Oh-Dark-Thirty Routines

In case you need a definition, “oh-dark-thirty” simply means ‘far too early in the morning’. As I’ve shared in my post called “My Elusive Love”, sleep and I don’t spend a lot of time together. What time we do spend together is fraught with interruptions.

I consider not getting out of bed until after 4:30 AM “sleeping in”. My internal clock is set for around the 2:30 AM mark. At this time, I’m awake enough to recognize I need a trip to the bathroom; upon returning, I lay down and attempt to fall back asleep. If I am lucky enough, I’ll doze off for another 40 or so minutes.

So it’s safe to say that you will find me making my first (of three) cups of coffee no later than 3:30 in the morning. From there, with coffee in hand, I head for the space I use as an office and awaken my sleeping laptop. By the time I’ve gotten this far, I am completely mentally alert, no matter how tired my body feels. Emails are first, followed by social media, and then some online games. I convinced myself long ago that I play games online to keep my mind alert as I age; in truth, I’ve always enjoyed card games and keep myself away from casinos because the gambling urge makes me have to fight hard not to give in to it.

After a few games to fully remove any leftover cobwebs in my brain, I visit my blog site. With most of the bloggers I follow, I get an email alert, so I’ve read some or all of the ones I care to read. I don’t comment often, but I make sure I use the “like” button if I enjoyed a post. (Note to self: you need to figure out how to add the “like” button to your page!).

I’ll take a bit of a break, weather permitting, to take my coffee and my current book out to my porch once day has lightened the sky. I may sit out there for up to 1/2 hour – sometimes I get involved in my book, sometimes I read a few pages and then set it aside. This is about the time the rest of the world is getting started on their day…cars are making there way to people’s workplaces or wherever else they need to be.

Once I’m tired of sitting in an unyielding plastic patio chair, it’s back inside. Finish my coffee, take my morning medicines, get myself as cleaned up as I need to be, then return to the computer. When 11:30 comes, I think about signing off to catch the noon news and something for lunch. Since I’m mostly only interested in the weather forecast, I putter and fuss doing odd little chores during the commercials.

At 12:30, when the news is done, I put together my lunch. I often only eat one meal and one snack a day, so lunch is usually a somewhat hearty meal. Then it’s time to lay back down and channel-surf…there are a lot of programs I will watch re-runs of… if nothing keeps my interest, I’ll grab my book instead.

And then…the nap usually happens. My naps tend to be more satisfying than my overnight sleeping. Sometimes I nap because I’m tired, and sometimes because I’m bored. In the summer, I have only window air-conditioners (it’s an old building in an old town) – one in the living room and one in my bedroom. At least, with the bedroom, I can close the door and keep all of the cool air inside those four walls.

After my nap, I’ll forage in the kitchen and see what appeals to me as a snack. It doesn’t matter whether or not I’m hungry – I have a specific medicine I need to take twice a day with food. I may eat a few cookies, or have a snack pack of pudding. Then it’s back to the bedroom to again channel-surf for something worth watching. By 9 PM, I feel my body wanting to go to sleep – I try to stretch it out as long as I can, thinking if I fall asleep later, I’ll sleep in later the next morning (Talk about deluding ourselves! I’ve tried this often enough to know it doesn’t work!) I spend up to an hour getting my sinuses under control so I’m not constantly sniffing and coughing. Eventually, I fall asleep. Oh, but fear not, never for long! There will be at least two instances when I’ll need to get up to go to the bathroom, and then I’ll have to fluff and re-arrange my pillows each time.

And then, I awaken again, no urgency for a bathroom visit, and lay there quietly. Maybe I’ll doze off again? After a futile (what seems like) eternity, I finally sit up, put my feet on the floor, and look at the clock. Oh yea, it’s oh-dark-thirty again and I’m awake for the morning!

Variations on this daily routine come on Tuesdays (senior discount at the local grocery store!) or medical, hair or nail appointments. I schedule these appointments early, as I know I’ll be dragging if I try to stay away from my nap for an afternoon appointment. Once a month or so (as little as I can get away with), I plan for at least half a day in the morning to make telephone calls in those instances when things can’t be done electronically at my convenience.

Early to bed and early to rise, huh??? I’m only somewhat healthy, not in any way wealthy, and the jury is still out on wise!

On the bright side? I’ll probably never get laryngitis. I go for days sometimes without muttering a single word!

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