See What’s Become of Me

I don’t really understand the way so many people seem so hung up on time.

I completely understand it as a tool to coordinate. It would be much more difficult to meet somebody for lunch if we had no common reference point for when.

I also grasp it to measure the passing of it. It is good to know how long something took to accomplish.

I just don’t understand the random value attached to certain times of the day.

Daylight Savings Time, for instance, to me is a big dumb piece of crap. People tell me how happy they are because “It stays light later.” What does that mean? The sun isn’t staying up an extra hour all of a sudden. It isn’t like the whole world changes, heck it isn’t even as if the whole country changes. Change the times at which things open and close, don’t change the time designation.

I also hate “banker’s hours”. We live as part of a global economy and it is dumb that we don’t have a 24 hour society. It would make more sense to me if we worked on shifted schedules and all service industries also worked on shifted schedules so that people could find a place that was open and take care of needed errands no matter what time they worked, without taking time off. For some reason the collective mind thinks we are supposed to wake up “early” and go to bed at a “decent hour” and that no good can come of being out and about at the wrong times. Our population would not be putting as much of a drain on space an resources if we were active around the clock. Traffic would be less of a problem. Companies wouldn’t need to build or acquire buildings as much or often in order to increase their total number of employees. Everybody would be safer because there would always be activity instead of those quiet times when they claim only criminals operate.

I pay my local and state taxes, but I cannot use the public parks most of the time I would actually want to, because they are “Closed at dusk” and don’t open again until morning. They close them because they claim it discourages crime and use of the parks for illegal activities, but making it common for law abiding citizens to use the park at all times would also do that.

The morally superior attitude of some so-called morning people, also baffles me. So what if the early bird gets the worm? I am not a bird. I don’t eat worms, and owls are not starving to death either. Back in college we were usually up until 4 AM, and it was not at all unusual to still be up working on something at 6 or 7 AM. If we didn’t have an early class, that might lead us to still be asleep at 10 AM. However if the husband’s mother happened to call at 10 AM and find us still home and in bed, she never apologized for waking us. To her, it was like she had caught us being naughty and lazy. She had been up since 6 AM and had four productive hours of the day behind her, so she found us lacking. Of course, she had gone to bed at 10 PM. If we had called her and woken her up at 2 AM , she would have been pissed off.

I used to consider myself a night owl, but I am no longer convinced it is that simple. Yes, I do tend to prefer the night for reasons such as, less sun, less crowds, less heat, and less distractions. The thing that made me think I was night owl, was because I typically had an extra boost of energy at night, and felt motivated and alert. I attributed this to me being a night person.

Then I went through a stretch of time when I lived alone and had no outside obligations, and I just did whatever I wanted sleep-wise most days. What tended to happen was I would wake up, but still feel rather fuzzy and unmotivated. I’d fumble about doing mundane tasks and laze about. Eventually I’d feel semi functional and I would start to assess the things I was planning to do for the day, look through things, maybe get in touch with people I needed to be in touch with to get things done. After 2-3 hours I would eat something and then get going. I would spend 8 or 9 hours doing whatever it was I needed to do. By then I had been up for 10-12 hours. Around then I would feel very energized and alert. This was when I was most likely to get involved in a new project, get a burst of energy to finish a project. I was at my most alert and productive and also as the most receptive to social interaction as long as it didn’t interfere with something I was driven to work on. This would last for 6 hours and then it would start to fade away. I still felt amped, but no longer alert. If I was driven to finish something I would keep working, if I had no time pressure I might start reading a book or something else to help me wind down. Assuming no pressure to stay up and finish something, I would go to sleep about 20-21 hours after I woke up, and then sleep for around 5 hours.

20 or 21 plus 5 does not equal 24, so I would not get up at the same time everyday. Instead I would chase myself around the clock. So some days I would be getting up in the morning, other days I was getting up at night. However my most alert time was typically after I had been up for about 10 hours, whether that was at night or in the morning. While I still liked running errands at night because of the things I mentioned about liking nighttime before, it became apparent that it wasn’t really that I “wasn’t a morning person” it was that I didn’t wake up alert and ready to start the day. Sleeping more did not help. Waking with an alarm versus waking on my own didn’t help. What helped was simply being awake for a while and having a chance to get moving.

I see other people who hop out of bed and are totally ready to go. Most of them don’t get that burst of energy later in the day though. They are alert early and then have a longer slower decline cycle.

Of course for most of my life there are external forces asking me to get up in the morning, at about the same time each day. This typically leaves me never getting enough sleep. I want to be up for 21 hours, but I want to sleep for (now that I’ve gotten older) around 6 hours. I either have to force myself to wind down while I still feel like I could really accomplish things allowing me to get the amount of sleep I’d like, or I can stay up until I feel like sleeping and then only get a few hours of sleep. I usually alternate between these two. If I do the not enough sleep option for too many days in a row I can induce insomnia. That is never good. I once had insomnia for a little over a year, and boy was I in a horrible mood.

So, I try not to be too annoyed by the people who wake up all energized and then are blobs by the time I am ready rock, as long as they don’t treat me like I have a character flaw because I am not constantly trying to eat worms.

I am ALWAYS annoyed by anything to do with DST. Spring ahead. Fall back. Fuck off.

People Make Me TIRED
The World Didn't End

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