The agony of morning

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Mind over mattress. Mind over mattress. Mind over mattress.

I rehearse these words to myself every morning I wake up. The alarm screeches, consciousness flickers on, and the agony sets in. Despite all my resolve the night before, my will melts as if in anticipation of the sun that has yet to shine. And then comes the chant.

Mind over mattress. Mind over mattress. Mind over mattress.

I reach over to turn the alarm off. And now with the alarm off, the temptation to settle back into bed is the greatest.

I sit upright at the edge of my bed stalling as if I am about to jump out of an airplane. Mentally I give myself the countdown.

Five. Four. Three. Two…... One

The momentous occasion arises: I actually stand and get out of bed. But I am much too wise to suppose that the war is won. Indeed, I am much too wise to suppose that even the battle is won. Countless times I have come to this point only to return to my queen-size heaven.

I walk to my living room with the drag of a desert wanderer, desperately hoping that the battle will be over when the lights come on. Sometimes it is, and sometimes it isn't.

About two weeks ago I was enjoying a comfortable life: I was staying up until midnight and then waking long after the sun had risen. Though this was most comfortable to me, it usually left only 15 minutes to read my scriptures, exercise, and shower before Corban woke up. Mind over mattress? Comfort over discipline? Order over madness?

But then two weeks ago my life changed. I am always inspired by stories of average people who struggle with the same things that I do who eventually overcome. For example, I was inspired to hear that John Coakley began running five years ago and couldn't make it more than a block without having to stop and rest. Just this year he completed a marathon.

At the time, his humble beginnings sounded like my state at that time. So I thought, "if John can do it maybe I can do it." I have been running ever since.

For my waking dilemma, it was the story of Ken Bills that changed me. His wife was telling me the story. She said "Ken was not a morning person. But then one day he just decided he wanted to be a morning person and now he is."

Could it be? Could I actually change my nature to become a morning person? With a half smile on his face, Ken replied "Mind over mattress."

His reply became my morning chant. His reply became my mantra.

I now begin my third week and with any luck, my ritual of agony will soon end. But until the war is won, my battle cry will still echo in response to the blaring sound of the alarm.

Mind over mattress. Mind over matters. Mind over mattress.

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