The Thought of Getting Out of Bed

Monday morning after a late Sunday night. The alarm ringing. I don’t feel like getting out of bed. But I must. But I don’t want to.

I turn over and try to sleep a few more minutes, not remembering if I hit the snooze button. The alarm rings again nine minutes later. I shut it off. I have an 8 am meeting, which means I must catch the 7:20 bus, which means I have to get out of bed. Now.

Curled up on my side, I roll onto my back—a slight emergence out of the cocoon of warm sheets and sleep. Steady rain pelts the other side of the window, which makes the thought of rising even less appealing.

I try to sit up, to just get going. My head starts to lift, a suggestion of motion, but too much of me wants to remain in the snug comfort of bed. No. I roll back onto my side. What if I didn’t go to work? What if I stayed in bed as long as I liked? How long before someone phones or comes looking? How long before my reliability overrides my rebellion? Continue reading The Thought of Getting Out of Bed

Approaching William James

I may have been procrastinating when I biked to William James’s grave.

I’ve been a fan ever since I read Varieties of Religious Experiences as an undergraduate. Recently, I’d checked out James’ psychology textbook. Not the monumental, two-volume, 1200-page Principles of Psychology published in 1890 that established James as the Father of American Psychology, but the lesser, 400-page Psychology: The Briefer Course, an 1892 abridgement of Principles. James’s students referred to the big volumes as James and the shorter book as Jimmy.

I’d read the long introduction to Briefer Course and was about to start the main text when the idea to visit William James’s grave popped into my head. The weekend before I’d meant to bike but had read instead. Why is it always easier to do something other than what you’re supposed to be doing? Continue reading Approaching William James