Keeping Time

Pavement sundial, detail.

My Month of Sunrises practice is giving me some new experiences in the perception of time. Days—especially the hours before noon—seem really loooooong to me now. Furthermore, I’m hungry all the time, a development for which I have no good explanation.

I completely misinterpreted the effect that the end of Daylight Savings Time would have: I focused on the the earlier hour of rising, without grasping (as I ordinarily would) that I’d be getting a repeat extra hour in there, which I could theoretically use to SLEEP MORE—a prospect that has gained tremendous appeal.

One of the true joys of my former regimen—if we can call something so ad hoc and lax a ‘regimen’—was that I went to sleep when sleepy, and (barring the horrendous urban racket) woke up naturally when I was rested. I truly detest being yanked out of slumber by an alarm, no matter how delightful the music playing may be.

Ironically, now that I am living a schedule keyed to the sun, I am entirely reliant on a clock to get me up. The only thing that will liberate me from dependence on that intensely annoying affordance is going to sleep earlier. That’s the problem that needs solving.

Going to sleep has never been my strong suit. The world, and being conscious in it, is simply too interesting to me. There’s always one more thing to think about. I have a very hard time letting go of that; my gears stay engaged. My eyelids have to be drooping and my head nodding before I’ll give in, and even then sometimes I push through. Which, of course, is a terrible mistake, because if I arrive at my second wind—well, then I’m likely up all night.

The way we mark time is arbitrary (hello 11/11/11!!), but the rising of the sun is an objective matter. I like the idea of setting my own internal clock by something so self-evident and literal. But to do so successfully seems to require all kinds of adjustments I’m not sure I know how to make.

Time will tell.


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3 Responses to Keeping Time
  1. JR
    November 11, 2011 | 2:28 pm

    I wonder if waking up before dawn betters you mood or not ?

    I feel exactly like you on the question of going to sleep. Everytime I have to wake up early I have trouble to sleep and going to sleep the night before, and I feel sleepy all the morning hours after. How are your morning hours (before midday) ?

  2. Abigail Grotke
    November 11, 2011 | 3:51 pm

    I’m not sure I know anyone who LIKES the alarm clock!

  3. NT
    November 11, 2011 | 4:51 pm

    I can’t say for sure whether my mood is improved or not. The morning hours are okay, once I fully wake up. I fade pretty badly for awhile after noon.