Friday, January 23, 2009

The Morning Ritual

I hate mornings. That's no secret. I'm not what you would call "friendly" or "pleasant" when I have to get up in the mornings. If I could sleep as much as I wanted to every day....well....I'm sure I would get a lot less done.

A couple of years ago, I was habitually arriving at work late. In order to counteract this problem of sleeping later than I should have, I began setting my alarm ahead, so that it would show 7:00 when it was only 6:30 for example. In the beginning, this worked. If I see a 7 at the beginning of the time, I freak out and jump out of bed. Alas, I eventually became able to do "sleep math" and figure out exactly how much longer I could sleep and still arrive at work at a decent time. Unfortunately, "sleep math" is notoriously unreliable. Get up, shower, apply makeup, get dressed and make the 20 minute drive to work in 25 minutes? No problem!

I tried using the buzz alarm instead of the radio. That was bad. Seriously, the jarring buzzing noise worked, but the foul mood that I was in after being woken up in that manner was just not worth it. The boy AND the boss both begged me to switch back to radio.

The solution, of course, was for me to set my alarm clock even faster. (God forbid I actually get up on time.) Fast forward to today, and my alarm clock is set 90 minutes fast. Even with this safety measure, I am the queen of "sleep math" and "sleep logic" and (especially when I'm short on sleep) am forever sleeping in longer than I should. The following "conversation" is an example of what happens in my head when I should be waking up. In fact, this is almost exactly what happened this morning after my attempt to stay up and watch both Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice do physics homework.

"...The more I'm around some people, the more I like my dog..."

Sleepy Emily: "First Alarm. Meh."

"...our song is the slamming screen door..."

Sleepy Emily: "Second Alarm. Meh."
Responsible Emily: "Wait a sec. Didn't I set the alarm later than usual last night since I stayed up so late?"
Sleepy Emily: "Shhhh... sleep."

"'s been a deadly week in Indianapolis with 15 shootings since Sunday..."

Sleepy Emily: "Still don't have to get up."
Responsible Emily: "No seriously. I have to get up now. There are dogs to be walked."
Sleepy Emily: "Oh please. You can let them out in the backyard and give them an extra long walk tonight. What does the alarm say?"
Responsible Emily [with some effort]: "7:55."
Sleepy Emily: "You've got an hour and a half before you have to be at work. Shhhh...sleep."

"...I went two point seven seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chu..."

Responsible Emily: "Okay. I HAVE to get up now."
Sleepy Emily: "Sure. No problem. What are you going to wear today?"
Responsbile Emily: "Good question. Jeans are dirty...maybe a skirt...or something comfortable...."


Responsible Emily: "Damnit! You tricked me! I have to get up."
Sleepy Emily: "Seriously? You used to get up at 7:00 when you lived 30 minutes away and you were never THAT late. Now you only live 10 minutes away - 8 if you drive fast. That means you have FORTY-FIVE extra minutes to sleep!"
Responsible Emily: "Good Point. How DID I get everything done when I had such a long commute before...did I used to shower at night?....I did walk the dogs every morning...."

"...God bless the broken road..."

Responsible Emily: "MOTHER OF GOD! It's 8:30! That means it's actually....well, I'm late!"
Sleepy Emily: "But this bed is so warm. The snooze is only 10 minutes...."
Responsible Emily: "But I have dogs to walk..."
Sleepy Emily: "That's why you have a backyard."
Responsible Emily: "I HAVE A BACKYARD! BRILLIANT! But wait, did I decide what I was going to wear?"
Sleepy Emily: "Yes, yes you did. Don't you remember?"
Responsible Emily: "Right. The jeans are dirty, so maybe a skirt....maybe something more comfortable..."

"...everytime I hear your name..."

Responsible Emily: "Oh! I love this song. I'm so warm. I'm so happy. I'm so... HOLY CRAP I'M LATE!"
Sleepy Emily: "But don't you feel so happy?"
Sleepy Emily: "Fine. I hate you. And you're SO getting Starbucks and it's going to go straight to your ass. You know that, right?"
Responsible Emily: "GET UP!!! Holy crap! I didn't shower last night! I have to shower this morning! GET UP!"
Sleepy Emily: "Okay. But let's just listen to the rest of this song."
Responsbile Emily: "Okay... No wait! GETUPGETUPGETUPGETUP!"

I ended up out of bed at 7:10, out of the shower and dressed by 7:20, (there was no blow drying of the hair since it's going to be near 50 degrees today and that's nearly tropical after waking up to -12) let the dogs in the backyard at 7:22, got them back in by 7:42, and got to work by 8:00 (complete with Starbucks run included.) But what would seem like a victory is not good at all. Not at all. It's just another thing for Sleepy Emily's arsenal. Next time she won't let me get up until 7:15, and THEN where will I be?

Anyone who says sleep is overrated is obviously getting too much.


The Carrels said...

Add lack of sleep to the list of reasons you don't want to have kids...there are no snooze buttons on 2-year olds with poopy diapers asking for the Wiggles and oatmeal!

Candace said...

I believe we were having the same conversation in our heads this AM...I believe that I arrived at work today at 9:10...good thing my boss doesn't care.

AnnD said...

They have all kinds of alarm clocks that make you get up. I read about one that is a bunch of balls and when the alarm goes off, they are sprayed around the room and it doesn't stop until you've gotten up, collected them all and put them in their rightful places again. By then, the theory is, is that you are more than awake since you've had to chase them around the room. I think they have others with puzzles you have to solve before they turn off too! Maybe a good idea for a birthday gift for you perhaps...

zlionsfan said...

Honestly, if you reinforce that behavior enough, it won't matter what kind of clock you get, you'll simply reset it and go back to bed. When I was in college (granted that can be different) and sleeping in a loft, I would put my alarm clock on my desk across the room. But when it went off, I'd get down out of the loft, turn it off, and climb back up into bed.

From decades of experience, what I would suggest is that the problem is that you have taught yourself that the alarm means that it's time to decide whether or not to get up. You need to teach yourself that the alarm means get up. No snoozing, no monkeying with the time, no negotiating.

I don't think it's really that different than deciding whether or not to have one more drink (assume for the sake of argument you have a DD). If you decide in advance, you might actually be using good judgment. If you decide right then, you probably aren't.

I might actually try this myself, so that maybe for a change I can take my own advice instead of solely offering it to others. But I think anything other than that and you will relapse eventually.

StaceyJ said...

Ok, I feel slightly less crazy for having these conversations with myself every morning! That, or it's nice knowing someone else is just as crazy!