The very first item on my daily To Do Lists is always WAKE UP. This is the hardest part of my day, bar none. I’d like to blame this on the fact that I’m often switching between Eastern and Central Time Zones, but that’s only one hour difference, and you can’t really call it ‘jet lag’ unless you’ve actually flown somewhere. Take this morning, for example:

6:00 AM, Eastern Time Zone. My cell phone alarm clock sounds, pulling me unwillingly from a sleep so deep, I am certain I was almost in a coma. I hit “ok” signaling it to leave me the heck alone. I could have pressed snooze, but why, when I’ve got two more alarms set, would I do that? At this point, I’m more awake than I’d like to be (considering I don’t plan on getting up for another hour and a half) so I actually have to put in an effort to fall back to sleep.

6:30 AM comes much sooner than it should reasonably have been expected to, and again I’m unwillingly awakened, though not from so deep a sleep as before. Again, I hit “ok.” Again, I go back to sleep, with less effort this time.

7:00 AM is the real test of my strength. This time I know I don’t have much time left to sleep and therefore I feel deeply and unquenchably exhausted, as if I would gladly live out the rest of my days in this bed. I hit “snooze” and leave my flip phone open, in my hand, with my thumb placed at the ready on the “snooze” button for that pesky alarm to sound again, five minutes later. It does. I snooze. I barely enter consciousness for this little transaction.

7:30 comes and goes while I play this “five more minutes” game with myself. While sleeping, I manage to give myself the go ahead to sleep until 8. No harm done; breakfast at the hotel is served until 9, my appointment isn’t until 10:30… why get up before 8?

I think I am capable of multiplying in my sleep. Somehow, I keep track of the number of times I’ve hit that “snooze” button, multiply that by 5. On the twelfth alarm ring  of the morning (not including the first three, of course), I know I’m done for. No more justifications can be made for staying in bed. There is a day to begin, sales to be made, emails to write, and, as much as I hate them, phone calls to make.

I click “ok.” I force my eyes open, curl my body into a semi-seated position. I blink. I rub my eyes. I yawn and stretch. This isn’t too bad, I’m thinking. What was I so resistant for? Then I remind myself that I’m getting to sleep significantly later than I did when I had an office job, so I ought to count my blessings.

That’s the natural lead-in to a little moment of prayer, a few minutes with the Word, and off to the shower, which is cold. Apparently I’m the last of the 75 people staying at this hotel to get my shower. Maybe that will be inspiration enough to get me up earlier tomorrow morning. Or maybe I’ll just take my shower tonight…