Tuesday, January 17, 2012

New Year, New Routine, New Attitude

original run date December 27, 2011
Chariton Valley News Press

I normally don’t make New Years resolutions. But this year, I need to find something that is actually a goal I can reach. Not because I feel a burning need to join the resolution bandwagon, but more because it always feels good to cross something off one of the many lists I have lying around. I haven’t been able to do that much lately so maybe a resolution is just what I need.
I’ve already been working on the whole fitness and diet lifestyle change so that typical resolution won’t work. I’ve given up on ever getting ahead financially. Just when I think there is some breathing room in the family budget, something else breaks and has to be fixed. I don’t smoke, drink heavily, or shop excessively so there goes all the no brainer resolutions. I’ve decided the only thing I have left is to be nicer ñ to my alarm clock.
I’ve said before, I’m not a morning person. Mr. Sandman hates me. Therefore it takes me a long time to go to sleep at night. I’ve tried every home remedy to make sleep come faster but I’ve resigned myself to laying in bed for at least an hour every night before falling into a restful sleep.
Then that annoying blare rudely blasts me out of my peaceful slumber and the fight is on. My alarm clock is a small appliance. I’m not sure how such a small grey box can blast such a obnoxious, nerve-grating noise but it does. It always ends with me slapping, punching, or throwing it through at least two snooze sessions before I finally open my eyes enough to find the off button.
At some point, during all this commotion, Larry has quietly slithered out of the bed and into another room so he doesn’t have to dodge flying objects. Both of the cats are usually cowering under the bed waiting for me to leave so they can nestle into the warm spot under all the covers I just vacated, without risking injury. And so my morning begins.
I’m usually successful in quieting the monster so that my morning routine can bring me out of the grumpy stage and allow me to flow into the smiling, happy person that I like to be. It sometimes becomes a process to shut the alarm clock up for a full 24 hours though. The off button is so small and my eyes have not fully focused so it can be difficult to find the magical switch to bring peace and tranquility back into my life.
When I finally get my eyes focused and figure out what day it is, I’m ready for the blast of warm water to fully bring me to my senses. Ahhhh, the shower! It is just what I need to start the day off right. And then it happens – I hear that sound once again. Apparently, I missed the off button and hit the snooze again because I can hear that nails on the chalkboard shriek all the way across my house and over the soothing sound of the shower.
Decisions, decisions. Do I get out of the shower and dry off enough to go shut the alarm clock off or do I just listen to it for the duration of my morning shower? Getting out of the shower without drying completely off means I will have to clean up the mess before leaving for work.  Listening to it blare for the next 10 minutes ruins the hope of being a pleasant person for the rest of the day.
I usually make the effort to silence the menace and turn it off but by then, my whole day is in shambles. It is going to take more than one cup of coffee on my way out the door to make me pleasant.
Adding early morning workouts to my routine is helping. I have found it much easier to pull on workout clothes and tennis shoes then walk on the treadmill while still in a sleep induced stooper than it is to actually go to a job and be useful in the first hour after I get up. I can avoid the exasperating second round of piercing beeps just by doing something good for myself.
If I happen to be on the treadmill at my house, I get a morning chuckle just by listening to the commotion as Larry tries to both find the off button and maneuver through covers and cats that are intertwined on the bed. The cats will stare him down because of the hubbub disrupting their comfortable spot, which in turn gets a reaction that is indescribable. Mainly because it isn’t something that can be printed in a newspaper that children might accidentally read.
So, I guess that will be my New Years resolution. I will be nicer to my present alarm clock. If that doesn’t work, I vow to buy one with Sam Elliott’s voice as the “buzzer”. I won’t be slapping appliances around anymore but I may never go to work either. I’ll just listen to that smooth baritone voice lull me right back to sleep.

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