I get up well before my alarm, hopeful that this is a sign that I have gotten enough sleep. Usually, however, it is really just a sign that there are things I've left undone or unfigured out, and a little voice is screaming at me, earlier and louder than the alarm, that I had better get up and do them. So, is waking early a sign of ambition and forward thinking, or is it merely a sign of unrest? Is it the way to get things done, or the way to start the day already undone?
I have begun to believe that, just as work days are reported to be
longer than they used to be, sleep expectations have changed as well. In
order to cover all the bases, we can't spend too much time under the
covers. In order to finish things on time, we have to be aware of time,
even before the alarm reminds us. In order to be "in the game," we have to
be out of bed. So, whereas in days past I might have curled up waiting
for the alarm to buzz, these days, I try to appreciate the few extra
minutes awake. Whereas in days past, I might have worried about the afternoon
hours when the sleep lost would catch up with me, these days, I try to
focus on now and not then. Whereas in days past, I might have let the
undone and unfigured out things play over and over in my head, these
days, I find myself doing them and figuring them out.
We can't always control the alarms--internal and external--that control
us. What we can control is what we do when--or before--the alarm rings.
So that unrest really does become ambition. And what seems like "undone"
is really just the first step toward "done."