Every morning this week I have been awakened by the squawk-squawk-squawk of the alarm clock. Twice I was rudely awakened a second time by the snooze feature. I simply couldn’t seem to wake up and get myself motivated to begin my day and give myself enough time to play a bit before heading off to work.


Alarm clocks: Mechanical devices for wakening adults in homes without children.


In the old days, when I had to be to work and have my clothes changed and ready for report at 7 AM, I barely got up in enough time to get myself dressed and out the door. I had most of my lunch packed the night before and my clothes were laying out ready to be put on. I simply couldn’t decide what to wear in the morning, so I took care of it when I was fully awake.

I got to work on time and got through my day with less stress by taking care of as much as possible the night before. Even when I had to be to work at 7:30 AM I used this strategy. While I am a lark and usually perky early in the morning, it isn’t first thing in the morning. I need about 30 minutes to fully wake up – unless it is the middle of the night and then I’m fully awake in 3.6 nanoseconds. But that’s a different essay.

I work a schedule I made up myself. I’m supposed to work from 10 AM until 3 PM. However, my route home takes me near both a middle school and a grade school. I don’t even know which one actually gets out at 3 PM, but if I leave the office at 3 on the dot, it takes me about ten extra minutes to get home because of school traffic.

This was not an issue over the summer and when school started up again, I missed the easier drive home. I asked if I could work from 9:50 AM until 2:50 PM. Leaving work ten minutes earlier gets me home in the same amount of time it took in the summer when school was not in session.

My alarm is set for 6:15 AM. This is a whole lot of time to have before I need to get to work. I can be showered, dressed, made up, hair fixed, lunch packed in about 45 to 50 minutes. I know this because that is what I did for years. I need to leave the house at 9:30 to get to work on time. I don’t really need over three hours to just get ready for work.

However, I’ve started this whole walking thing. I need to do that first thing in the morning or I talk myself out of it. I’m usually back home by shortly after seven. Then I have to recover from my walk – cool down, have a cup of coffee, chill out a bit.

Next, I need (absolutely NEED) to check my e-mail, read Dear Abby and Annie’s Mailbox (Dear Prudence on Thursday and Margot Howard on Thursday and Friday), check Facebook and Fark, and take a peek at Google news. And most mornings, while walking, I have gotten a glimmer of an idea for a blog post and I write that.

Somewhere in the middle of all this web surfing, I go and take a shower so my hair can begin to dry so it is easier to style. Usually I look up at the clock and see it is nine and I’m still in need of hair, makeup, breakfast, and lunch packed. So I scurry around and get ready and find myself with five minutes before I have to leave for work. What good is five minutes? It isn’t long enough to do anything like check e-mail or Facebook one more time because then I will be late.

That’s my usual morning routine when I have to work. But today, I don’t have to work. My work week ends on Thursday and I have a three day weekend at my disposal. Today, I was going to be able to sleep in and awaken to the sound of nothing. My eyes would open only when I felt like waking up.

This morning, I woke up at 5:41. I had to go to the bathroom, so I did. Then I crawled back under the covers and valiantly tried to fall back to sleep. I tried for an hour before getting up all disgruntled.

I have two more mornings to try this sleeping in concept. I’m going to guess I’m up before the crack of dawn until Monday, when the alarm will squawk me awake, I will slap the snooze, and it might even have to make that infernal noise a second time as I drift off toward a well-deserved rest.