I woke up this morning and, as I do every morning, I hit the snooze button too many times while groggily considering (and hating) how horrendous and unnecessary it is to wake up every morning to an alarm, hastily get ready, and then go out into the world to do a bunch of things that I don’t really want to do.
And, if you really think about it, it is a bit masochistic of us to start each and every day off with a purposely unpleasant sound, which is fully designed and intended to jolt you into discomfort. Can you really expect a good day after that?
Anyway, my morning internal monologue goes something like this:
7:00am – Alarm – *still 80% asleep, reaches for phone and taps snooze button it until it stops making noise
7:09am – Alarm 2 – “Fuck.”
7:18am – Alarm 3 – “Shit, it’s getting late…but eh, :18 is almost :30 anyway.”
7:26am – Alarm 4 – “Almost :30, I’ve got 4 minutes, back to sleep.”
7:35am – Alarm 5 – “Fuck, it’s late.”
But that’s the nice version. I’d say that most normal people get up by Alarm 2 or Alarm 3, but I often spend Alarms 3 – 5 as such:
7:18am – Alarm 3 – “Fuck this.”
7:26am – Alarm 4 – *Becomes instantaneously depressed thinking about having to get up and live in the real world, goes back to savor the last few minutes
7:35am – Alarm 5 – “Wow, today already fucking sucks and I hate everyone and I’d rather be alone and I don’t care about anything.”
And then sometime between 7:36am and 7:37am, I mindlessly get out of bed and start getting ready, simply going through the actions of what I know I’m supposed to do.
But here’s the thing. I’ve recently come to realize that one of my biggest goals in life (if not my biggest) is to simply lead a full life. That sounds vague, I know, but it’s the best word for it. Digging a little deeper into what I mean by “full” though, I suppose I ultimately mean dynamic, busy, meaningful, and fulfilling.
One of my favorite quotes is from the movie American Beauty, when Lester Burnham has just died and is reflecting, post-mortem:
…It’s hard to stay mad when there’s so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I’m seeing it all at once, and it’s too much. My heart fills up like a balloon that’s about to burst– and then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain and I can’t feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life.
So when I think about having a full life (and when I think about this awesome freakin’ quote) I realize that I can’t do this from bed. Sometimes it’s nice to lounge around, and those pretty days definitely count toward the dynamism and rejuvenation, but you ultimately have to kick yourself into gear.
As a young adult, that’s difficult. You’re not used to working full days everyday and playing the role of “responsible” 24/7. By the time you get home, you basically collapse. You’re completely incapable of putting together more than snack food for dinner (yet again) and marvel at the energy it must take for the suburban women on TV to jog in the morning, take care of their homes and/or have a job, maintain a social life, take their kids to soccer practice in the evening, and have sex with their husbands at night (maybe they are just all on cocaine though).
Hopefully, this goes away. Hopefully, you get used to the routine and find the power somewhere within yourself to do all the things you want to do to be happy. But a few months ago, one of my coworkers (a guy a few years older than me, but still very young) explained: That doesn’t go away. There’s no time for sleep, you’re always gonna be tired in adulthood. If you want to go out and do fun stuff and have a good time, you have to deal with being tired.
And, I’ve found that he’s right. You have to make yourself get up, to make the most out of your time. You have to make yourself get out and explore– to meet people, to go to an art class or a yoga class or a new restaurant or a market, or just go to a coffee shop, and travel, and drink, and be merry, and do whatever, but do something. Even when you’re tired…hell, especially when you’re tired because noticing that you’re tired probably means you’re letting your time pass unremarkably.