I'm thinking of Victor Hugo's words, translated variously like, "Most men spend the first half of their lives making the second half miserable." To suggest that we spend the second half of our life trying to overcome traits or pursuits of the first half seems apt to me. No, not apt --- clairvoyant.
And all I can suss out in my current state of reflection is that my 20s were probably spent discovering that waking early leads to much success --- and at age 35 I now make the tragic, yet magical correlation of this habit to the habit of an early bedtime. Three extra hours of sleep is mine for the taking every day, if I'll just claim those pre-midnight hours! Can it be this simple?
One more cliché I sometimes reference with a sigh was imparted by a co-worker years ago in Glendale. We worked the phones of a semi-shady TV shopping network on the back lot of a television studio. Still scared to drive in L.A., I lived within walking distance and loved the job's hours (9 p.m. to 3 a.m.). I was usually ten minutes late for work, even considering my stroll was less than twenty minutes each day. The host wore a headset, a full suit on the top half of his body, sweat shorts and sneakers on the bottom, and would chain smoke cigarettes while pacing around the lot out of our view. We were seated inside with computers and phones in sleek glass terminals. I was constantly reprimanded for taking too long on the incoming calls. (I remember having the sweetest conversations with elderly gentlemen in Oklahoma, Maine, Oregon and beyond, while they mused over their orders of loose gems and Artwork of Questionable Origin. I now realize it was like a business and stuff, not my sociological data mining session. They were timing our calls-to-sales ratios and mine were probably disastrous.) Carlos and Ana were ambitious twentysomething twins who both had day jobs at U.S. Bank and commuted from Tustin to Glendale for our night shifts together. They were probably punctual, too.