I glance at the alarm clock. 8:25am. I had hit the snooze button one two many times. Game-time decision. If I get up now, I would still have time to throw on a pair of sweats and a baseball hat and make the hike up Bascom Hill to my 8:50. No time for coffee though. I roll over and look out the ice covered window. The high would be 25 degrees today. Bloody cold. Too cold. I pull the covers over my head and shut my eyes. It's only Botany. I'm studying to be a social worker, so what do I care about photosynthesis anyways? Besides this particular professor literally reads her lecture word-for-word from her overhead projector slides, and I can purchase those notes from the student union on Thursday. I'm going back to bed. My next class isn't until 11:00.
I had a mentor for a brief time in college. She facilitated a teen-parenting program at a local non-profit where I was interning my senior year. She gave me a ride home on Tuesday evenings. Each night as we approached my apartment she would sigh heavily and confess how jealous she was of my life. She was a young, working mother, and could think of nothing better than spending hours in the library studying. Meeting friends for lunch. Working out at 2:00 in the afternoon. Drinking on a Wednesday night. I would roll my eyes as she would gush on. What did she know? My life was not carefree. I worried. I worried about my grades. I worried about my appearance. I worried about my relationship. I worried about my future. Yet, I never forgot those conversations, somehow I knew that one day I would understand her point of view.
Today I do.
Today I woke up at 7:00. I had accidentally slept in. Our usual alarm clocks have been sleeping later since the time change. I was tired and groggy, and wished that I could play hooky for the day. But there is no calling in sick anymore. Somehow the pre-negotiated occasional girls afternoon out doesn't seem to count. The "Can I go to a movie on Saturday? I promise I will be home in time for the bedtime routine" cannot compare with spur-of-the-moment decision to take a day off. Pure freedom.
I know that I am suppose to profess that I would never turn back the time, that life is so much better today. In many ways this is true. But if I was offered the opportunity to temporarily travel back in time to that cold morning in 1996, I wouldn't turn it down.