Monday, February 19, 2007

In Praise of Jetlag

So I know I've kind of complained about the Jetlag Lifestyle (or J.L.) that working East Coast hours in the Mountain time zone can lead to. There are certain disadvantages to the J.L.: the unfashionably early bed time it requires, getting dressed in the dark and the concommittant errors in judgement that can lead to, eating lunch at 10:00 in the morning (too early for even McDonalds to serve one a burger with a straight face).

But in the interests of fair and balanced blogging, I must tell you that there are some advantages to rocking the J.L., too. My day ends at 5:00...East Coast time...which means I generally wander out of my office around 3:00 Mountain time, just as my older kid gets home from school. I have some time before the rush of dinner and what not to hang out, play Scrabble, or blo...I mean do some laundry. I know I'm working just as long as I would otherwise, but some how it seems like I have more time.

I also took some steps in the morning to make my life a little more bearable at that end of the day. I undertook a series of organizational projects to make getting dressed in the dark easier to do correctly. Maybe I have a low tolerance for fumbling in drawers, but it was driving me nuts to fish around blindly in my scanties drawer for five minutes and still end up with grossly mismatched socks. I sorted, I paired, I banished things that were beyond their engineered lifespans, so now I have neat sections of panties, scanties, and socks. I also moved the shoes to the top shelf of the closet that I can't really reach, and moved my pants and trousers down to shelves below. I never wear shoes, and I always wear pants, so it just made more sense that way.

The key change I've made to accommodate early rising is attempting to train myself to sleep until my alarm actually goes off. There are two kinds of people in the world: those who have to put their alarm clocks across the room so they have to get out of their beds to turn them off, and people like me who anxiously wake up every ten minutes in the hour before their alarm clocks go off and thus never actually hear their alarms. I was getting up earlier and earlier, and really exhausting myself as a result. I tried telling myself that I was switching my hours to start at 9:00 ET instead of 8:30 ET (which was rapidly edging toward 7:45 ET which's really early here in the mountains....I don't want to talk about it).

This seems to be working, having the same effect on me, the pathologically prompt, that setting the clock randomly fast does on the chronically late. Or would that be the converse effect? In any event, giving myself permission to start later means I'm actually starting on time, okay, maybe only ten minutes early.

That's better. Or maybe I'm in denial.

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