I’m Hopelessly In Love…

“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive—to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love—then make that day count!” Steve Maraboli

…with the early morning, when everything is soft, placid, and the natural light feels oddly romantic. I get actual butterflies in my stomach. It’s as if I fall hopelessly in love every damn day. 

Are you with me? Don’t you relish the smell of freshly roasted coffee, a clandestine meeting with your muse, the prospect of slipping into the zone and cranking out fourteen hundred words that will absolutely dazzle someone? Or make us feel less alone. 

Well, that’s the hope, at least.

Yes, my hair might be a bit wayward, my eyes still puffy from sleep, but there is nothing distracting me from my thoughts. 


I love it when the people around me are still stolid and quiet, just rising from the warmth of their blankets, the cocoon of their slumber, but also from that sacred place that I’ve come to understand as night therapy. 

Dreams could be a rosetta stone for the soul. I heard that phrase on the news, but they were talking about returning to the moon, referring to our adventures in space as a new language for our collective souls.

I think that’s a stretch but the adage rocks.

My dreams are often disjointed, scrambling from one scene to another as if a movie that has not been properly edited. Neil Gaiman says dreams are real. But they are made of viewpoints, of images, of memories and puns and lost hopes.

I tend to agree. Who is to say our dreams are not as real or as important as our conscious lives? Probably Freud, who believed dreams were simply an expression of unfulfilled wishes. Modern science says they are a way of consolidating our memories, but that does not invalidate their importance. 

I’ve never been a huge fan of Freud’s, especially his views on women’s unfulfilled wishes

Okay, get ready because this is the definition of ironic. 

One of his most famous critics was a psychologist named Karen Horney (make note of her last name), who rejected his view that women suffered from “penis envy,” as Freud claimed.

Penis envy, according to Freud, was a phenomenon that women experienced upon witnessing a naked male body because they felt they themselves must be “castrated boys” and wished for their own penis.

May it go on record, I have never wished for a penis.

Horney, instead, argued that men experience “womb envy” and are left with feelings of inferiority because they are unable to bear children.

You can’t make shit like this up. Horney, Freud, and penis envy. Should we ask what Larry thinks? I didn’t think so, either. 

Maybe our dreams are important in ways we’ve yet to discover. I wonder if the reason I don’t need glasses in my dreams is my vision comes from a place that is resistant to aging. Dreams are as if processing yards where my brain sifts through all the stresses and strains of the day and allows these emotions to play out in their own way, so we can get on with life. 

I shy away from calling it our real life.

What if those people in our dreams are just waiting for me to fall asleep so they can wake up, come out and process my stubborn emotions that have nowhere else to go, maybe entice my deceased parents to join in the action? I’m telling you, my parents spend an inordinate amount of time hanging out in my dreams. It’s as if they can’t get enough of me. 

I’m sure they visit Nancy too. 

As John Lennon says, “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us. And the world will live as one.”

I think dreams of the mind own the night, and dreams of the heart, rule the day. You can quote me on that. 

Early morning is a precious time for anyone to express their heartfelt desires and ambitions because our thoughts are as crisp as the iceberg lettuce in the frig. According to Conni Eversull, extensive research has found that individuals do their best work when aligning with their circadian rhythms. 

I know, it’s a new word, and now your feeling schooled. But I assure you it’s a word you should embrace because it allows you to perform at your peak. I’m sure Horney and Freud have their own theories on this, but I think we should form our own conclusions.

Eversull says circadian rhythms are our daily cycles of activity controlled by the brain that tells your body when to sleep and when to be alert, and it regulates a bunch of other biological processes. Due to these rhythms, individuals experience peaks and valleys of alertness throughout the day.

Hence the need for coffee in the afternoon. 

The best time to write for me is in the morning. There are fewer distractions. My brain seems to be working better than normal because the analytics of the day haven’t had the chance to invade my creative space. 

Things like what people want to eat, where people want to go, and what people want to do. I don’t understand why they all don’t want to sit in a chair with a computer in their lap, pounding out words for hours on end. 

