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.