Springing forward

The changing of the clocks never bothers me in the fall. When we “fall back” that extra hour is a gift that quickly gets absorbed . . . I just feel more rested the next day. But taking that hour back? “Springing forward” last Sunday has wreaked havoc. It’s been a tough week.

Yesterday morning, four days into Daylight Savings Time, I finally woke up at what would be my usual time 7:15. I thought that all the sleeplessness and waking up early had finally calibrated into my body’s usual time rhythm. So I went through my morning ritual as usual the mechanics of beginning the day that we all have in one way or another.

Every day after I crawl out from under the world’s lightest, warmest, down comforter, I close the bedroom window (brrrr), on into the bathroom, come out crawling into my soon-to-be-cozy bathrobe (brrrr), stumble out into the living room, turn up the thermostat, slog into the kitchen and put the water on for tea (brrrr), set up the tea cup, then continue to the laundry room to feed Ollie who’s been tracking my every slow step , twirling his tail around my legs at each stop before I finally fill his dish. I then circle back through the dining room to the front hall.

I have to do things in this order because there’s no other way I can open the front door to grab the newspaper without being weaseled by Ollie. His morning Fancy Feast is the only attraction that would occupy this cat enough to keep him from escaping when I open the front door (double brrr). After grabbing the paper from its box on the stoop I head into the den. I turn on the two energy-saving lamps that need time to power up to sufficiently read by (I hate them), and turn on the oscillating space heater. My cold-shocked body cannot wait the half hour for the hot water baseboard heating to catch up to its daytime setting. This particular winter, filled as it has been with zero degree mornings, has also been particularly challenging for this body’s intolerance for chills. Richard provided this wonderful little heater soon after my back surgery and it has changed my mornings.

By the time I make it back out to the kitchen, the kettle is pretty close to whistling. I make the tea and head back to the den for my cozy morning read. Under a lap robe, heater on high, warm cat curled up on the lap, I begin my morning read. It ends, usually an hour or so later, with completing the word cipher and the Soduko. It took me years to figure out that the hour plus that it takes me to read the paper is also the same amount of time it takes me to be fully awake. Normally, when I’m finished with the last section of the paper, out comes the lap top to begin my business day fully awake at last. Except yesterday. And again today.

Yesterday I finished the Soduko, closed my eyes for a second and woke up an hour later. And the same thing happened again today. I have figured it out my body is exacting its hour back. Okay, Daylight Savings Time, you may have your way with your earlier than usual time change, but this organism is having none of it. And I am not alone.

My physical therapist, Andy, (aka Killer) had the same complaint this week. And this is a guy who heads for the sack at 10:00 PM not 12:00 like me. We decided that it doesn’t really matter if your sleep schedule is 10:00 to 5:00 or 12:00 to 7:00. If you’re used to seven hours and you’re suddenly reduced to six, the body is going to exact its price. It has been an easy week to be a slug-a-bed, if you’re retired and have no reason to leap up and get going. Unfortunately for those of us in the eating class, work is a fairly important part of the day.

Since my job is part-time, I usually head for the office mid-day. I don’t know if this mid-morning catch-up nap is going to persist, but it’s ruining my schedule. I do have to admit though, it is sort of delicious, just giving in and drifting off, but that doesn’t get the morning e-mails answered or the laundry done.

I can’t imagine this napping will continue for very long. After all, early April mornings mean garden assessment followed by late April mornings of garden cleanup. Sometime in April I’ll probably be finished at the physical therapist. And sometime in April I should be able to give up the morning space heater. Surely by then I will have completely “sprung forward.” I’ll get back to the usual morning routine of hot tea, avoidance of cat escapes and the morning paper. I couldn’t possibly remain in the habit of a mid-morning nap . . . but then again, change is good, right? I guess I’ll just have to wait and see where this goes . . . zzzzz.