I’m not a morning person
Then the first alarm goes off. If I have a early morning meeting, I get up and start getting ready for work at this point. I am never, ever happy about it, no matter how early I went to bed, or how well I slept. The alarm clock is at the far side of the room, so that I have to get out of bed and walk across the room to turn it off. If it were within reach of the bed, I I would hit snooze or just turn it off without waking up at all, some mornings. Having to get up and walk across the room usually means that I’ll get close enough to a semblance of wakefulness that I will remember whether I have an early meeting.
Usually I don’t, and so I hit the button and fall back into bed. Very occasionally, even when there isn’t an early meeting, I sometimes feel like getting an “early start” and don’t go back to bed. But it is not often.
Forty minutes later, the second alarm goes off. The second alarm is a different machine that makes a different noise. Currently it’s one that plays music from an old iPod mini that I’ve loaded up with various dance music and other non-soothing music. When it goes off, I have to get up and start getting ready for work.
Because I work in the tech industry, and because my job has never involved regular interaction with customers, I’ve had the good luck for most of the 28-ish years in the industry of being able to come in later than most people think of as starting time. Yes, that means I stay later than most people think of as the end of an office job, but it’s better this way.
There have been short intervals where I was required to be into the office by 8am or 9am and absolutely no later. I can do it, but the truth is that I’m no really capable of being productive for an hour or two after that. Again, no matter what time I went to bed or how well I slept. And I’ve tried everything, including medically-supervised hormone regiments.
My body’s cycle is very stubborn. And as every scientist who has studied the phenomenon of sleep cycles and how the body regulates itself will tell you, the human body is extremely clever at determining the “true” time of day even if we only get a very brief glimpse of sunlight out of any 24-hour cycle. There is a subtle difference between the light in the early morning as opposed to what appears to be similar brightness in the early evening, for instance, and our body clocks reset accordingly.
Once, when I explained my morning wake up routine to a friend, they admonished me for being dependent on technology. I don’t remember exactly how they phrased it, but it was basically that if something happened so that we were all living without electricity and modern conveniences, and I had a job where I needed to be in at a certain time, I would be in a fix.
I did not laugh in their face outright. But I did point out that in such a collapse of society, there would be no office jobs requiring people to report to a cubicle or office at precisely 8am. And certainly no jobs for Information Architects or Graphic Artists of my skill level. And there certainly wouldn’t be a modern medical care system manufacturing the medicines I need to live with my chronic health issues. Or to make my eyeglasses, et cetera, et cetera.
And the few people who were still alive after such a collapse would certainly have worse things to worry about than who was reporting for duty at precisely 8am, and who wasn’t.
Besides, let’s be honest. I refuse to live in a world without coffee.