how I buy the food that I offer them for breakfast and how it sells itself to them – its appeal.

My girls have grown up in the commercial world of today where packaging, timing, and repeated exposure to the familiar help determine what we buy.

When their dad and I bring home fast food breakfast sandwiches, it’s amazing how their morning attitude changes. They are up dressing quickly so they have time to eagerly unwrap the much advertised food that is worth getting up for.

It’s interesting how they also rise willingly on a white morning like this when they’ve discovered there’s no school. Their clocks tick awake with the easy smile of an unexpected play day. I enjoy their good humor when I can – just so they feed the dog at her usual time.

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