Monday, August 13, 2007

The Metamorphosis of Sleepy Head Me

I am not a morning person and I cannot hide it. Sun rays through my window reveal my nemesis. They blaze through glass and drapes like Paris' arrow and each morning I am defeated.

Head’s of state, whether noble or tyrant, all have 24 hours to do their good and evil! No one has more than others… so why did I feel cheated out of half my day?


Yes, I'm a hopeless night owl, what can I say? I can pull all night study sessions and hospital night shifts without a problem!


I loved to a run up the hospital stairs in blue med scrubs with a Starbucks Venti Mocha in hand as everyone else was going home. As I'd walk in to the unit to get the day shift report I'd look out the window to the helipad above the Trauma room, and if there was more than one helicopter hovering I knew I'd be in for it… "is that a peds trauma coming in?", “yes it is! And it’s all yours!”. I’d take one deep breath, five sips of that Starbucks Venti Mocha then ten fingers would motion "bring it on, baby!".


Somehow, I managed to pull three 12 hour night shifts at pediatric intensive care unit, followed by three 12 hour day shifts at the newborn intensive care unit. Considering traffic, I did nothing but work as much as needed and sleep when I could, shifting back and forth between day and night shifts.


Now that I work as a freelance medical translator the day is mine, and I just have to roll through a ten second commute to my desk next door. For months, and months I've been trying to be an early bird to no avail!

The alarm would squeal through the room at 5 and I would stare at it wondering "are you kidding me?" (now where's a baseball bat when you need one?!!).


Yes, I’d wake up anyway, determined to adjust to a schedule I'd set for myself, but I’d end up sitting on my desk like a zombie staring point blank at the wall, and the rest of the morning I was by no means a functioning human being. A few hours later I’d give a guilty glance to my humble un-checked to-do list and spend the rest of the day playing the catch-up game!


I kept at this tortuous ritual for months and months, and today something surprisingly clicked!


I woke up refreshed at the ridiculous hour of too-early, and by 4:30 I was done cleaning my room, had finished my eggs and coffee breakfast, listened to a little music and read my emails.


Finally, at 5AM I began to take calls from emergency rooms! By lunch time I had done a full shift and by evening snack my to-do list was all checked off with plenty of free time to spare, and I found myself humming a tune while I warmed the cinnamon roll! :)


If I must be any kind of bird, I'd like for this night owl to morph into a graceful early bird, a swan preferably!


In life we must conquer our little monsters one by one. I found out the hard way that we cannot will ourselves into anything! We are creatures of habit who tend to fall back into our old routines. Breaking a bad routine has been tortuous! The graceful nature of doing what you love and having time for those you love feels good! The satisfaction of today's accomplishment is addictive, and I will use it to steam forward my current momentum in order to manage tomorrow's challenges of full time work and demanding grad school :)


Of course, I must admit I learned from this article: How To Be An Early Riser - a big GRAZIE! :)

12 comments:

Calabrisella said...

isn't it the best feeling when you get EVERYTHING done on your to-do list!!!!! man! i love it....


it is very true... if one wants to change, one must start training by breaking habitual routine from the inside out!...
i need help rolling out of bed early lately too...even if i am on vacation... i am trying to set a shedule....

this post made me smile... i'm not the only one!

bacini

La delirante said...

Nice post! It all comes to will power :) though it is not easy to break old habits it is possible :)

Have a nice day,

Jeanne said...

I am a morning person and usually arise at 4:30 A.M. or 5:00 I love the quiet peaceful time of morning.....
We all are pulled by our own heart strings.
Much love and many blessings.
Love Jeanne

Delina said...

I'm a morning person. I think the start of the day is the most beautiful part of the day :)

Farfallina - Roam 2 Rome said...

Ciao Calabrisella! Yes, it dooooooes feel good :) In bocca al lupo!

Like Delirante said, it's not easy, but it is definitely worth it!! :)

Jeanne and Delina... I'd like you to be like you! :) I really have to work at this! Maybe if look at mornings like Delina it'd be easier...

Well, it's 4:39am and I've already made myself breakfast and cleaned my room again, so it looks like today I'm okay again :)

womanwandering said...

Hey thanks. I loved the 'In life we must conquer our little monsters one by one'. I needed that today.

Trish Ryan said...

I love crossing things off of my to-do list. But I love sleeping in more :)

I transitioned from an "offical hours" job to working at home this year, too, and it can be interesting figuring out how to manage time without outside boundaries. Early rising helps, even if it goes against my true nature!

Tina said...

My problem is that I love both nights AND mornings. Though I prefer my mornings to start at 10:00. Purtroppo I can't right now, but that's okay.
My work assignment ends in February. My goal is to be doing more work from home by then so I can at least stay home when I have to get up in the morning. :)

Calendar User said...

di nuovo, sono qui.
ti saluto, cara farfallina.

Cai

www.goodmorning-italy.com

chris & erin said...

Hi! I finally caught up on your last 10 posts (my feed wouldn't add you before, but I finally got it working :) )

I love those mornings where you get going early because you finish so much before the day really begins! It's so refreshing.

Audra said...

ciaoooo! what a nice post!

what is a typical day in the life of a medical interpreter like? do you get high-stress situations to handle?

Expat Traveler said...

Yes great post...

But I still say after waking up for years at 430am and doing it again now, I absolutely hate it! I enjoy sleeping in an hr more and that is just that...

And yet still that is being an early riser...

But I think having a twist on how to stay up late, be a late riser can be just was well mimicked.