Womb envy? Are you kidding? I have the indefinite continued progress of existence envy, otherwise known as time.  

The other thing I should admit is I’m in a better mood in the morning, with excess motivation to spew my thoughts all over the page, especially when I’m up at the lake. 

The other thing Eversull says about circadian rhythms (consider bringing this up at your next dinner party) is you’ll want to form habits around writing, working, or creating (whatever the hell it is you do) at your peak hours because your brain thrives when it has a habit to follow. This reinforces and invigorates your work because your brain functions better and becomes healthier when you work while you’re most mentally alert. 

Just like love, intense feelings, pleasure, and innovative ideas are products of the brain. 

And when your brain is functioning better, you won’t be obsessed with what you don’t have. You’ll be satisfied with your own equipment, so to speak, and your own ability to create. 

Have you ever noticed how sweet the morning air is, as opposed to our morning breath, or how the clouds float around, adding their own dreamlike dimension to the budding day? 

I watch the rays of the sun burn into the morning sky, creating this glorious light that shines indiscriminately on everyone. There is nowhere morning does not go. What a strange pattern we have evolved with, the continual rotation of day and night, both essential to our survival. It’s amazing how small I feel juxtaposed against this incredible cycle of renewal and new life.

Ernest Hemingways says in the early morning on the lake sitting in the stern of the boat with his father rowing, he felt quite sure that he would never die. Happy Easter to those who celebrate new life this Sunday, and the sacrifice of Christ who overcame death once and forever. For those who gathered last week to celebrate a Seder Meal, I hope the angel of death continues to pass over us all. Here’s to new life every damn morning.

I’m Living in the Gap, embracing the day, when is your favorite time of day?

I did a podcast, linked here if you want to listen.

Link to Amazon if you want to order Grow Damn It, and don’t forget to leave a review. Anyone can, even if you purchased the book from another source. I’m trying to beat Jeff’s algorithm, which refuses to acknowledge my presence without 50 reviews. Ruthless. 

Or Link to Books Inc. at The Pruneyard for a signed copy.

Also available at Black Rose Writing here.


Leave a Comment

    1. I love Norah too! What an incredible voice. There truly is nothing like a cool, crisp morning to tease out those budding thoughts harboring in the recesses of my mind. I write best early in the day. And when I’m up at the lake I feel even more prolific. The sunrise seems to be an inspiring symbol for us all. Hugs, C

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Debby. I so appreciate the sweet Easter wishes and kind words. I’m still reeling from spending a few days at the lake, greeting the sun as it’s peeking over the horizon, and welcoming the inspiration such moments bring. It’s interesting how often my parents pop in and out of my dreams, I tend to remember my dreams, and they are usually my morning focus before they fade. Wishing you a spectacular week, much love and hugs to you, C

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Hi Cheryl,
    I’m here via Kari (https://agracefull-life.com/), and so much of this post resonates. I’m a morning writing person, too. I once had the amazing experience of a writing residency, the only time in my life I got to live according to my natural circadian rhythms and had no work other than writing to do. It was amazing. I found I did best with two shorter periods of sleep, rather than one long one. Early morning and late night were my sweet writing spots.

    Wishing you a happy Easter. I’m not Christian, but I love celebrating rebirth and coming out of winter hibernation.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Rita, welcome, I’m so thrilled that you took the time to find me, dive into a post, and comment! Thank you. I love that you had the experience of attending a writing residency, what an incredible opportunity for a writer! I would love to hear more about it. Did a book come out of the residency? Did you keep up the rhythm of writing in the early morning and late at night? I’m so curious. Thank you for the lovely Easter wishes, and I too, celebrate rebirth and the coming out of hibernation especially after the long winter we’ve just had. Thank you so much for joining me in the comments, hope to see you again, and blessinging on the new life you find in the spring. Hugs, C


      1. Hi Cheryl,
        No book came out of the residency. I think it was awarded because I’d recently written one that had won an award, and the organization was wanting to support future work. It’s a long story, but that residency actually resulted in my stepping away from trying to write for publication. I was a newly single mom, struggling hard. Somehow, seeing what writing could be like make it even harder for me to write as I had to in those years. It was an incredible opportunity, and one I remain so grateful for. Although the outcome was not what is typically hoped for by those who give such opportunities, it was really helpful for me. I’ve been writing a blog for more than 8 years, which meets most of the goals I have for writing now. So happy to find a new read here.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. “Should we ask what Larry thinks? I didn’t think so, either. ” Hilarious!

    i love the soft morning tone of this post, Cheryl. I couldn’t agree more – I love it because I’ve shaken off the dust that comes with living and it hasn’t yet settled again to obscure my vision and my sense of the world.

