December 2, 2012

Joy's Junque - Mornings - Bah Humbug!

I hate to get up early. Always have, always will. And once I am up, I need time to acclimate…paper, coffee, quiet…know the rules and we’ll be friends forever.

When I was growing up, I’m sure I got up early, but then again, my mom felt she overslept if she missed the sunrise. So, yes, she probably woke me up at the crack of dawn with sounds of something being cleaned.

As a teenager, I hated to get up early. Looking back, I don’t know how I made it to school looking as good as I did (snark) because I got up around 7:15 a.m. to catch the bus at 7:25 a.m. And don’t get me started on our family’s tradition with weekend breakfasts.

As a young mom, I still hated to get up early. My mom, the sun goddess, would tell me to “get up early, while the kids are still asleep” and get my house work done. HA! I knew if I put my hands in dishwater before noon, they would shrivel like the feet of the witch when the house fell on her.

I’m not sure what housework she was talking about, but even if I could get up at the crack of dawn, what would be the use? The kids would just make another mess as soon as they got up, or later in the afternoon when I was forced to take a catnap on the couch.

When my oldest was ready to start school, I panicked because I was sure we would oversleep three out of five days. It never happened, well, maybe not a lot, but I kicked into my own mom mode – not getting up at the crack of dawn – but early enough to get everyone to school on time.

When I became the mom of teens, I still hated to get up early. By then, studies revealed this ‘hating mornings’ malady strikes teens (it is a biological glitch to their system, true story), so I really, really hated mornings. Having to get my kids up at 6:30 a.m. was probably the only time I really meant “this hurts me more than it hurts you.” Monday through Friday mornings became a battle between them and me and my spray bottle filled with water.

On weekends, we respected each other’s space. They didn’t talk to me until noon (when they got up) and I spared them the horror of being yanked out of bed just to eat a traditional weekend breakfast.

I thought as I matured, this morning haze would clear, but to no avail. I’ve tried everything. Good breakfast (even though I can’t even eat in the mornings), healthy pick-me-up snacks, maybe a lunchtime walk. But nothing gets me out of the routine of getting up early because people depend on me, to fuzzing out around 4 p.m., to being so tired by 7 p.m. that I can barely stand it, to hitting the sack at a decent hour only to have my brain go into super-mode. It’s then when all my plans seem clear. I think about a come-back I should have said earlier in the day, I figure out a way to save enough money to become a millionaire before I retire, I pick out paint for my next room project, I write my next 10 columns…the list is endless. I give in, watch Stewart and Colbert, then I’m ready to snooze away.

It took me years to admit I’m not lazy, it’s part of my DNA. That’s just the way it is…I have blue eyes, curly hair and don’t do mornings.

But, it didn’t stop me from recently checking out a story concerned with my ‘problem.’ According to the article, I have “delayed sleep phase” – most commonly known as a “night owl.” We “night owls” feel sleepy much later and need to sleep in to catch up. We are uncontrollably tired later in the day. And since society says we have commitments – like school or work, which always takes place in the morning – we often suffer effects of lack of sleep. Doh.

Here’s the part of the article that caught my eye; the one I choose to “own.” The problem is more common among creative and mentally busy individuals. Creative and mentally busy individuals.

So to all of you morning doves out there, know this. I will never get up to see the sun rise, but rest assured, I will create the image in my mentally busy mind at 1 a.m.

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