Okay, okay. So I woke up late this morning!
At 6:30, my body just woke up…and at first glance to my bedroom window, where the sunlight was barely peeking through, my brain decided to kick my body off of my bed with a hurried start. I picked up my phone (my alarm clock) to check the time…and there it was! The time “6:30 AM” laughed silently from my phone screen to my slowly-booting mind! Aaugh…I’m supposed to be AT WORK…RIGHT NOW (or almost there, at the latest).
What happened? I have 3 alarms that I set…one at 5 AM, one at 5:15, and one at 5:30. Each subsequent one is designed (supposedly) to act as a failsafe just in case my sleepy mind didn’t register to the first one. And none of them are registering on the screen as “snoozed”. Odd.
I must have turned off each alarm instead of snoozed them…a new sleepy habit…borne of continuous snooze-button-presses from mornings long past. I’d been so accustomed to hearing the alarms (and depended on hearing them again after pressing the snooze button) that eventually, my body just gave up on waking up to each alarm. Now, I suffer the lateness of the hour because I developed the habit of ignoring my alarms.
And I’m blaming the Evil Snooze Button (and its inventor) for it all! Whoever invented it probably thought it would help us get more sleep, but all that silly button ever did was break up my otherwise continuous sleep and create a bad habit in me.
Why? Because the Snooze Button taught me to ignore the alarms. It was a security blanket, the soothing “voice” that said, “Go back to sleep. I’ll wake you up in 5 minutes.” Gradually, 5 minutes became 10, then 15, then 30, then 45, then back to 7, then 10, then 12, then some other random number. In my college days, a roommate once asked me, “So which time zone did you set your alarm to this time?” Yes, those were tumultuous biorhythmic days.
As the years wore on, so did my ability to hear my alarm clock, and i struggled to wake up to my prescribed time. So I’d set it earlier, or at random earlier times, in multiple sets, gambling at the idea that I could boot up my brain pretty close to the actual time I needed to get up.
And now, here I am, struggling to sleep early so I can wake up early because my body has decided that it needs about 5 to 6 hours of sleep to maintain basic functionality. And I wake up when I do because my body is used to it…not because I hear the alarms. I’m not as Pavlovian as I used to be (which is probably good, too).
Yes…that Snooze Button is “evil”…because, through it, I learned to comfortably ignore the alarms of my life. It encouraged me to procrastinate my alertness and awake-ness. It taught me to be comfortable in my complacency. It caused me to want to stay asleep.
And that brings me to the deeper meaning to all of this: Do we, as a people, hear the alarms of life anymore? From financial alarms, political alarms, terroristic alarms, moral alarms, and even spiritual alarms. Or have we gotten used to the Snooze Buttons of the world telling us that all is well, nothing to worry about, you can go about your business as if nothing’s happened. Do we keep pressing the Snooze Buttons of Entertainment, of Apathy, of Distractedness, of Busy-ness, of so-called Progress, of Debauchery, and even of Despair that make us say, “Oh well. So what.”
And that’s what worries me even more…is that we’ve experienced the alarms. They’ve sounded already. And more keep sounding. And more will keep sounding. From 9/11, to droughts, to deaths, to terror threats, wars, weather, financial upheavals, national intrigue, international turmoil, economic chaos, societies of secrecy coming out in the open, and much more. We’re hearing all the alarms, and we’ve gotten so used to them that we just say, “What? Another one? Oh well.” There are so many of them, too many to act upon, and so we finally give up heeding them. We press the Apathy Snooze Button, and that is a dangerous button to press.
So when the alarm sounds…you know, the one that changes the whole world, do we wake up then? Or do we press that evil Snooze Button and go right back to sleep…because sleep feels so good? Only to wake up…late in the game, with Regret to greet our sleepy mind?
Maybe, we need to wake up now and get to work, fulfilling the purpose we were meant and sent to do…while there’s still time….before the next ALARM sounds.