December 18, 2012

Moonlighting: A blog by Judy Cools

“Alarm Clock” Did you ever stop to think about that term? You’re cozied in bed where it’s warm, soft, dark, dry, quiet, and comfortable. You’ve been off in dreamland. Your body’s been shut down for restoration and repairs. The new day is upon you. Gently and automatically, your body and brain have been gearing up to be ready for it.

The dictionary defines alarm like this: alarm n., A sudden fear caused by the realization of danger. A warning of existing or approaching danger. As a verb, it’s no better: alarm v., to fill with fright; to startle or upset.

So, now it’s time to begin that new day. Why do we choose to be startled, frightened, or jolted out of sleep? Much less, to do so day after day after day. The concept is dreadful all by itself.

Stop to consider the other common ways we use the word “alarm.” Fire alarm (OMG, the house is on fire!!), burglar alarm (Henry, someone’s in the HOUSE!), smoke alarm (Something’s burning!), or low-battery alarm (You’ll be stranded if you don’t fix this right now).

The very mention of the word “alarm” is somewhat….. well, alarming. Why is it not a “wake-up clock” or a “morning clock”? I really don’t enjoy the alarm clock and many are the days I’d just as soon destroy it as do anything else when it goes off.

And that brings me to another point: the snooze button. What kind of concept it that? Is that blast of adrenaline you get from the alarm ripping you from sleep so enjoyable that you want to do it more than once a day? Here, relax for another eight minutes and I’ll scare the stuffing out of you again. And again, if you want another eight minutes. And again. It’s just brutal.

In a perfect world, of course, we’d all get enough sleep to wake naturally when we are adequately rested. We’d be responsible enough to get out of the covers at that point and proceed to meet our obligations for the day. It is not a perfect world.

I figure we have the following choices. (1.) Win the lottery and never have to keep a schedule again. (2.) Ignore the schedule and hope the rest of the world understands. (3.) Continue to use the dreaded alarm clock, but try to minimize the jolt in whatever way we can. Perhaps try putting it on the other side of the room so it doesn’t blast in your ear. Maybe carefully calculate your wake-up time and get up the first time, avoiding the repeating snooze cycles. Music instead of the beep-beep-beep might be a little more comfortable. There’s no better start to the day than to ease into it without alarming urgency.



© 2012, J. Cools

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