bunt sign

Thursday, June 21, 2001

The long summer days are a great boon to a night owl like me. I can sleep late and still have plenty of daylight hours left. I don't have to squeeze every task into the shrunken winter days that always seem so dark no matter what time it is. For the undisciplined mind, summer is the perfect excuse for procrastination. There seems to be an abundance of "time."

I always seem to be dealing with time, in some way that has me at a disadvantage. There's not enough time. Or I forget to make time to do something. Or it's the wrong time to do what I need to do, because it's the right time to do what I want to do. At night, when I should sleep, I want to be awake and do what I didn't get around to earlier, when I was too tired.

Here's how I know I've been sleep-deprived: When I woke up this morning and looked at the clock, it said 8:45. I'd forgotten to set the alarm, and slept straight through my regular wake-up time, not to mention the time when I'm supposed to be on duty and answering the phone in my inimitable professional manner. ("Uh, hello? Do you know what time it is!?!")

The first thing I did when I sprang out of bed was check the answering machine. No calls missed. Whew. I turned on the phone and the computer, and then I went back to bed, because I was a little dizzy from jumping around like that. When I was ready to get up for real, it was 9:00.

Except it wasn't. I checked the other clocks as I walked through the house, and they all said 8:40. The clock radio by my bed was twenty minutes fast, and I wonder how long it's been that way. Have I been getting up twenty minutes too early all week? Or longer? Is that why I'm more tired than I think I should be?

This isn't the first time this has happened, and every time I have this unforeseen break in routine, I wonder why I can't do it every day. If only I could wake up and face the world on my own schedule, instead of being at the mercy of the demands of business obligations, I'd have more good days than bad. (Or at least more good days than I have now.)

After a brief power outage this afternoon, I went ahead and set all the clocks to the correct time. (I even set the alarm for 7:30.) I'll deal with my sleep disorders some way that makes more sense than shirking my duties for an hour every morning.

Besides, an hour would never be enough. It would turn into two, then three, and soon I'd be staying up all night and sleeping all day (which, by the way, is what my body would like to do, if it were in charge of scheduling).

The ideal solution would be to turn myself, by some kind of magic I've yet to learn, into a morning person. I've always admired them. I feel inferior, because they get so much done before I can even crawl out of bed and prop my eyes open.

I'd make some kind of crazy resolution to get up at six every morning and be in bed by eleven every night, if I thought it would work. Maybe it will, but it never has any of the other times I've tried it.

Instead of getting more work done, I'd probably squander those extra couple of hours watching TV Land and the Cartoon Network. You know, instead of CNN and C-SPAN.

It sounds like I need TiVo, so I can watch when I have time instead of being at the mercy of the programmers. You tell a machine what you want, and it makes it available when you're ready. How does life get any easier to deal with than that?

If only I could apply that principle to real life, and do what needs to be done during those hours when I have both the time and energy. Pause and rewind as necessary. Fast forward through the drivel. That's the ideal model for life in the new millennium.

looking through the garden toward the house

Here's the problem: If I had TiVo, I'd never sleep. Can you imagine access to 200 digital channels unlimited by the constraints of time and scheduling? That way lies the path to sin and degradation. Or at least sloth and indolence.

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