Seeing the crack of dawn

This is how I prefer to see the sun: in the evening.

This past Tuesday I had to get out of bed at an unusually early hour of 6:30am, as I had my yearly dreaded meeting with a government official who decides whether or not I can stay in Germany.  Last year, she had granted Hubby and Little T the right to stay for two years, but me only one.  I was given a condition to learn more German (to reach a level considered high enough for integration) and take a course on German history, politics and culture.  At the time, I was frustrated, thinking it was yet another obstacle put in front of me to live in Germany.  But now? I am extremely grateful that someone forced me to take all those courses.  Even though I am still not able to have a deep conversation with a German native speaker about soccer, I can interact with the Kindergarten teachers, go shopping, book appointments, and most importantly, read a menu.

Anyway, this post is not about how you shouldn’t worry so much about things that end up enriching your life. It is about having to get up at an earlier hour than your body is designed to see.  For me, any hour before 9am is foreign.  So, this past Tuesday I reluctantly rolled out of bed at 6:30am and stumbled to the washroom for a shower.  The minute I closed the door, I realized that I just had a shower late the night before, and was certain parts of my hair was still wet. I really didn’t need another quite so soon! Excited, I re-opened the door, thinking I could shuffle back to bed for an extra 20 minutes. But, by that point my body seemed fairly awake, so I decided to stay up. 

With Hubby and Little T still sleeping, I went downstairs and made coffee, emptied the dishwasher, set the table for breakfast, and got Little T’s knapsack ready for Kindergarten.  And then, while waiting for the coffee to brew, I felt bored. I had nothing else to do!  I was amazed at how much you can accomplish in the morning by only getting up an hour earlier! As I re-told my discovery to Hubby, while we leisurely sipped coffee in bed, he looked at me and rolled his eyes north.  You see, he is normally the one up at 6:30am making the coffee and walking or biking to the bakery for our morning buns.  I normally roll out of bed at 7:30am and maniacally scramble to get plates on the table before he walks through the front door.

We arrived at my appointment 10 minutes early, giving me enough time for more panic.  Even though I felt extremely prepared for this meeting:  I had my certificate showing I completed the required level of German along with the history/politics/culture course; I had triple checked my two-page application and confirmed I wrote down my correct height, eye colour and size of the house I am renting; and had my passport size picture nicely paperclipped at the top of the application.  Also included in my bag was the empty box from the German language DVD I purchased to prove that I am still trying to learn more German (a back-up in case she still had her doubts about me). I met the conditions she had, but couldn’t help feeling anxious that I wouldn’t be able to understand a word she was saying (as Hubby isn’t invited to the meeting).

My turn came, and the first thing she asked me (which I understood!) was proof that I had completed the German course.  I proudly removed my certificate and presented it to her.  When she asked if I made a copy for her, my heart sank.  I hadn’t.  And, I could have easily made one during my five minutes of boredom earlier that morning.  Nonetheless, she granted me permission to stay, sternly reminding me that next time I should make copies of important documents.  I nodded my head in agreement, said my Entschuldigung (apology) and happily went on my way.

As hubby and I shared a celebratory cappuccino in an outdoor café, I suddenly felt very tired.

Getting up at 6:30am is really for the birds.

3 thoughts on “Seeing the crack of dawn

  1. Congratulations, Heather. That would be tricky if you weren’t able to stay in Germany.
    Yes, I think getting up early has all kinds of advantages but only if you can nap later in the day.
    Thanks for the update.


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