On the days I need to awaken by a certain time instead of sleeping in like a Lazie Mazie Bird, I set an alarm. For most of my life I have been awakened by some rhythmic jabbing honking blatting sound. It jars the sleeping body, it tears the dreaming mind away from its embrace, dislodges me from my sleeping place, that night-shift womb where all is right, even when the dreams are bad, forced to extract my body from a warm blanket, stagger to the clock in a fog and figure out how to toggle a switch and make the bleating stop.

One day I realized that there is another way to awaken.  There is an alarm on my cellphone that allows me to choose a ringtone and it sounds like harps. The notes repeat and get a little louder with each cycle, slowly drawing my attention from dreams into the outside, realer world.

How we choose to awaken each day can make such a difference in the way we spend the rest of the day.   I never want to hear the bleating blatting honking sound of a digital alarm ever again. Instead I can choose to hear a jaunty little jazz thing that gently calls me from sleep and into the waking world, just like I can choose to go to bed early so I can have enough energy to get through (most) of the day.  I can choose to stay up all night and drink four beers with high alcohol content and feel like hell the next morning, or I can choose to have two beers with a water chaser from my favorite plastic cup and know I’ll be better for it.  I can choose to eat too many slices of pizza or a greaseburger, put sugar in my coffee, no veggies, skip a meal, use words like “hate” and “grr” in my daily vernacular… or I can choose to do a better job with the body that remains of this person who was born 40-some-odd years ago and use love words instead of cultivate the hate.   It’s my one and only vessel–I get one shot at this. I haven’t paid my dues to get what I dream of, what I want and need, and by goddess everyone should have within reach, to choose.  The universe is keeping score, see the bone notches, and this isn’t a game I can win, but I damn well better figure out how to love the game and everyone who’s in it with me. And write about it.  Or … what else was all this for?