Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Wednesday's Words for March 20, 2019

As I approach my 65th birthday, there is one change that I never expected, and one that becomes more annoying with each passing year. I never really liked that whole “spring forward, fall back” thing we do each spring—or should I say, each near-spring. But lately, I absolutely hate it.

Strong language for me, right?

Here we are on day ten of this annual event, and I am still having one hell of a time getting with the program. Prior to “the change” I was waking up on my own at 7:30 each morning. That’s a good time to awaken, don’t you think? Unless I have a special reason to get up earlier, I refuse to set my alarm. I’m soon going to achieve official retirement age, but I retired from the “working world” in January of 2003, and the only concession I received as a prize for my years of going to the j.o.b. was to not have an alarm blasting me awake every morning.

However, for the last ten days I have been awakening at 8:00 a.m., and while that sounds good, it’s a case of an ongoing dispute between my mind and my body. Honestly, they remind me of my two younger children, growing up. The constant back and forth bickering between the two is enough to drive me to drink!

Mind: Holy crap, it’s 8 a.m. already! I slept in again!
Body: No, it’s not 8 a.m. it’s only 7 a.m. Need more sleep. We’ll get up at 7:30.
Mind: We don’t need more sleep. We were in bed by midnight.
Body: Wasn’t midnight. Was 1 a.m.
Mind: Now, that doesn’t make any sense at all.
Body: Makes perfect sense. Need more sleep.

Friends, it’s a sad state of being when you have this sotto voce argument happening within you, when part of you just wants to get that morning coffee and get the day rolling. Being the curious sort (as in, I am inquisitive about things as opposed to just being odd) I’ve done a bit of research on this, and I understand that I am not the only person having a challenge dealing with this annual transition.

It’s a universal enough problem that there have been medical articles written about it. One article stated that the rule of thumb is, it takes a person one day per hour of sleep lost to adjust to the new normal.

Did you hear my sigh? Yeah, that was my patented, “I know you’re all physicians, all well trained and smart, but you’re only talking about some “median” human that doesn’t really exist and who, if they did exist, would have very few like-beings in reality” sigh. I used to think this trouble adjusting I’d heard about was a myth. But here I am, nearly at that notable age, and it’s not a myth. Seriously, my mind is losing the battle with my body trying to convince it that it’s really 8 a.m. and we should strive to awaken earlier.

Of course, I’m not surprised. My body never has learned to listen to my mind.

I’ve tried going to bed earlier. No, let me rephrase that. I have tried intending to go to bed earlier. I do intend doing just that each night, but that’s been a challenge, too. I can report that the last two nights I’ve managed to lay my head on the pillow before midnight. But I need to try doing that little thing before eleven p.m. for it to make a difference.

I don’t go for a nap mid-day, and maybe that’s something else I’m going to have to reconsider. At about 1:30 or so in the afternoon I do leave my desk and head into the living room and my electric recliner. It helps my arthritis if I can have my legs up for a portion of the day.

So we both leave our desks, my husband and I, get comfy with our legs up in our respective recliners, and turn on the television. We watch news reports and such, and generally I might doze off for a few minutes here and there. But I don’t actually nap. Most usually I’ll spend about twenty minutes “floating” and that’s it.

I was discussing this problem I’m having with my beloved and he gave me an insight that I never once considered. He said to me, “Huh. I don’t have any problem with the time change at all.”

I thought about that and I realized, I might know why that is. For the most part, he gets up each day when he’s done sleeping, he stretches out with me at 1:30 and promptly falls asleep, snoring and all; then he gets up from his recliner at about 3 or so and goes for a two-hour nap in bed.

When he awakens, his supper is nearly ready, and when it is, he eats it. He does do the dishes after supper, and he does stay up until two a.m. or so each night. But as near as I can tell, that is the only truly structured part of his day. So maybe my real problem is I need to learn how to be a retired person, because looking at my own routine, I realize I’ve got a foot in each of two realms—structured, working day world and pseudo-retirement world. Yes, one foot in each and they are slowly but surely drifting apart.

One of the things my body has never listened to my mind about that little thing called balance. No matter how hard I have tried, I simply don’t have much of that ability.


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