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It’s a Beautiful Day to Wake Up

Waking up. Do you take this part of life for granted?

Come on, be honest now. I know a bunch of friends that do and we have been talking about it lately.

Why do you think you do that?

Is it a right? Is it just the way life is supposed to be? Is it a big part of the natural progression of life?

In the past, I took waking up every morning just as another part of living my life.

Even with the passing of family and friends over the years, waking up was just another fact of life that happens. Like war and peace. Like ice cream and cake. Like PB&J.

Waking up was just that, waking up.

No rhyme or reason. Alarm went off and it’s time to wake up. Start another day of work or maybe play.

Didn’t matter, just had to wake up when it was time.

Then one day it hit me – what if I didn’t wake up? What if the sun didn’t shine on my eyes? What if I didn’t hear the rain in the morning again, ever?

What if I never saw my family or friends again?

That’s when waking up became a real fact of life. It isn’t a given. It isn’t a right and it isn’t something that happens forever. It does stop at some point.

The question is when is that point?

No one knows for sure, but we know it will happen and that’s when I thought I need to really get my life in check with this waking up thing.

I enjoy that feel of the sun on me in the morning, no matter how early it is.

I love the sound of the rain even if my bones ache. I love the sound of family and friends around the house, even early.

I especially love the smell of coffee when waking up.

I enjoy the sounds my grandkids make when I’m lying in bed and they want me up at five in the morning. I never want that to stop.


I’ll never take waking up for granted again.

How about you?

Originally published on Medium, June 2015

By Mark-John Clifford

Husband, Dad, Papa. Californian from Boston. Love the ocean and everything that goes along with it. Sicilian and Irish, inside and out. Enjoy listening and partaking in great conversations.

Comments (12)
  1. Nancy Davis November 12, 2015 at 8:15 am

    I do not take waking up for granted. I had a near death experience a few years ago, and that changed me forever. Even before that, I knew life was a gift. I appreciate life much more now than when I was younger. I don’t miss out on telling people what they mean to me. I appreciate small things that are really not so small.

    Life is meant to be lived, and I do my best to live each day like I am living on borrowed time.

    • Mark-John Clifford November 12, 2015 at 11:32 am

      Hi Nancy,

      It’s great that you don’t take waking up for granted. I did for years and finally realized what I would be missing. I’m sorry it took a near death experience, but I think we all have had something to make us change.

      I know for me it was having a couple of heart attacks and just growing older and now having grandkids.

      Now when I wake up, it’s beautiful smelling the coffee brewing and some mornings hearing my grandkids scream. Although I could sometimes let that one go.

  2. Danny Brown November 12, 2015 at 8:45 am

    I suffer from night terrors, quite frequently. Some are really scary, and feel so real, while others are more along the lines of just waking me up, and then checking around before I calm down enough to go back to sleep.

    Deep down, I know they’re not real. Deep down, I know I’ll awake from them every time. But what if I don’t?

    Kinda makes you appreciate that smell of coffee, or that slice of crispy bacon, when you do wake up.

    • Mark-John Clifford November 12, 2015 at 11:35 am

      Hi Danny,

      Thanks for posting this. I understand perfectly your might time issues. I went for years not being able to sleep at night without cold sweats or nightmares.

      I could remember nights where even though I knew they weren’t real I still didn’t want to wake up in the morning for fear of what would happen. That baby inside of me coming out.

      That smell of coffee and bacon on the griddle with a stack of pancakes ready just takes all of those fears away, doesn it?

      • Danny Brown November 12, 2015 at 11:45 am

        Scent has so much to do with our emotional state (both conscious and sub-conscious). It’s why realtors have coffee roasting, or pies baking in the oven, prior to a public showing. That feeling of instant homeliness offers the extra push a potential buyer needs to think, “Yes, this is home.”

        I’m good with that.

        • Mark-John Clifford November 12, 2015 at 11:52 am

          I agree Danny. I’ll cook during the day just to get that smell in the house and by the time Patti comes home she is all excited and then relaxes from the smell of home cooking.

  3. Steven Sefton November 12, 2015 at 10:14 am

    I hate sleeping. I only do it so I’m not cranky the next day.

    I love getting up so early I get to see the break of dawn every day.

    Marcus Aurelius said, “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.”

    I have this written on a card I read every morning when I get up.

    Thank you for sharing this, Mark!

    • Mark-John Clifford November 12, 2015 at 11:38 am

      Hi Steve,

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and the quote from Marcu Aurelius. I’ve never seen that quote and I always liked him as a leader and loyal soldier.

      It’s amazing how many kids these days take waking up for granted. I look into the eyes of my four year old granddaughter when she first wakes up staying over and the look in her eyes is priceless of wonderment at first light. I wish I could remember those days. Now I relive them through the kids.

      • Steven Sefton November 12, 2015 at 11:46 am

        Me, too!

        I like waking up before my wee one does so I can go in and wake her up every day and make sure she starts the day in a positive way.

        Nice to meet you, mark!

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