I've been thinking about starting things in the last few days. In particular, about people getting started to do things that they need to do or ought to do like get up in the morning, putting things away, cleaning up messes, that sort of thing. You can probably tell that some of this pondering came about from family life and dealing with my children.
I don't like getting up much in the morning. I'm definitely not a "lark" as my older son's college dorm request form calls one type of roommate (the other being "owl"). But this semester I've had to do it six days a week: Monday through Friday our clock goes off a bit before 5:30 A.M. so that we can get our youngest (the one who is in a Special Ed. Program in Gaithersburg) up and fed and dressed and down to meet his bus by 6:30. On Saturdays I have the lab at the Germantown campus which starts at 9, but it's a bit of a haul from over here in eastern MoCo. So I do get to lie about until 7 or so, if I'm lucky. Some days our small son is up by 6 anyway and racketing around cheerfully. Waking up to Elmo on Sesame Street or, for something more eclectic some of the "Wallace and Grommit" or "Shaun the Sheep" videos from the brilliant Englishman, Nick Park, at about 75 decibels.
But the teenagers often need to be pried out of bed with crowbars. They respond when we call them, but then they drop off again. Or they get up and might wander about and then when it's time to leave have to get things like books or coats. I've even heard cries of "Where're my shoes?!" My standard reply, I'm afraid, is "I didn't wear them last."
So how do people learn to be "self-starting"? Not just for getting up in the morning, but also for longer term things like doing homework, or writing a paper, or planning a trip or a move and what will be needed for things to work out? Sometimes things can't be planned, of course, but we human beings have some ability to plot possible paths to the future and affect what happens to us in some ways. Waiting to be told what to do or for something to happen all the time is putting our lives into the power of others.
I don't want to give the idea that my kids are like that all the time. They can plan things that they like or when the importance of a situation is made plain to them. But getting them up in the morning is getting very old. I wonder if anyone makes "Nature Sound" alarm clocks that start with rippling streams and chirping birds and progress up to "Elephant Stampede".
In case anyone hasn't seen any of Nick Park's work before, I found out that he has put a channel up on YouTube.