Thursday, August 15, 2019

Sleep Cycles

One of the things that may change here thanks to my impending retirement is that I will attempt, after nearly 20 years, to sleep in until at least sunrise.  That may take some work.

The two questions I usually get about my sleep pattern is “What started it?” and “What time do you usually go to bed?”

What started it was when I lived in Albuquerque, the gym I went to opened at 5.  I would get up, walk Sam, go to the gym for an hour, come home, shower, and go to work, usually getting to the office at 7 or so.  When I moved to Miami in 2001, I stopped going to the gym because A) there wasn’t one within a reasonable distance and B) after 20 years of working out, I wanted to do something else.  My apartment complex had pool, so I swam laps after school.  I lived 30 minutes from the school where I was teaching and I had to get there before the students, which was 7:30.  I had to be up by 4 to get things ready, and while Sam was still alive, spend time exploring the flora around my apartment.

After Sam died and I went to work for the public schools downtown, I still lived 20 miles from the office and Miami’s morning traffic after 6:30 a.m. is a hell of a thing to wake up to.  Also, getting to work before everyone else gave me a chance to catch up on the paperwork that piled up.  It also was nice to be there by myself.  After I moved 12 miles closer to the office it was still easier to get there early.

Then, on November 8, 2003, I started this blog.  That meant getting up early to read through the news, absorb what was interesting (to me, at least), and write something cogent.  That takes up at least an hour or so, and after I moved to Palmetto Bay and was now 17 miles from the office, I had to get up, write, and then drive US 1 and still get to work on time.  That meant getting up when, to quote Col. Sherman T. Potter, even the roosters are comatose.  Even taking the train, which I’ve been doing for almost two years, I still need to be out of the house by 4:15 to get to Dadeland South, get parked, and get on the first train.  (By the way, in doing so I’ve made some friends along the way of the commute.  We’ve agreed to keep in touch; thanks, Derrick, Lee, Gil, Roberto, Cesar, Jim, Mata, Barb, Omar, and Donna.)

The answer to the second question — what time do I go to bed — is easier: when I feel like it, which is usually after 8 but before Rachel Maddow gets to her first commercial break.  I read myself to sleep, which takes about ten minutes, and then I’m out.  Thank Dog for TiVo or I’d have no idea what’s on TV after 8 p.m.

Starting next Tuesday, things will be a little different.  I start a new part-time job after Labor Day and I don’t know the hours yet, but I can’t imagine it will be like my schedule now.  We shall see.  The one thing I can guarantee you is that even if I do wake up at 3 a.m., I won’t be writing much about it.

5 barks and woofs on “Sleep Cycles

  1. I was pretty much forced to retire last year and discovered that I hate retirement. I have some subcontract work but it isn’t nearly enough to keep me busy so I’m also in the market for a part-time job.
    (If you look on line, some of the “I hate retirement” advice is hilarious. “Join a corporate board.” Are you kidding? “Keep a journal.” To say what? Bored. Still bored. Really bored. Really, really bored…..

  2. Everyday is Saturday. All those things you put off until the weekend you will be able to do daily. You will wonder how you managed to get everything done while you worked full time.

  3. Having been the sort of wife that was considered the norm – a fully employed husband who brought in the bread – I’ve been “retired” virtually my entire life. And those like me have lives that are often busier than those of the man who sits in an office and directs the staff to bring in the mail, please – we characteristically tend to the home, market, cook, carpool kids, change diapers, and above all VOLUNTEER. So stop your grouching and find a cause you can put your heart into. Work the phones, sort donation cards and walk door to door raising money for, say, United Way. There’s more to life than getting paid to do something you sort of kind of care about.

  4. I started getting up at 5 am when I was working on my psych degree and working full time. It was the only quiet time I had to do my reading.

    And the habit has held up, even through six years of retirement, although I find myself wanting to get up at 4 now. It’s also my most productive time for writing and editing.

    Of course, by 3 or 4 pm, I’m done for the day.

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