2009 is going down as THE YEAR I LEARNED TO SLEEP. I have never been good at sleeping late and the only two places I remember having any success were:
1. The Harrison family vacation house in northern Michigan and
2. By the ocean in Ecuador where there wasn't shit going on, unless you count hammocks and long walks on the beach.
In extreme situations, as a Trek America trip leader with my campers partying and I had to drive 600 miles the next day, I have fallen asleep atop a 15-passenger van while bottles broke, bonfires burned, and people sang in rounds five feet away.
Still, I woke at dawn.
Now, thanks to tempurpedic mattresses and whoever the genius is behind memory foam technology, I sleep. The black curtains I hung on the windows help too.
These days I wake between 8 and 10 am and after rough nights as late as 11:30. Revolutionary! This is the first extended stretch of non-sleep-deprived time I've experienced in, if not my entire life, the last two decades. If my apartment is Chiapas, I am Subcomandante Marcos, substituting the black balaclava and bullet chain for a tempurpedic pillow and knee socks.