A faithful disrupter of sleep – Why I fired my alarm clock

I think the Louis Vuitton bags under my eyes have finally disappeared now that I have made peace with my alarm clock. Four years ago this month, I fired my alarm clock as I retired from three decades of answering the bell at 3:15 a.m. to do my daily WZID morning radio show.

“Do you miss it,” I get asked at least twice a week?

“I do not. Loved it at the time. Glad I moved on. Happily, I wasn’t fired. My trusty alarm clock was,” I tell those who ask. I rarely overslept, a testament to my bedside sleep disrupter.

I should show more compassion to the alarm clocks and now cell phones that roust us out of bed every day. As a 12-year old altar boy, I recall an elderly priest whose Mass I was about to serve at 6:15 ask me one morning, “Who woke you up this morning?”

“My alarm clock did, Father,” I confessed.

“Say a prayer for your alarm clock, then.” Father Walsh’s words were the kind of advice no one offers in today’s blink-and-you’ll-miss-it world.

Knowing when to move on and not overstay your welcome is something I’ve always tried to observe. As a 15-year mobile event DJ, I felt that I’d rather step aside in my early 50s before becoming viewed as an irrelevant old guy playing dance music for 20-somethings. Then again, Keith Richards and the Rolling Stones, now in their 70s, haven’t been asked to leave the building yet.

Other than a daily six-month food radio show and a few appearances in the WSMN Nashua studios with George Russell, I’ve managed to stay away from launching a curtain call career reboot.

I really admire people who leave the soul-sucking corporate world to rip into a career that feeds their hearts. A friend who made six-figures as a regional jewelry salesperson chucked it all in mid-life to raise composting worms and to run farmer’s markets. She was all in on a lifestyle change, too, moving into a tiny unheated 640-square foot former one-room school house in Henniker. She lived there for years before having running water and septic installed.

“My parents didn’t want me to live here. They wanted me to by a condo”, Joan told me. “Sorry. That’s not me.”

She, too, wakes up without an alarm clock.

You are, no doubt, familiar with Amy LaBelle, of LaBelle Winery in Amherst. As a successful corporate lawyer at Fidelity Investment for years, Amy and her husband Caesar built the stunning winery and restaurant/function center on 101 from scratch. Amy took a vacation to Nova Scotia years ago and visited a winery that made wine from blueberries. The idea of opening her own place consumed her and within a short time, she began her enterprise.

My friend Jane went from being the first woman warden for the men’s prison in Concord to open a food preparation business in Bedford.

If you’re tired of listening to your alarm clock, try listening to your heart.