Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Waking in the Dark

I am not a morning person. My current situation in life requires that I be a morning person. This is difficult.

The short story is that between my job and my home is a nasty snarl of construction that can stretch my 43 minute drive sans traffic into an hour and a half nightmare. If there is some major complication, it is not unheard of for people to take 3 hours getting into town. Since working from home to avoid this daily grind has been disallowed, the best solution is to go into work as early as possible in order to leave as early as possible in order to avoid the worst of it.

Sometimes my situation is such that I can not leave early, i.e. pregnancy, newborn, chronic sleep-deprivation. The punishment is harsh, up to three hours of driving a day, but unavoidable. The key is to know when necessity has ended and habit or laziness has set in.

Since the beginning of 2014, I have made a project of consistently getting to work by 7. This required that I 1) get up earlier than I had been and 2) figure out exactly when I need to leave home to get to work by 7. It is not a linear equation. I have not been completely successful, but have modified my habits enough to see a real return on my time and avoid most of the misery.

In the winter and spring it was difficult, but there was energy is having a new goal and I was unconsciously helped by the increasing daylight. Although it was dark in the morning, the sun would show itself more each day and it seemed to support me in reaching my goals. The summer came with its glorious light. I could push my bedtime later into the night and not pay the consequence in the morning. Whenever the alarm sounded, there was my friend, the sun, shining in my window. Getting up and going was not hard. I wasn't quite getting to work when I wanted, but the schedule was immanently acceptable.

Now the fall is coming. The mornings are dark again. My bedtime is still at its easy summer time. Getting up is hard, and I hit snooze more than I should. My arrival times at work have drifted in the wrong direction. It is still not as terrible as before, but the schedule has ceased to be acceptable.

I know what I need to do but am lacking the motivation and enthusiasm to do it. I do not want to fall back into old habits, and yet find myself staying up late anyway, hitting snooze anyway, going back to sleep anyway. I am waiting for my mental desires to overcome my feelings of inertia.  It will happen. Eventually.

I have to wake in the dark. The sun is withdrawing its support and I have to rely on an act of my will. There is no other option right now. I need to accept this fact. The long, dark winter is coming and I still have to go to work. This is difficult.

1 comment:

Literacy-chic said...

That would be hard for me, too. One of my resentments about having to work 40 hours is that I can't choose when those 40 hours will be. I am not a morning person by nature, and what has happened is that my most productive hours have now become by coffee-fueled mornings, so that when I want to work on things that are meaningful to *me*--at home, after work--I don't have the energy. Which of course is a COMPLETELY different issue, just another example of how inflexible full-time employment generally is, and how it does not respect any of the rhythms we establish on our own, more or less naturally.