Monday, August 02, 2010

Will Complain for Food

Photo: Walter Watzpatzkowski, Flickr Creative Commons

My first week of work in two months started today. Last week I started getting my sleeping schedule back to a more professional rhythm. My natural rhythm shares a position in the space-time continuum with that of bartenders and copy editors at morning edition newspapers. Usually by the middle of June, I'm drifting off to sleep well after the midnight and rolling out of bed around lunch. I get a good 10 to 11 hours of sleep a night and for two glorious months, I'm happy, well rested, and a complete waste of physical space and brain capacity.

Last week I had to force myself to bed a little earlier each night and make myself get up before 10 a.m. every morning. I know, it's a major sacrifice, but it's one I should probably be expected to make without whining like a toddler, even if it did mean that I had to have several mornings with that dull, thick-headed feeling that I'll be having about five mornings a week until late next May. I don't know what the deal is, but getting up early enough to go to a normal job makes me feel horrible for about 30 minutes every morning no matter how early or late I go to bed. It's not even a caffeine addiction. I don't even drink caffeinated beverages most days in the summer and I feel fine. I just hate being productive.

Anyway, as much as I'm annoyed to admit it, having a regular schedule is probably good for me. My running regimen slipped in July. I did things so randomly that I never left myself a time of day to run that wouldn't have me either risking a massive heat stroke or having to run on a full stomach. Getting my act together was easier in the spring when I knew exactly when I could run and could plan the rest of my free time around it. I've actually spent enough time day dreaming that I know that if I were to come into possession of millions upon millions of dollars and would no longer ever have to hold a regular job, I'd have to force myself into some sort of schedule. I'd also keep a summer home somewhere up north where taking a long run at noon isn't ridiculously stupid.

That doesn't mean that I'm keen on returning to work and a life of rigid schedules and structure. I hate schedules and structures. I also hate television news and listening to people arguing about politics or religion, but those are fairly irrelevant hatreds. I'm an artist without the talent to make even a crappy living from my creations. I know that if I could just make myself suck it up and realize that this is life and that if I were to just embrace it instead stubbornly resisting that I'd have a happier experience with my next 30 years. I'm trying. I really am, it's just really fucking hard to think that way when the alarm is screaming in your ear. It's much, much easier to growl and think black thoughts and daydream about sucker punching small children before blacking out for a few minutes only to come to wondering if you remembered to wash your face before you stuck the soaped-up washcloth into other places. You only know you washed those other places because they're still squishy with soap suds. You always rinse your face before even starting on anything below your neck so you just have to hope and hope is a stupid thing.

I think all this is meant to say that you should expect my posting rate to increase now that my summer is over. It's hard for me to do anything when I have the option of doing nothing at all.


Courtney said...

We probably messed up your sleeping schedule this weekend.

Jacob said...

Nope. Midnight was still about three hours earlier than I went to bed for most of July.

Mickey said...

You messed up my sleeping schedule, but in the other direction. I much prefer "early to bed, early to rise."

Oh, and you may find this interesting, unless you already knew it: I picked up a sixer of Bells Kalamazoo Stout at Publix today. They must have just started carrying it, because I've never even seen that at Total Wine, let alone a grocery store.

Julie said...

I would have thought the kid would put a permanent damper on your summer sleeping schedule. Don't kids wake up early and demand attention?

Jacob said...

Oh, he does wake up early and demand attention, but he also demands nothing less than Kim and I'm far, far less than Kim in his estimation. Kim hasn't slept past 7:30 a.m. since he was born. We tried for a while to alternate, but except for special occasions where we talk it up as a special gift for mommy for days in advance, me getting up with him just means we both get up early.

Sid said...

You get 2 months of vacation? Are you frigging serious? I get 22 days a year. And even when I was a student in high school, there was no 2 month break. WTF?

Did my first 21.2km on Saturday and it was easier than I had anticipated. My time wasn't great though. 2 hours & 50 min. But next time I'll do better.

Jacob said...

It's the remnants of our agrarian past. School breaks coincided with the need for labor on the farms. It's actually shifted earlier in the year so it doesn't coincide perfectly anymore, but the summer break is originally because of that.

Actually, if you take into all of the vacation days like the week for Thanksgiving, spring break, two weeks for Christmas and the normal federal holidays (although schools don't observe all of them), we get closer to three months off.

Some schools have a year round calendar, but that just means that have more breaks in the year, but they're just a couple of weeks at a time. They still go to school the same number of days.

Chris said...

Welcome back, angsty blogger Jacob.

The longer I work an 8-to-5, strapped-to-a-computer job, the more I believe those researchers who say depression rates have risen because we've lost our sense of purpose -- i.e. we're so far removed from growing food or building shelter or doing anything directly connected to our survival instincts that we feel like our daily routines are just an enormous waste of time, energy and life.

Is this related to your post? I thought it was when I started typing.