    Your ending with Hemingway and the wish of new damn life every morning – beautiful! I’m hopelessly in love with your writing! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good morning Wynne, so nice to wake up to you. I love the way you talk about mornings, “I’ve shaken off the dust that comes with living and it hasn’t yet settled again to obscure my vision and my sense of the world,” I feel exactly the same. I’m sort of a Hemingway groupie and when I stumbled on his lake quote a while back, I tucked it in my quote journal. I keep a log of quotes that feature topics I like to refer to, like the lake. It was a perfect fit for Holy Week. Thanks for the kind words, I love your writing more. Hugs, C

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you Cheryl again for yet another beautiful, loving reminder of how precious life is. Yes we experience and carry many burdens in this journey, but we also receive so many blessings in great ways and simple ways like you describe about waking in the early morning to witness the most amazing sunrises, especially at the lake, surrounded by the sweet aroma of morning coffee. Happy Easter my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good morning Michelle, I was so thrilled to find you here, and of course I love your comment. This especially, “but we also receive so many blessings in great ways and simple ways,” that’s beautiful. It’s strange how early I like to rise when we’re at the lake. It compels me in the morning to get up and celebrate the dawn. Such a glorious sunrise every damn morning. Happy Easter to you and yours my friend. Hugs, C


  4. My dreams are so vivid, I often wake up wondering of my supposed real life in Beetley is actually the dream. Men can experience penis envy too, believe me. I have seen some ‘films’ that made me very envious! 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete. x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I rarely meet people who remember their dreams. My are also vivid. Sometimes I start talking to Larry from the dream as if it is more real than waking up. I can’t always shake the feelings and emotions my dreams stir. I often wonder what is more real. Okay, Freud said nothing about male penis envy! Bahaha, oh he would have a time with you! Hugs, C

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Wow, Pete, that’s really interesting. My first thought was you lived a previous life, in Wisconsin, and you miss that person, whoever he was? How else would you know all that? Maybe someday we’ll find out…hugs, C

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Dorothy, we would make fabulous roommates. I love the quiet especially in the early morning. When the “others” arise, suddenly the news comes on, the lights, the noise and believe me, it’s all rather jarring. More coffee…hugs, C

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m totally a morning person…I also have never wanted a penis…but I almost never remember my dreams….which psychologists say could be not wanting to self examine….🤪

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have always pictured you as a devoted morning person LA. Sorry you don’t remember your dreams, they can be rather entertaining from the morning perspective, often surreal and unexpected. Psychologists love to find meaning in places we rarely give much thought to, like penis envy, and what the hell happened when we were sleeping. I think you self examine beautifully with your daily blog! Hugs, C

      Liked by 1 person

  6. He we want to hear what Larry has to say! 😂😂
    I’ve never had Penis envy but I am envious of how those with a penis get treated and paid.
    Im a morning person and wake up just as you described about yourself. I feel like I can conquer anything that comes before me and then around 3 that shit is fizzled out and I need a nap 🤣

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Belladonna, mornings are truly the best time of day. I’m with you, by the afternoon, I’m a noodle, completely sauced. You make a good point about the “other” sex, who are treated differently, and well paid. It allows them to move differently in the world and that is something I envy. Hugs, C

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Lol, I remember learning about Freud and Horney (still can’t say it without laughing). Some of his theories were absolutely bonkers but I do have to say they were amusing enough that I still vividly remember almost everything I learnt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Freud was so controversial and new, half the world was intrigued. I just can’t get over Dr. Karen’s name but she worked well with the post! It’s crazy what we remember from our education! Hugs, C

