The day was dreary, gloomy and overcast,
The darkness pulled my thoughts to the past,
Where life’s joys and triumphs had happened all too fast,
And my memories were faded, because nothing ever lasts.
The alarm clock droned in my ear.
Sometimes it was piercing, sometimes I couldn’t hear it at all, and sometimes I was in a dreamy state where I knew it was going off and I should turn it off but it was mellow, muted, and so I felt no great sense of urgency to deal with it. It was one of those mornings.
Still it droned on.
I cracked open my eyes, a sliver, to see how much light was pouring through the gaps in the blinds and was pleasantly surprised that I could open them without daylight frying my retinas and the sharp pain that always accompanied that. Sadly, that wasn’t really a good thing as it meant the morning was once again overcast.
I hadn’t seen the sun in several days and it was starting to effect me. I didn’t have seasonal affective disorder, but I had found that the longer I went without seeing the sun the lousier I felt, the more despondent I became. The harder it was to talk myself out of bed and head to the job I dreaded.
The alarm continued to beep away. I was aware of it but still felt no urge to silence it.
I turned my head away from the blinds and opened my eyes fully to stare up at the ceiling. I knew I needed to get up and get started with my day, it was going to be another busy one, but I didn’t yet have enough control over my body to make it do my bidding. My mind knew what it should do, my body had the capacity to follow those instructions, but they weren’t yet communicating as they normally would.
The overhead ceiling fan stood motionless. The May grey and June gloom hadn’t given way to the hot summer nights and the fan hadn’t yet been called into action. The room around me lightened as the sun, though its influence was filtered by the clouds and marine layer, rose higher into the sky. Time was ticking away faster than I was aware of.
The alarm droned on.
My thoughts, as my mind and body continued to wake up and try to interact properly, fled to the past, when I wouldn’t have had to worry about getting up at a certain time, when I didn’t have a job, and responsibilities, and the pressure of having people depend on me. I often fantasized about the freedom of youth. I glorified it. I romanticized it. I held it in high regard as the penultimate experience of my life: my days were filled with only the activities I wanted them to be filled with.
Games, shenanigans, adventures all ruled the day. I had the time and energy to explore when and where I wanted. I could sleep away the mornings and the afternoons if I felt like it. I could stay awake long into the night and watch the movies I wasn’t supposed to… or, that I learned later, weren’t all that great anyway and shouldn’t have wasted my time with. But, that was the point – I had the ability to waste time without repercussions. Isn’t that one of the often neglected but finest definitions of freedom?
But those days were only the penultimate experience of life. Fully awake, fully in control again, I smiled. Sure, I had to get up and go to a job I didn’t enjoy. Sure, I had responsibilities and pressure and stress and hours of my life I wasn’t the “owner” of anymore. Sure, I rarely found time do to the things that used to define who I was.
Having those responsibilities, though, afforded me the opportunities to grow into the man I became, to marry the wonderful woman who agreed to share her life with me, to adopt the two cats who always make me smile, and to have the family I had always wanted and constantly brought me unparalleled joy.
I turned the alarm off and got out of bed.
The alarm meant that I had to return to being a responsible adult, but there was also a silver lining to it. It meant that the sooner I could get my work for the day done, the sooner I could be home again and spend time with my loved ones.
The day was overcast, gloomy and dreary,
But the darkness was there to help me see,
Life always happens exactly as it is meant to be,
And the joys of today shine through it all brilliantly.
Rara has prompted me again:
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
“Silver Lining” is a prospect of hope or comfort in a gloomy situation. [1870-75; from the proverb “Every cloud has a silver lining”] *
* Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
12 thoughts on “the alarm”
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So true, yet beautifully depicted. 🙂
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Hi djmatticus, I was sent here via Lesie’s World – she has impeccable taste! Glad to have found you, love the post, it’s the kind of thing that makes me smile and say ‘Welcome to the world of Grown-up!’.
Welcome to the kingdom. We’re glad you found us too! 😉 Yes, welcome to adulthood, is very appropriate for this post. Thank you!
Awww, this almost makes me think of the dreaded alarm as a good thing. 😀 … almost. Beautiful, heart-warming post, Matt!!
Thank you!! Silly alarm gets a bad rap. It’s not its fault you have stuff you have to do as a world famous blogging dinosaur.
Haha! I actually like all the stuff I do each day. I just don’t like mornings. 🙂
Ah, but mornings are the best! Cool clean air. Quiet streets but still light enough to be out and about.
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