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Farewell, snooze button
Stuff 'n Nonsense 3-13-24

For most of my life, I’ve never been an early bird or a night owl. I usually landed somewhere in the middle, like a permanently exhausted pigeon. But recently, something has changed, and now my eyes pop open earlier than I’d like, almost against my will.

I’m not sure how it happened, but since committing to the 6 a.m. workout session at the local gym, my internal clock has adjusted to ring the alarm at 4:45-5 a.m. without fail, even on days when I can sleep in.

On one hand, it’s nice to roll out of bed without wanting to sob into my pillow from exhaustion. On the other hand, I miss the days of being able to sleep until 8 a.m. (on weekends).

However, as an early bird now, my peepers start the shut-down process around 8:30 p.m., and I’m snuggled in bed by 9 p.m., asleep by 9:30 p.m.

This reminds me of a conversation I had with my grandfather, Don, before he passed. He shared that he was asleep before 8 p.m. (sometimes in bed by 7 p.m.), and as I started to tease him, he revealed that he was also up and working by 3 a.m. At the time, I couldn’t make sense of that schedule and shuddered at the thought of following such a routine.

But now, it’s starting to make sense.

If I were heading to bed around 7 p.m., I’m pretty sure my eyes would pop open at 3 a.m., too.

I believe in listening to your body and giving it what it needs to thrive. If my body likes this new sleep routine, then I will be the early riser and peacefully drift into Slumberland by 9:30 p.m. because I feel healthier than I have in years.

Here’s another truth: if we’re not changing, we’re not growing. We have to be willing to evolve, adapt, and be open to new ways if we’re going to enjoy everything life has to offer.

Five years ago, if you had told me that I would be waking up to hit the gym at 6 a.m. every day, I would’ve said you’d bumped your head and should see a doctor.

But today, here we are.

And I like it here.

So, I guess the early bird does get the worm—but will have to DVR all the nighttime shows she’s sleeping through.

That’s a trade I can live with.


Kim Van Meter is a former full-time reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Escalon Times and The Riverbank News; she continues to provide a monthly column. She can be reached at