You Win Some, and Sometimes You Oversleep
January 17, 2012
I eradicated the snooze alarm disease last week. I met my 5:45 am goal each morning. It was miserable, and painful, but I did it. First stop was the refrigerator downstairs. The moment my feet hit the carpet, I felt the desperate need for a Diet Pepsi. I normally don’t drink soda at home, but the caffeine was a welcome addition to my morning routine. I can’t bring myself to drink coffee (I’ll tackle my issues with coffee later), but the soda was perfect. Crackly carbonation gets the day on its way.
Thanks to my mother, I have a new ihome, which enabled me to listen to my new playlist, “O’dark Hundred.” At our old house, a pair of saloon doors separated our bathroom and master bedroom. This makes it difficult to blast music and sing along in the shower while my husband tries to sleep ten feet away. Our new house has a door between the master and the bath. A door! Sure, there’s a fireplace that shows through, so the bath isn’t totally sound proof, but at this point, I don’t care anymore. I have to wake up at night, so I get to have some enjoyment as I put on make-up to continue the illusion that I’m awake at dawn when I should be snuggled up in my warm bed with my warm cats snoozing away….like my husband.
Okay, so that got a little bitter. Now for the sweet. The work week was not miserable. New semester, new students. So far, things are placid. I even went running three times. Monday was yoga, and Tuesday, Pilates. Exercise, check. The downside of this week’s running was the article I read in The New York Times. The article was about running with perfect form based on the fact that humans ran for millions of years before the invention of the running shoe, and they did it with little to no injury, so why do we need the shoes now? No, I didn’t run barefoot, but I did try changing my foot strike. Rather than running heel to toe, I ran on the balls of my feet. I could feel the soreness in my calves by the first mile, but I didn’t stop. The five-mile run finished, and my calves ached. But that was insignificant compared to the pain I felt the next morning. This compounded with turning the ocean sounds alarm off and immediately getting out of bed, made waking up that much more difficult. But I did it.
School began on Monday, returning from a three-week vacation, only to have a three-day weekend immediately after the first week back. Really? I suppose it was a welcome extra day off, but I had the challenge getting out of bed before three each of the days. So I set my alarm for 9:45. I didn’t know what I was going to do at 9:45, but that was the time I set. Up and running several hours before noon on a Saturday is something with which I am not familiar. So I ran, and I did stuff. Something I didn’t think about when I decided to become a diurnal, was how long the day is. When I’m working, the day is split into two. I go to work for ten hours, and then I’m at home catching up on my DVR. On the weekend, the day isn’t split up unless you’re one of those people who likes to “do stuff” and “go places. I’m not one of those people. Nocturnals get used to being reclusive. We know the world works on a diurnal clock, so most places close when we are active. This “being awake and showered (well, kind of) when stores are open” is new and unfamiliar territory. The day is long. Really long. Somehow, the garage at the old place got emptied (mostly due to Sean’s unwavering dedication), and the patio furniture Rustoleumed a clean, bright white, and moved. This, by no means, is validation of the diurnal mantra, “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” That is still a load of crap. With the exception of stores being slaves to the diurnal societal pattern, all the things I did this weekend could have been done in the middle of the night. And I doubt that this transformation will make me healthier, wealthier, nor wiser.
Sunday and Monday the alarm sounded, and I dutifully pressed the “off” and not the snooze button, but rather than getting up immediately, I dozed. In and out of a dream I tread until I forced myself up shortly after ten. Yes, I slept passed the set goal, but I was up in the a.m. hours, so diurnals everywhere don’t be disappointed in me. Conformity wins!
Tomorrow brings another opportunity to resist the allure of the snooze button, and getting dolled up for the middle school set. Of course “dolled up” is relative since a new teacher at our school last week commented about how the teachers at middle school “dress much more casually than elementary school teachers.” Really? No offense to elementary school teachers, but I’ve never really considered denim jumpers with panty hose and open toed sandals “dressed up.” Perhaps it’s the holiday themed jewelry? I don’t know, but I stuff my middle school educator’s ass in dry-cleaned trousers and jackets almost everyday. Casual for me is a sweater. One of the benefits to being a teacher is the freedom to dress up or down. It’s our choice. I just found it odd that a teacher new to our school would find us so sloppy and unkempt. Hm. Either way, she successfully made me think that I look like crap each day at work and question my attempts at early morning beautification. You go girl!
One week in, and I’m not dead tired. One week in, and I’m not dead. This is good. One week in, and I feel like a sell-out to nocturnals everywhere. One week in, and I’m still fantasizing about sleeping while showering before dawn. I know I won’t magically transform from Rip Van Winkle into Thomas Edison overnight, and I don’t know if I want to, but the experiment thus far is giving me pause for thought…as if I need more to think about.