Night Owl Diaries Day 1

by 6:30 PM 0 comments
On Sunday, as a test run, I set my alarm for 5:00 AM. I was out of bed at 6:00. I thought this would help me get to bed at a reasonable time, but after doing all of the cooking, cleaning, shopping, and bill-paying that I needed to, I ended up being in bed by 11:00 PM. Great.

Monday morning: I wake up about three minutes before my alarm. I have a natural light alarm clock, it slowly fills the room with light much to my delight and Amir's annoyance. After the synthetic bird sounds start, it takes me a minute to get out from under the covers. I left the window open the night prior for some venthilation, and it is COLD. 

A fleeting thought prior to leaving bed: I could sleep an extra hour now and skip Bar Method. Bed is warm. Sleep is nice. I reason my way out of the temptation quickly. The goal is to get to the point where no reasoning is needed, I just do it. 

After getting dressed, packing my work clothes, and eating a muffin, I'm off!  It is well before dawn, as dark as any time of night, which I like. My fingers are kind of numb, and the car mirrors are covered in condensation. This does not happen at 11:00 AM. 

There is virtually no one on the road. I'm shivering and yelling Taylor Swift lyrics all alone at 5:30 AM. It's kind of peaceful, until I hit the entrance to the 101. Did you know that there is still traffic at 5:30 AM, and the carpool lane starts at 5:00 AM for that reason? News to me. Who are these people? How many of them chose to wake up at this hour, and how many more were forced by circumstance? I would like to conduct an informal survey, and at some times, traffic is so slow that it might have been possible. I could just roll down my window and have a leisurely chat with the person one lane over, no pressure, we weren't going anywhere.

The only other time I went to the 6:00 AM Bar Method class, it was because I stayed up all night after a flight got in late. The women in there were intimidating, super-fit and hyper-focused, not like my usual 11:45 do-what-you-can crowd. This time I was attending a Level 2 6:00 AM class, a double whammy of intensity, and the scene was what I anticipated. I was almost certainly the worst in the class.

Going to my practicum site, I was still filled with adrenaline. It's a new job, and this 'early-morning' thing is still an exciting novelty. Around 12:00 PM, though, it was wearing off. I got a kind of dizzy/headache feeling that could only be solved with caffeine, so I had a cup of green tea. Another three hours of work, and I was driving to the JCC in Palo Alto for Hebrew class. 

Things started shaking and I have a nauseated feeling in my stomach. It's 6:00 PM, Hebrew goes from 7:00-8:00, which means home at 8:45. Okay, eight hours of sleep is not happening tonight. In Hebrew, I get to a point where I am so tired that I confuse the letters for 'l' and 'r'. They don't look the same at all, it is just that kind of crazy exhaustion where my mind is shutting down. 

I drive home and I'm ready to hop into bed, but I receive a stressful piece of family news that wakes me up. My stomach feels like it's shrivelling inside of me, and I can't think straight, but sleep is elusive. Eventually I get up to make myself some chamomile tea and to eat a cookie. People say that you shouldn't have sugar before bed, but I'm the exception to that rule. At 11:30 PM, I'm finally asleep. This gives me five and a half hours before the next morning!

Marina Gafni

Marina Gafni is a 28-year-old speech pathology student. She lives with her husband in San Jose, CA.

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