Out of Sync

I don’t know if it’s complacency or exhaustion, but suddenly I’m hearing the alarm.

Let’s put that into perspective.

I’m not much of a sleeper. Not in the mornings. I generally wind down these days around 9 pm, and shut my eyes for the final time each day between 9:30 and 10:00. In the interim, of course, I take the dogs out one last time, take my eyes out of my head (I wear contacts), change into the most comfortable pair of old shorts I own, and lay down to read a book. The variance in time, at that point, is how long it takes that book to go from “can’t put down” to “falling on my face because I’m dozing.”

Seriously, I’ve bruised my nose before from this.

The moment that book hits my face, I know it’s time. Sometimes it takes 10 minutes, sometimes 45. My wife, bless her heart, has had to put that book away for me, at times, because it’s laying on my face and I’m out cold. Sometimes I’m that tired.

Except from the hours between 2 and 4 in the morning, and never much after 5 am.

Most mornings I spring from the bed at 5 am, the hour I’ve been waiting for all night. I spring from the bed to write, to catch up on the world report, to drink a large volume of coffee, and to basically enjoy 2 full hours of uninterrupted me-time. Nobody is throwing their ball at me, begging to play. Nobody is asking me to get something off the top shelf. Almost nobody is walking in to randomly show me an old knick-knack they’ve found in the bottom of a box they’ve been unpacking for the last three months.

The mother-in-law does not, yet, fully understand my “me-time.”

But, there I am, springing from bed, being Tom.

But every so often, and for the last five consecutive days, I hear the alarm.

The alarm is set for 6 am. It is set for 6 am because I don’t want to sleep past that hour on the occasional morning that I find myself complacent or exhausted. I could set it at 5 am, since that is when I like to get up, but I found out some years ago that my brain works an hour ahead of time. If I set my alarm for 5 am, I will spring from bed at 4 am, ready to be Tom. Consequently, I will be winding down at 8 pm that evening and the book will be bruising my nose by 9.

It’s a rhythm thing. “Know thyself,” Plato once said. Or was that Socrates?

Hold on.

It was both, and neither first. Thanks again, Google machine.

But I know myself, is the point. I know myself to the point that I can trick myself to get up when I want.

Except for the last five days. For the last five days I’ve been hearing the alarm, or darn near. I’ve been sleeping in. Is it possible that I’m avoiding being me? Is it possible that these old bones have reached a tipping point, and the usual 7 hours is not… quite… enough.

Have I been altered by some recent astronomical event?

I doubt it. The explanation is probably mundane. Just writing it out this morning will probably shift my pattern out of flux, returning Tom to being Tom by morning.

So, in a way, this was therapy. You are my doctors. The words are my remedy.

Thanks for the couch.

8 comments on Out of Sync

  1. My schedule isn’t much different from yours. Early morning hours just a bit before dawn are not only a good time to get in some writing, relaxing, meditating, coffee swilling — they are, for me, among the most creative hours for my brain. Either late at night (which I am rarely awake for anymore) or those early morning hours. However, since my new dog is a puppy, I currently don’t have any moments at home wherein he is not in my face. I love that, of course, and it comes with the territory, but it’s a temporary damper on my ideal start to the day. While I’m still sleeping, I know that he’s just staring at me waiting for that glorious moment when my eyes pop open, at which point he attempts to lick the epidermis right off of my face. In the minutes (or hours) before my eyes open, I’m sure he’s just standing there thinking to himself, “Come on, wake up. Come on, come on, come on, COME ON!!”

    1. Haha! Good point, DC, and one I forgot to mention. Those pre-dawn hours are also my most creative. Being Tom is easier before the world breaks in. 😉

      And don’t think for a moment that you now get to wiggle out posting a pic, or a link to a pic, of that puppy. It’s Chekov’s gun, the fur version, now. My readers demand satisfaction!

      1. Scroll on down to my 8/12 post entitled “Jesse Pinkman”. That’s the guy. He’s an 8 month old shepherd mix. I would take more photos and post them if I wasn’t a walking anachronism that still uses a flip phone.

      2. Jesse’s a beaut!

        And your time will come. Three people I know quite well just upgraded recently from their flips to nearly-modern tech. All is not lost! 😎

  2. Shudders. Ugghhhh, I had my mother live with me last summer for two months and I thought my husband might murder us all in our sleep. Which incidentally would have been fine with me, because that was not a life worth living. Sometimes I don’t know how the other humans can so seamlessly integrate these large changes into their life without skipping a beat. I had to cat-sit and this cat needed her diabetes medicine much earlier than I normally wake up ( Who knew there was a 9am?) And it just totally threw all my natural processes. Hang in there, it doesn’t sound like you are as bad of a hot-house orchid as I am, but keep on keepin on.


    1. Damn, Girl, I just found you in my trash! WP needs to get its shit together. Ultra-successful, world-famous bloggers should not be thrown into the refuse, under any conditions! 😂

      I’ll keep an eye on that. Welcome to the land of “Restored” and “Approved”!

      As for the MIL, well, this is her third go-around with us, and her final stop. The downside is the babble and somewhat-constant interruption (but only when I’m REALLY concentrating). The upside is the live-in dog-sitter for my ever-more-frequent Reno trips. At this point she’s more “helpful” than “nuisance,” and that’s just about as nice a thing any of us can say about anyone, eh? 😉

      ((googling “hot-house” orchid))

      No, no I am not. In fact, I can grow and flourish under any conditions. So, I’m more like a “weed.” 😜

      1. Haha! It was like waiting by the phone on a friday night for your response! Maybe wordpress doesn’t want you hanging around a bad influence like me!

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