There was an episode on the long-running sitcom Frasier years ago that stuck to my brain. Well, several of them do, I really enjoyed that show, but one in particular seems to enter my mind quite frequently. It’s the one where, if I remember correctly, his dad moved in with him and the father-son team are adjusting to living together under this new dynamic.
Frasier liked his morning routine to be Just So. His father, being older and harbouring a hip disability, has his own ideas of how mornings should run and he disrupts his son’s routine completely. At one point Frasier loses it and starts yelling and waving his arms around complaining that his paper is not in front of his door, and when he locates it it’s no longer in the right order, or crisp and unwrinkled…anyway, he is all freaked out and complaining to his dad. It’s funny.
But it’s also not funny. I too like to have a certain morning routine that I hang on to like I do my first cup of coffee. I enjoy that few minutes of alone time before the hustle of kids and school begins.
Most importantly however is the actual wake-up. Back when I had my own apartment I had a clock radio which I had set to 10 minutes prior to my wake-up time, to a gentle classical music station. When it clicked on, I would be woken up by the soothing tunes of violins playing. I would roll around for 10 minutes or so, and then get up in a generally pleasant mood.
Then one day the boyfriend moved in. Back then he was a flight instructor, and some of the flights he had scheduled required him to leave at some godawful early morning hour, like way before anytime I had to get up for my own work. The way he set up the alarm clock, and how he got about his morning routine (if you can call it that) reminded me of the guys in the co-ed dorm and their morning methods. For example, the University guys would set their alarm clocks to the absolute last possible second in order to allow for the maximum amount of sleep. The alarm clock was set to a really loud music station, rock or heavy medal, at maximum volume. Then, it would be placed at the farthest spot away from the bed the tiny dorm rooms allowed, so they would be forced to get out of bed to shut it off.
I never did that to myself. 🙂
Well my boyfriend did something similar. He set the alarm clock to a heavy medal station and turned the volume WAY up.
Ask me how much I enjoyed waking up to that at 4 am…
Well, over the years, and after officially moving in together, and house and babies and all that, we managed to find ways to get around that. I don’t remember exactly what he did for wake-ups before babies but I’m pretty sure I nixed the heavy medal station. And after babies….pfff. NO ONE, not even him, would risk waking a sleeping baby.
Years later, I experienced a drop in hearing, and went from hearing not well to hearing very little. Alarm clocks became moot since I couldn’t hear them anymore, and my lovely classical music station became a distant memory. How he managed to wake himself up I don’t remember but likely he had some noise factor put at a volume I didn’t hear. Or, by then we all had mobile phones and he probably used that, instead.
For me, to maintain my own morning routine, and refusing to have a wifi phone bombarding my few sane brain cells all night, I looked into getting a vibrating alarm clock. There was one, and I use it religiously now on school days. It’s the size of a hockey puck, and I can put it under my pillow all night. Come morning, it will vibrate and wake me up and no longer do I worry that the kids will be late because I slept in.*
The alarm clock buzzing me awake is so irritating! It jolts me awake much like the stupid heavy medal station did, and I immediately have to move about the bed looking for the clock. Sometimes the clock moves around while I sleep and is no longer under the pillow where I placed it the night before. This action itself hurts my arm/neck area where I still suffer from that pinched nerve from weeks ago, and now I’m not only awake and irritated, but also annoyed at the pain running down my arm.
It’s not a pleasant way to wake up, is what I’m saying. It also seems to set the tone for the rest of my morning.
I may be able to placate myself if I have the kitchen/living area to myself before the rest of the family gets up, where I can putter and do my thing without someone asking me stuff or changing the channel to SpongeBob or hockey. Lucky for me, most mornings, I am up early enough for my half hour of solitude to prevail.
And so I am once again looking for a new way to wake up. Perhaps there is another type of alarm clock I can find that doesn’t simulate cardiac arrest. Maybe I’ll start googling now. 🙂
How do you get yourself out of bed in the mornings? Do you depend on something, or someone, to ensure you’re up?
*I hardly ever sleep in. I have an internal clock that wakes me just prior to my wake-up time more often than not, but I still depend on an actual vibrating clock to get me up regardless. Also I have a bladder the size of a pea (get it? haha) so there’s that.