I count myself firmly amongst owls when it comes to sleeping habits. I am not exactly a nocturnal creature – I value having eight hours of sleep every night too much for that. But I can stay up late into the night fairly effortlessly. And I am so not a morning person!
Yet, a few years ago, I started noticing that I can no longer sleep beyond 7:30 or so in the morning, even on weekends. I theorized that forcing my unwilling organism to get up around 7 every weekday “trained” it to get awake around that time no matter how late I went to bed the previous night.
It was either that or creeping old age…
Having relocated to London, for most of the first two years, I had a wake up call at around 6:50 to drive Becky to school. Coupled with rarely getting to bed before midnight, as every week progressed, I kept falling more and more back on my required minimal amount of sleep. And catching up on weekends did not work – my eyes would pop open on a Saturday around 7:15 to the serene sounds of the rest of the family still floating inside their dreams. Which would quickly turn to scorn at being rudely awakened as I tried – that’s the key word here, tried – to quietly transport myself into the study and plop down in front of the PC.
And then a few things happened. Becky concluded that she had enough of dealing with her gruff parent in the mornings and decisively changed to taking public transportation to school – which shaved an hour off my effective morning commute. A change in responsibilities at work meant that I’d have to regularly stay in office a couple of extra hours a day to accommodate my US-based staff – but, conversely, that there was little-to-none requiring my presence in office in the early hours of the day. And, let’s not forget, a great leisurely vacation left me intoxicated with large quantities of fresh air.
The first two of those events combined to allow me to sleep until around 8:15 every weekday morning; with my short morning routine and a 40-minute commute, I now get to office around 9:20 – still much too early to attend to any of my job functions beyond catching up on email and perusing various spreadsheets and presentations, but not too late to maintain a pretense of “regular” business hours. But it must be the recent big holiday that infused me with what I thought was a long-lost ability.
Which is, to sleep in late on a weekend day. I do not physically need it at present. But, boy, do I enjoy being able to sleep until 10 am on Saturday, especially when we have no specific plans for the day. And then, repeating that on Sunday!
Becky, when you don’t wake her up, can sleep literally through noon and beyond, no matter how early she goes to bed. My newfound ability to compete with her in this makes me feel positively young again!
Er… yeah, I seem to find a lot of joy in small places lately…