I Sometimes Go Gentle Unto That Good Day

I didn’t get to sleep till after midnight, because of some issues that, of course, didn’t happen until almost nine 9 pm, and then the requisite serious discussion. Said discussion was fine, of course, but the resulting need of “I have to DO SOMETHING NOW – SOLVE, PLAN, FIX”  kept my brain percolating and my fingers moving on the keyboard, plowing through  information on the net germane to the topic at hand until about midnight.

This, of course, lead me to not settling down mentally, but I went to bed finally and read a magazine for a bit, and dropped off without even finishing it. This is rare for me. I’m a magazine finisher, but once I got down in bed and read some articles on decorating and how to spring clean quickly, I relaxed pretty well and switched off both my brain and the light.

I remembered to set the alarm for 6 am.  I usually set three alarms — I use my cell, my husband uses the alarm clock, and it works out great for us —  for 5:45, 5:55 and 6 am (believe me, I need them all), so with just the one going, I rolled out of bed with no more problems than usual on a Monday, but my morning routine felt a bit rushed. I got to work about 5 minutes late, but I’ve only gotten there late twice in 5 months (5 minutes! Quelle horreur! I am such a Virgo!) and was not too concerned.

It’s funny; I have truly incapacitating chronic insomnia, but even though I absolutely despise getting up early, this teaching gig has been the best experience I have ever had in regards to getting up on time, and actually not jumping from bed to bathroom to door in 15 minutes or less. I’ve certainly gotten up and been so dragged out from insomnia or some kind of depressive malaise that I’ve called in around 7 am, but I’m actually tons better.

I get up at 6, stumble down and make my one much- beloved and strong cup of cafe au lait, read Questionable Content and Girls With Slingshots, and check email. I sip coffee, let the curling iron heat up and smoke a cigarette while seeing what’s happened in my inbox and the world overnight.

At 6:30 (6:35 if I’m really slacking) I head to the bathroom to make myself not objectionable to the world-at-large, and generally am out the door, remainder of my coffee in hand,  at 6:45. My commute is about 8 minutes, and I like hitting the red lights — that means I can smoke half a precious second cigarette before walking into the school.

We’re supposed to be there at 7am, and classes start at 7:30am, so I get there on time, and have time to start the computer, print off anything I need for 1st hour, and get my classroom prepped for the first class.

My last teaching job, school started at 7:50 and we were supposed to be there at 7:30. I only had a ten minute commute, but I woke up at about 7:05 every morning and rushed around like a stoned cat with its tail on fire, throwing on something and rushing to the coffee shop across the street to pick up a black coffee, chafing at the idiots du jour who stood there blabbing in their faux Louboutins:

Um, so I need, I think, like, a soy no-sugar vanilla extra-hot organic ONLY latte…or do I want a non-fat mocha — god the calories! but I deserve a splurge, I totally worked out so hard at in my Yogilates class last night!

Of course, if I had woken up earlier, the dingbat of the day wouldn’t have had me muttering profane imprecations so often, but seriously: it’s a damned coffee, and there are 4 people standing behind you and the barista’s eyes are  glazed over and she already has my coffee poured, and I am inching closer to stepping on your foot (“Oh, gosh, I am SO SORRY!  am just SO LATE!”)  Get outta my way!

I think having a husband who wakes up at or usually before 5 am really helps. (I know: WHAT IS UP WITH THAT?!)  I’ve woken up a few times when he does, just can’t get asleep past the alarm, but usually, his alarm doesn’t even impinge on my (un)consciousness.But for some reason, I can roll out of bed now. Maybe knowing that once I hit off  that 6 am alarm, there’s nothing more going off in another 5 minutes helps.

My dad, for 40 years, would wake at 4:30 am and drink coffee and smoke (when he smoked, before his heart attack — yes, I KNOW I need to quit, now shut it) before heading for his telephone lineman job at 7. Pre-1985 or so, he would read a book or look at the paper, and after we finally convinced him we NEEDED a computer, he would tool away at a computer game, first on a Commodore 64, then playing Civilization on the desktop PC. I never understood why he sacrificed sweet, sweet slumber for getting up and doing not much for a couple of hours.  He’s 71 now, and drinks strong Earl Grey or Scottish Breakfast tea now, doesn’t smoke and sleeps in to the shockingly lazy hour of 7 am, but he still sits in front of his computer, plays World of Warcraft, lets the dog out, and lets the day in.

I get it now.

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