Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Snooze Button

For as long as I can remember, I have been in the midst of a winner-take-all struggle with my alarm clock.  Every night, when I reset my alarm for the next day, I vow not to allow the fourteen year old clock-radio to win.  I look into its oversized face, daring the glaring red letters to tempt me into hitting snooze again.  Sure, at night I am bold and resilient, ready to resist the temptation of six more minutes of sleep, but, when morning arrives, my hand acts of its own accord, bridging the yawning void between my nightstand and bed, drawn like a buzzing bee to the freshly opened flowers of spring.  It hits snooze, and I slip fitfully back into the kind of slight sleep which brings no true rest.
Unfortunately, this is my daily battle.  It seems like the only time I ever win this one is when my wake up time is earlier than 5am (which is extremely rare), or when I circumvent the alarm completely and choose to wake up when I wake up (this is rare as well).  So, instead of keeping my head up high, strong in the knowledge I determine my own destiny, I trod along, burdened by the fetters slapped on every morning by my snooze button.
Sure, the snooze button appears harmless.  After all, I have managed to adapt my lifestyle and morning routine to accommodate its unwanted gifts.  What is six minutes here, six minutes there?  Six minutes tend to add up.  The most frustrating aspect of my dilemma stems from two bits of knowledge I frequently use to beat myself over the head.  
First, I never feel more rested after hitting the snooze button multiple times.  Does six minutes really make a difference in my day?  Does twelve?  The answer is no.  Most mornings, I actually feel more rested the first time my alarm goes off.  After I hit snooze a couple of times before I emerge from my warm, fluffy cocoon, my body feels like I ran a marathon the day before and then went on a ten hour bender, mixing every possible liquor before slumping my way into the sack, exhausted and near death.  Does it change anything?  Never.  I still succumb to the intermittent siren call of my alarm.  Beep-beep.  Beep-beep.  Hit-snooze.  Hit-snooze.
Second, I miss out on the things I would prefer to do in the morning before I start my day out in the world.  I know my writing productivity would blossom if I would just get up on time.  I also enjoy a freshly cooked breakfast, and while I don’t despise a microwaved oatmeal or a bowl of granola, when compared with three eggs over-easy accompanied by crisp bacon and some breakfast potatoes, the easy, quick option quickly loses its luster.
How much time have you lost?
Think about it.  If you are a snooze addict like me, consider the time you spend in bed, barely sleeping, wasting away your day, all because of this vile button.  Think back on last week.  How many times did you hit snooze each day?  Two?  Three?  I think I hit snooze an average of three times a day - eighteen minutes.  I did that five days last week.  I lost an hour and a half of my life to the snooze button last week alone.  Now multiply that out over your entire life.  In the last year, I have lost more than three complete days to the snooze button.
For me, the idea of hitting snooze extrapolates out into the rest of life.  Hitting the snooze button is simply a way to avoid moving forward into your day.  By granting ourselves six more minutes each time we give our alarm a soft pat, we delay the beginning of the daily journey.  We drift back into our dreams for a few minutes more and push reality back.  
But, reality is where our dreams come true.
How many of us hit the snooze button in our waking life?  When the universe triggers an alarm, urging you to take a step forward to seize your dreams, do you do it?  Or do you hit the snooze button?
Instead of allowing ourselves a few more minutes of dreaming like we do in the morning, our waking snooze button pushes our true dreams further away.  Dreaming about your future can be daunting, and I understand not wanting to take the first step towards making your dreams come true, but every moment wasted by not pursuing our dreams only increases the possibility they will never come true.
Do you want to live your life trapped in the mediocre purgatory of snooze inspired drowsing, or do you want to wake up when called, taking the leap and emerging fully awake into the possibilities your life has to offer?  Do you want your life experience shortened six little minutes at a time, or do you want to give yourself the gift or more life every day?
I think, when put plainly, the answer is simple.  Now, all you have to do is get out of bed and start dreaming.

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