Eva Bradley: Time to look at things differently



I don't do mornings. End of story. Except that would make for a fairly unremarkable and brief contribution to today's paper, so the following 600 words are my attempt to reconcile myself with getting out of bed, and the amazing discovery that is making the process easier.

With the exception of a brief period in my life when My Little Pony and Friends was screened at the ungodly hour of 6.30am on a Saturday, I have had an extreme reluctance to be conscious at any time prior to 7am.

At school I took great pains to lay out all my clothes the night before and even get my cereal bowl on standby to facilitate an extra few minutes in bed.

At university my scholarly pursuits were limited to lectures starting after 9am and preferably closer to midday.

My working life has proved a little bit harder to navigate, but by the time my makeup and half the contents of my wardrobe had found its way to the office I was once again able to prioritise my sleeping life to very respectable gentlemen's hours.

For my entire life, no one and nothing has come between me and my pillow. Until now.

When an alarm goes off at 5am you can forgive, forget and go back to sleep. But when it continues to go off every five minutes thereafter, one ceases to be quite so enamoured by the owner of the alarm.

My boyfriend likes to snooze. And snooze. And snooze. And then eventually get up at a time which is still unquestionably offensive to me in every way imaginable.

The only thing that makes me more tired than getting up really early is getting woken up really early but then going back to sleep.

Eventually I decided if you can't beat 'em, you join 'em. And so for the past little while I have been getting out of bed at 5.45am and doing all sorts of previously unheard of things such as having breakfast, coordinating my clothes and actually wearing makeup.

The productivity that has come from sitting at my desk by 6.30am is extraordinary, and the sense of self-righteousness derived from knowing you are working when everyone else is still sleeping is also moderately satisfying.

But early is early and despite the benefits, I just can't get my head around the time.

Which is why, in a stroke of undiluted genius, my boyfriend suggested that since I couldn't change the time, I could instead change how I read it.

Now, instead of getting up at 5.45am, I am getting up at 75 minutes to seven. Which is technically the same, but mentally in a whole different league. I need at least three fewer triple shot flat whites throughout the day when I get up at 75 to seven instead of 5.45.

I've worked out it is a great way to knock off early as well. Last night instead of busting my gut till 6.30pm I left work right on 90 minutes past five.

And later had an early night with lights out at 9.95pm. I haven't been in bed at nine anything for years. The next day (at, you guessed it, 75 to seven, I felt unbelievably refreshed).

The other upshot is that because I now start work so early, I can sneak off for lunch when most people are starting their morning tea. But since that's 120 minutes to twelve, it's entirely acceptable anyway. Eva Bradley is an award-winning columnist.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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