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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Just Tase Me

I'm not sure "tase" is a verb. As in I tase, you tase, he tases. But if it is a verb, I would please like it and the Taser it rides in on to be applied to me at one, very specific, time of day.

I would like to be tased at or around 5AM every morning. Yes, I would like to be "neuromuscularly incapacitated" as a result of the application of an electrical current to some part of the surface area of my body at that wee hour. I believe this "stimulation" of my "sensory nerves" may be the only thing that wakes me up.

For the past decade - give or take - I've been trying to train my body and my personality into becoming a happy-and-productive-in-the-morning sort. I've set one alarm. I've set two alarms. I've laid out gym clothes. I've slept in gym clothes. I've gone to sleep earlier. I've refrained from caffeine. I've refrained from alcohol. I've internally pep-talked, externally pre-planned, and universally hoped.

Nothing works.

Maybe I'll get up on a Tuesday morning, make it to the gym as the doors open, get in a "workout" and go home for a leisurely shower and an organized presentation of breakfast. I'll wake my children with a time-cushion for their protests or their distractions or their interference. We'll exit the door humming, not hustling, and I won't swear under my breath - not even once. I'll sit down at my desk, fire up my computer, and think: "MAN, this is AWESOME!"

Because the hardest part of my day - the part where I want to do something for myself, by myself - will have been taken care of. Because I will feel like the most highly-evolved, highly-organized, highly-uncrazed version of myself. Because I will not have to ask myself the question "are both my children properly dressed today? Come to think of it, am I properly dressed today?"

But the very next Wednesday, the bed will feel so comfortable and the morning will threaten to be so cold and the day's to-do list will menace with so many undesirable tasks. And the only escape, the only respite, from the pending annoyances and forthcoming demands will be...sleep. Sweet, gentle sleep, where I escape to the black holes of temporary unconsciousness or the technicolor of stress-dreaming about lines I didn't memorize, tests I didn't study for, or airports I can't find.

I might carry anxiety into my REM-states, but even there I know, somewhere in my subconscious, that I get to escape. When I wake up, it will all go away. Not so in real life.

Several factors would indicate that I should be able to conquer this wake-up-early thing. One, I've wanted to do it forever, and I'm usually pretty good at following through with things I'd like to do....eventually. Two, I've tried to adopt all the tricks that seem to work for other people. Third, I should have some genetic predisposition towards this, given that 66% of my sisters and 100% of my mother are unquestionably morning people.

Those factors are doing nothing for me.

And so I continue in my world of scrambled mornings and sporadic gym attendance. Of improvised hairdos and an unchanging waistline. Of constant catch-up and continual self-lashings. Of renewed goals and repeated falling-shorts.

If you have a trick I haven't tried, please share. If you have a tendency you're also trying to tackle, please commiserate. If you have a Taser lying around unused, please advise what shipping and handling would be for an overnight package to Maine.

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  1. I think the way to get this gym time in is to pick a less punishing time of the day. You have relegated "your time" to the most miserable part of most people's days-this fact is made infinitely more horrific due to the early morning temperatures that come with winter in the Northeast. Early mornings are default "your time" because no one else wants this time! It's the most gruesome part of the day.

    My suggestion is to carve out an hour-while hard for a working mother, shouldn't be impossible-during a happier part of the day and do your workout then. Maybe it is when your husband is home from work and he watches the kids. Maybe it is the hour on the days you put your kids to bed early and create some "you time". Any time is better than 5am!

    This goal, given the hour, will almost doom you to fail. So it isn't a personal reflection on your willpower. You need to create your goal in a more achievable framework.

    Sleep that extra hour without the unforgiving blare of the alarm and you may find yourself having enough energy to pay attention to this particluar goal and more willing to create time and space to accomplish it!

    1. Dear Anonymous,

      Whoever you are, I love you.

      You complete me,

    2. A woman that can direct an errant busdriver and bus full of semi-intoxicated salesmen back to a random hotel with waterslides in the middle of Texas at night is a woman who can conquer the world. Your willpower to accomplish a task is not the issue here.


      You are KILLING me today and just gilding the love-lily! Thanks for the additional pat on the back and the stellar recall/display of loyal reading. You've just saved me SO MUCH in therapy bills!

      Yours eternally,

  2. I love Anonymous's advice-been saying it for years but just like a parent, they listen when it comes from someone else! ;)

    1. I'm making my ashamed face. Can you see it?