Wednesday, October 7, 2009

3 Days and Going Strong...

Well, somewhat strong. I am finding myself checking my blackberry, talking to myself, and turning on my lamp while still laying in bed to avoid getting up for a few extra minutes in the morning. But I have not hit that little devilish button for the past 3 days. I do appreciate all the reminders that I'm not the only one who LOVES to snooze... it makes me feel like I'm not the only crazy person who can snooze for hours at a time. And you're right Kayla, at least the snooze button makes the noise stop... I probably should just enjoy it while I can.

But NO! I will conquer this, I will!

Is there such a thing as too much technology?

My dependence on technology technically started with the pager I inherited from my college bound sister shortly after I turned 17. By 21 I was enjoying the convenience of constant communication, but also getting tired of one-way communications. I upgraded to a cell phone and suddenly had constant access to the world at my fingertips all the time. That meant the world also had constant access to me, but when you're 21 that is actually a good thing.

My cell phone was very handy over the next several years as I moved in and out of apartments, in and out of my parents house, and in and out of the state. No matter where I went my friends and family still had one number to reach me at. How convenient that by the time I moved out of state, I didn't even have to change my area code! However, just before moving to New York, I also discovered the ipod, which bumped my technology dependence up to a slightly new level.

With my new ipod, I moved my entire music collection across the country with me in one little handful of metal and plastic. With my ipod in my pocket the Indigo Girls wandered city streets with me, Van Morrison accompanied me on the subway (which besides being a lovely way to pass the time also kept random strangers from trying to tell me their life stories. Seriously, there's a reason people don't talk to each other on the subway), the Black-eyed Peas went running with me, and Jack Johnson fell asleep with me. I actually carried around that 5Gb dinosaur of an ipod (I actually got it used and it was probably the first generation ipod) for three years along with my little sprint flip phone and was totally content with life and the "basic necessities" that kept me connected to the world, and musically satiated.

Tonight, however, as I turned on 3 different computers to find the password to my internet, I realized that my dependence, and attachment to technology might be a bit ridiculous. When I pack for vacation, my concern is not now based on whether or not I remembered my toothbrush and underwear, but whether I have: my blackberry and charger, my ipod and charger, my laptop and charger, and my camera and charger. Instead of a purse, I carry a backpack on the airplane to ensure I'm able to fit all of my electronics. I was super excited to leave my laptop behind (as well as my blackberry) when I left for Australia for two weeks, until I learned that my boss was more than happy to switch my phone plan to include international calls, and that he was also not more than happy that I would not even be checking email while I was gone. So... I packed along a mini-laptop and my phone, and dutifully checked in from time to time to make sure my employees were surviving, and all was well. It turns out, work managed just fine without me. But to be honest, in the end I was more than happy to have an excuse to have the internet available, and maybe even my phone from time to time. So in reality, am I more attached to technology than I like to think?

For the record, I have still managed to live for two years in an apartment with no TV. That does count for something, right?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Conquering the Snooze Addiction

As I thought about what I could change my blog title to, I first had to determine what I wanted my blog to be about. I couldn't very well carry on with 31 reasons for being 31 (it just doesn't have the same ring to it, right?), because aside from not sounding nearly as good, I either had to increase the number of posts this year (and 30 seemed pretty difficult last year) or I only had to add one more and call it good. So... what now?

I am actually fairly well known to have grand intentions for myself (so grand they are hard to follow through with), and also equally well known for being somewhat free-spirited. I wanted to put into writing for my own observation (and maybe for a little entertainment) some of my grand intentions, and the process I go through in trying to follow through with them. Yellow Flats, Red Stilletos seems to illustrate to me the fun-loving and spontaneous aspects of my personality, as well as the driven, powerful side of me that tries so hard to take charge, but can only hope to consistently temper my impulsive, curious nature. And shoes as metaphorical objects used to describe my personality couldn't be better a better fit (pun intended).

My most recent grand intention is to conquer my severe addiction to the snooze button. I realize that many people snooze at least once on any given morning. I think most would agree, that the feeling of snuggling back under warm cozy covers for 9 extra minutes is blissful, even if it is only temporary. I know I am not the only person who feels this way, because nearly every alarm clock available has a very large button on top labeled "snooze". However, I am one of few that can't seem to stop snoozing, regardless of the fact that I know I am not getting good sleep, and that I will be persistently startled by a "wha-wha-wha-wha" sound every 9 minutes. Still, I might go through this for up to two hours if I've given myself enough opportunities to do so in the morning.

Here are some of the dilemmas that keep me from overcoming this habit:

1. I always want to get so much accomplished in the morning, and therefore I set my alarm for earlier than I actually have to get out of bed.
2. I am expected to be at work by 9am. So, if I decide I want to go in early, it is purely up to me to get there early, and therefore, if I am tired and decide to hit snooze once, or 10 times, I know that it won't really matter because I am only adjusting my expectations and my schedule (I actually tried to change my schedule to an earlier one for awhile and then just gave up).
3. It is extremely difficult to explain to a semi-conscious mind that it is better to get up and face the cold immediately rather than in 9 more minutes, because all the semi-conscious mind really cares about is that it's warm and cozy in bed, and it's not so warm and cozy out of bed (I've tried leaving my heat up a bit at night, so far it hasn't really been that helpful).
4. The simple truth is that I was not good at waking up in the morning, even when I was a little tiny girl. (My mom had a little poem that she used to recite with me in the mornings. Somehow over the years I had the impression it was a happy little poem recited by a happy little girl. It turns out it was my mom's way of trying to help me be a happy little girl in the morning. Oops. Sorry, Mom.)

So, I have a new plan. Well, the start of a new plan. First, I've decided that if I can go an entire month without hitting the snooze button once, I will buy myself the pair of white sweater boots that I've been wanting (I know, here we go with shoes again). Now, I am not good at holding myself to this kind of commitment. Eventually I tend to buy myself what I want anyway. But if I am putting it in writing, then I have to admit, in writing, if I give in and buy the boots anyway. I also realize that I have to be realistic with the time I will actually get out of bed. That is still an issue I'm working out with myself.

In the grand scheme of things, aside from the worthless sleep I'm getting each morning that I continually hit snooze, is the snooze button such a deadly vice? Not so much... just a silly one. However, I know that making and keeping these small commitments to myself will help me make the bigger and more important commitments to myself and to others. And I have learned through many hard lessons, that if I can't keep a commitment to myself, it can be equally as hard to keep my commitments to others. And as my mother has said many times, life is all about sacrifice and commitment (Mom, are you feeling all your preaching has paid off a bit?? I love you.).