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi!
    I love this!!! What a joy to read. I always get a charge out of reading your posts.
    So much to say. So much to think about.
    Let’s start with a clandestine meeting with your muse. Almost sounds erotic, but I sense not. Who is your muse? And then Dreams? Shakespeare said “To Sleep, perchance to dream,” as Hamlet contemplated ending his life. You quote that dreams could be the Rosetta Stone of the soul, but I prefer to think of them as the Tabula Rasa (kind of a blank slate) of the soul, where your freed spirit imagines where it could go.
    Freud’s critic’s name was Horney? You can’t make that sh*t up. And as for your denial of penis envy, I got 3 words…. Sit….to …. Pee. I do agree that most men seem to focus a large amount of time and energy to returning to the womb (my professional opinion.)
    You say “Dreams of the mind own the night, and dreams of the heart, rule the day.” I believe you are correct.
    But, to quote Billy Squire, “Lonely is the night. When you find yourself alone
    Your demons come to light. And your mind is not your own.”
    Billy Squire is not at the top of my list of literary geniuses, but I like this.
    I believe you have the skill to write well at any time. However, you may be most creative after your subconscious has had free run of your brain while you were sleeping. You kind of sort out thoughts and ideas.
    Love that you quote Hemingway, one of my favorite authors. The next book on my reading list is the Snows of Kilimanjaro. Of course, it won’t hold a candle to Grow Damn it.
    A song a song a song. What is the song?
    Dream Dream Dream by the Everly Bros? Na, doesn’t fit.
    Dream On, Aerosmith? Shine, by Collective Soul?
    When in doubt, go with the Mac.

    And what is with the cover art of that album? Never understood the clackers. But evidently valuable.
    Anyway, thanks for humoring me. I really enjoy your posts and love your replies
    PS: I may be unretiring.
    PPS. Maybe visit in August?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Mike, so good to hear from you! I so enjoy your take on my posts. I love this line, “I prefer to think of them as the Tabula Rasa (kind of a blank slate) of the soul, where your freed spirit imagines where it could go.” I’m continually perplexed by my dreams. They are so disjointed and unexpected, and they often take me places I would prefer not to go. Many of my dreams are about the end of the world, I’m embroiled in some sort of conflict, and I can’t get out. A therapist would have a heyday with me. I sort of stumbled on Freud’s work when I was doing my research on the meaning of dreams. I just couldn’t believe her name was actually Horney. Okay, I admit, three words, “sit-to-pee,” is not always ideal. I go down so many rabbit holes when I start researching a topic. When I read about circadian rhythms and how we have moments in the day when we might be more creative, that made sense to me as writing is so much easier in the mornings up at the lake. There’s just something about that location, and I believe my muse might be the water. Hemingway is fabulous, and when I saw that quote about feeling as if he would never die while rowing on the lake with his father, it was just too perfect as I was hoping to end with Easter, death, and new life. Love to hear what you think about Snows of Kilimanjaro, Larry’s been reading a lot of Hemingway lately, but he hasn’t read that one yet. Love your song selection. You have a much more extensive memory for songs, and they are always perfect! PS – I MAY BE UNRETIRING? What the hell? I need more info. I have you completely scheduled for 2024! Yes, to a visit in August. Let’s get a date on the calendar. We leave for Barcelona on September 1st so maybe mid-month? Hugs, Cheryl

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Mornings, coffee, Norah’s voice, no penis,…I’m pretty happy, C. Other than cancer, I’ve got this licked and kicked! I’m hopelessly in love with hope, the love of Christ, amazing friends (as you are), the failures, the wins, and the lessons learned in nature. I love to think about thinking. But I hold the negative captive the best possible. By 2pm I need more caffeine and a bit more humor to deal with any toxic breeze that may have blown between 5:30 am-2pm. Being in nature is where I feel most home too! I treasure you, your words, your thoughts,…and the wisdom and insight you offer! Have I told you how much I love you? 💛🙏🏻🥰💚


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