Feb 26, 2010

Day 3: -1 snoozes

The fuck?!?

I beat my alarm by 20 minutes today. The cards were stacked against me too - I stayed up 'til about 2:30 last night. Jeeeeeeeeez. This is both awesome and frustrating. Awesome because it clearly demonstrates how advanced my brain is - apparently, I can literally do ANYTHING if I put my mind to it. Frustrating because dammit, I was gonna make graph!

The geek in me had visions of presenting a graph at the end of the study, showing a steady but imperfect decline in the number of snooze button whacks as a function of time. If this trend keeps up, it won't make for a nice graph at all - it'll make for a stupid graph that I hate, a graph that mocks me with its very existence.

I guess I'm not TOO upset, because I know it can't be real - there's no way that I trained myself overnight to wake up without an alarm clock. Clearly this is still a fluke. I'd be more peeved if the alarm had gone off just once before I woke up. That'd more closely resemble the stupid graph. Instead, I'll treat the last two days like statistical blips, and like any good scientist will do, I'll ignore the data and start over on Monday.

Feb 24, 2010

Day 2: -1 snoozes

Why, cruel universe, why?

Here's a twist of irony only Alanis could dream up: after setting up the automatic coffee maker right next to my bed, and dangling my alarm clock 6 feet in the air off a hook, and going to bed at midnight, I snapped wide awake 10 minutes BEFORE my alarm was supposed to go off. The coffee hadn't even begun to brew... on the one hand, yay because hey I'm awake. On the other hand, fuck. Tomorrow will be different story, there's no way this can happen two days in a row. I shall be redeemed in my quest to conquer this snooze button addiction.

Let's rap about addiction - don't worry, it's not that feel-good "friends of Bill W." stuff, I'll keep it simple.

At it's1 its most basic level, addiction is when people are hooked on something that feels really really good, and they just can't get enough. For me, it's the feeling of collapsing back into bed and letting myself instantly drift back into la-la land. It goes deep too, to an almost subconscious level. It's not like I have a voice in my head saying "Come on, go back to bed, you can get dressed real fast and eat on the road". Most times, I don't even realize I'm doing it, until it's literally too late.

Every morning I repeat the same vicious cycle of getting high on going back to sleep, and then coming down by waking up for good. And there's always that sense of remorse - "fuck, I slept in 'til 8:45 today, Jesus Christ I have 20 minutes to make coffee, eat, shit and leave - fuck my life". It's no different than the "I'll never drink again" mantra we all go through on Saturday mornings, only to hit the bottle again on Saturday night.

About two years ago, I quit smoking - I went from two packs a day to zero, cold turkey with no help from gum or patches or anti-depressants. Just sheer will-power. I've always felt a duality to my personality: the voice that knows what's best for me, and the voice that keeps trying to lead me down a path of self-destruction. You can liken it to the angel and devil on your shoulder, that's the easiest way to understand it.

In my best moments of clarity, the angel2 will come to a firm decision about something that needs to be done, and if I'm really determined, then the voice of the devil just never gets loud enough to sway me from what I'm supposed to do. The devil voice is always there, mind you - I'd KILL for a cigarette right now - but I'm just not allowed, period - there's no choice in the matter. The same common sense that keeps me from punching old people that walk too slow also keeps me from sticking another cigarette in my mouth.

On the odd occasions where the devil wins, the angel is still there with his little pipsqueak voice, I just end up ignoring him. But when I hit my snooze button for two solid hours every morning, that angel is fast asleep, out like a light, down for the count. I don't even have the option of trying to choose in the mornings. That's what's made this struggle so hard in the past - every single shred of common sense I have is MIA when the first alarm goes off, so the damn devil wins every time.

It would be a neat twist if the angel finally slaughtered the devil, allowing me to totally 100% succeed on the first day of my quest. That'd be a neat explanation for today's freak early wake-up - I've finally REALLY realized I need to wake up early in the mornings, and am just going to go ahead and do it.

But in the event that I'm either wrong or have just undone the whole thing by jinxing it, I predict 8 snoozes for tomorrow morning.

1. TenVolt totally called me on an unfortunatuitous grammatiquational grammatiquatical mishap.

2. To be clear, I'm not religious and I don't actually have/imagine an angel and a devil talking to me. It's just the easiest way to explain this concept - the names "the inner voice that knows what's good for me" and "the asshole inner voice that's always trying to fuck shit up" are too wordy.

Day 1: approximately 12 snoozes

The idea for this blog occurred to me on the bus this morning. I normally drive to work, which takes about 15 minutes on a good day, so I'm in no rush to leave in the morning. Sometimes, the wifey-poo needs the car for various girl things, and I'm stuck on the smelly old bus. I don't mind TOO much, but it takes friggin' forever because of having to transfer to an infrequent bus when I get downtown - this means that on bus days I have to either a) rush around in the morning, or b) wake up earlier, which is pretty much the most impossible thing I can imagine.

This morning I rushed like mad to get out the door, only to miss my bus because my stupid 1964 Eterna-Matic Birks watch (grandpa's) loses about a minute a day, making me 5 minutes late for pretty much everything. This made me miss my transfer, so I spent a total of 30 minutes just waiting for busses - this is unacfuckingceptable for a busy guy like myself, so I resolved to finally quit the snooze button. But for real this time, I totally mean it.

I've been wrestling with a snooze button addiction since my second year of university. Before that, I'd pop out of bed at the first buzz, eat some food, then make fun of my sister for hitting her snooze button 12 times before getting out of bed. Now I'm her, minus the boobs. Ok, I've got the boobs, but they're not girl-boobs. Anyway, once the addiction set in, it's been extremely hard to kick.

I once tried getting one of those old-timey alarm clocks, with the very very very loud bells - these don't have a snooze button. Within a week I would turn it off, reset it for "approximately some time in the future" and go back to sleep, and do this 3 or 4 times before finally getting out of bed, late.

Another time, I took my digital alarm clock, opened it and completely dismantled the snooze button components, rendering the button useless. Again, within a week I was waking up and just resetting the little bugger for 9 minutes later.

That's the back story, more on quitting addictions, and how shitty that can be, tomorrow.

(the reason I wrote "approximately" in today's title is because I wasn't keeping track this morning. Tomorrow, hard numbers. But don't worry, no math)