Have You Slapped a Dead Poet Today?

“I have a ‘carpe diem’ mug and, truthfully, at six in the morning the words do not make me want to seize the day. They make me want to slap a dead poet.” ~Joanne Sherman

I am not a morning person. Yes, I wake up cranky which is why I do not own a ‘carpe diem’ coffee mug. I would have broken it by now. This is not a new phenomenon. Even in childhood I was not an early riser. In fact, the older I get the harder it is getting for me to haul myself out of bed each morning. For two years I had the excuse of a medicinal haze to blame for my inability to rise fully awake. Having changed medications … well, that excuse is no longer valid and I still can not wake up in the morning.

I do not own an alarm clock. Did you know that alarm clocks are not made to withstand being thrown against a wall? Well, they aren’t. I have proof … in pieces. Actually, I have discovered in recent years that manufacturers now make alarm clocks shaped like baseballs or grenades that will not shut off until impact with a wall is obtained. Fat lot of good this would do me. I would throw it and immediately fall back asleep. Yep, I can do that. I can turn an alarm off and instantaneously go back to sleep. So, how do I get up each morning? Trust me; my “internal clock” is of no use. No, I use the alarm feature on my cell phone. Why? Well, I have to have my cell phone. I can not afford to damage it and somewhere in the recesses of my mind I remember this at dawn and I am kind to the poor little device. Oh, I curse at it and hit the snooze. Yes, you can snooze the alarm on a cell phone. I know for a fact that the snooze on my cell will go off every ten minutes for exactly one hour. No more. No less. I have discovered this through a great deal of trial and error … and a wee bit of oversleeping.

It makes no difference if I go to bed at 2100 (9pm, people … get with the program) or midnight. I can sleep three hours or nine hours or any number in between and the morning result will always be the same. In theory, I should rise between 0600 and 0630 each day. In reality I usually get up closer to 0645. Of course, at that point I am rushing myself and children in order to get out the door and get them to where they need to go (dressed and fed) before I walk into my office at exactly 0800 … usually with my wet hair up in a clip or ponytail and having managed mascara and lipstick while in my vehicle. Caffeine has no affect, but I fill up my mug with steaming coffee anyway (as I adore coffee) … eat some instant oatmeal at my desk … check my email … all in a sleepy haze before I start functioning at full capacity somewhere between 1030 and 1100. Lucky for me, my boss doesn’t mind. She knows I will get my workload done.

Sidebar: I know what you are thinking. Well, those of you who read my little stories on a regular basis … I do know what you are thinking. You are trying to make sense of the dynamic I have going between not being able to get up in the morning and my recurring insomnia. If I am not sleeping to begin with then how can I have trouble with the waking hours? The truth is that I have no trouble if I am not sleeping. I simply go two or three days without sleep but, thankfully, I seem to have solved my bouts of insomnia for the time being (knock on wood). I sleep on my couch. Yes, my couch. Why I can sleep there, but not in my bed, is a mystery. It is a conundrum I am not working overtime to solve as I am thrilled to be sleeping at all.

So, should you happen to meet me between the hours of 0600 and 1100 on any given day and I am less then civil please know I really am not angry. I am just not awake - not fully anyway. A cheery, “Good morning!” will probably garner a sideways glance of disdain and if you are bold enough to actually throw an obnoxious “carpe diem” my way I might just mentally slap you like I would the dead poet. My day will get seized. It just will not happen until mid-morning.

“Early morning cheerfulness can be extremely obnoxious.” ~William Feather


  1. I totally hear ya on this one...I don't completely feel awake until 6pm. I work out between 8 and 9 pm.

    We just need to live in Denmark - have you heard of B-Society? It's basically flexible working hours according to your natural clock.

    Check it out here: http://www.b-society.org/


    P.S. Are you glad that Bourdain's back?!

  2. I wanna move to Denmark... I don't fully awaken till around 2-3.... at 5PM when my boss is kicking me out,I am usually at full throttle.

  3. Let's all move to Denmark!!!

    lisa ~ I'm SO glad Bourdain is back. I've been reading his blog too. Woo hoo!

  4. I'm a morning person and my daughter is not. We've (sort of) learned to harness this: we travel or shop or have our quality time in the evening. It took me a long time to adjust to letting her sleep; but she's 21 now. It's okay.

  5. daisy ~ I have one of those in my house ... a morning person. My youngest (8 years) son is often up long before I am. He astounds me. The oldest is cranky like me.

  6. Oh, I have always been a morning person... By 10am, I feel half the day is over...


"Stranger, if you passing meet me and desire to speak to me, why should you not speak to me? And why should I not speak to you?" ~Walt Whitman


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