My phone buzzed from across the room. And it buzzed, and buzzed, and BUZZED.
I cursed the alarm for waking me up, myself for putting it too far away to hit the snooze button from my bed, and the universe for creating a concept as off-putting as mornings.
After five minutes of mental grumbling, I began to fear the abrasiveness of the next alarm which would inevitably arrive in five more minutes. Then my eyes closed, again. Drifting back into sleep, I wondered about my hungry cats, the banality of my work week, and a strange desire for candy.
WONK-WONK-WONK. Shit. I fell asleep again.
With groggy eyes, a cloudy brain, and a stiffness in my body that takes too much time to shake off, I shuffled across the room turn off my alarm.
Without this system, I would never get to work. Without the need to get up out of bed to turn off my panic-inducing alarm, I simply wouldn’t.
I hate mornings. With a passion.
I have never been a morning person, and I never will be. And that’s okay. Unless you ask me right after I wake up. Then, nothing is okay.
After feeding my two cats and two dogs, I empty the cat litter, pick up after the dogs, and wonder why I have so many pets. Oh, that’s right, I love them, and they add meaning to my life. It’s a lot easier to remember that after I’m fully awake, which won’t happen for another hour at least. I don’t know why people say that having pets helps with stress. It doesn’t.
I’m late for work. Again. No matter how early I wake up, something always eats my time and gets me off schedule—a sick dog, an escaped cat, an imploding house.
I may have mentioned that I live in a condo, which means I have lots of neighbors. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; I just personally can’t stand having nothing conversations. You know, small talk. You listen to someone talk about nothing, respond with a limited acknowledgement of the nothing, and then you might go back and forth about nothing for a while, before exiting the conversation and never thinking about it again, because there was nothing to think about in the first place.
Did you feel the pain of reading that sentence? That’s how I feel during nothing conversations.
Yet, somehow, I have them every day. And it’s always in the morning.
My elderly next-door neighbor loves nothing conversations. I still haven’t been able to find a way to politely exit the conversation early on (and trust me, I’ve tried), so I usually end up getting caught in a 20-minute long exchange that drains me emotionally and makes me (even more) late for work.
My most effective strategy so far has been to leave my condo like a teenager sneaking out to a late-night party. I used to be good at it, but apparently one grows rusty as one gets older. No matter how quiet and careful I am, I often meet a worse fate than nothing conversations — the creepy old guy down the way.
On some days, I’m unlucky enough to get zinged by both of them.
Once I finally get to the car, my morning still isn’t looking bright. I’m already tired physically and emotionally. From my frenetic morning chores, my neighbors, and my impending doom. It’s in this state that I take to the streets, which is where you can see my true morning colors.
I’m an introvert with road rage.
Don’t get me wrong. I believe in kindness, consideration, patience, human decency. I consider myself to be a person with values that enact positive change in the world. Just not on the road where the assholes apparently live. And what makes it worse is the fact that every time I drive to work, it’s the morning. I think I may have told you how I feel about mornings.
Once the morning passes, socialization is a hell of a lot easier. But I won’t lie to you and say everything is all wine and roses. Oh how I wish there was wine… wouldn’t that make the morning go by much more pleasantly! But, yeah, no. You see, my office consists of characters from The Office except way less funny and more exasperating.
It’s a miracle that I can get through one eight-hour day without needing bail money, let alone an entire week.
It’s not that I don’t like working with others. I do. Sort of. Okay, well, not at all, but, I can work with others just fine, thank you very much. It’s just that my office is filled to the brim with overconfident type-A personalities who are more than happy to tell you the right way to do things even when they have no idea how to do said things. Yeah, thanks for the advice Dwight, but no one asked.
So, after a jam-packed day of Zoom meetings that could very well have been emails requiring no human interaction whatsoever, I inch closer and closer to my sacred wind-down time.
I always notice that my evening drive has a lot less rage than my morning drive. Once I get home, I tend to the pets again; giving everyone dinner, taking out the dogs and the cat litter, emptying and refilling the water bowls, and then I can finally focus on myself (Masked Singer and Great British Bake Off here I come!). And look at that. No bail money needed! For today at least.
But as Scarlett said, “after all, tomorrow is another day.” And with it comes, you guessed it, a morning. Ugh.