Thursday Born

The everyday life of a psychiatry resident (who was born on a Thursday).

Ordinary Joy – Reverb 10, Day 27

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What is Reverb10?

December 27 – Ordinary Joy. Our most profound joy is often experienced during ordinary moments. What was one of your most joyful ordinary moments this year? (Author: Brené Brown)

I have a strong dislike of alarm clocks, but they are a necessary evil. For years I used the same, simple clock radio, and woke up to its loud, blaring beeps. More recently, I switched to my phone, still using an alarm that was not kind to my ears (to this day if I hear someone using my old alarms as a ringtone, it gets the adrenaline pumping for a second or two). And then this past March, I came across an app for my phone that allowed me to use a song (Fireflies, by Owl City), and even to allow the volume to slowly ramp up, which was a much kinder way to wake up.

But oh, the joy of waking up without an alarm clock! Not on the mornings where it’s because I’m anxious and can’t sleep, or because I was just awake enough that the squeak of my roommate’s door hinge has pierced through my dreamy haze, or because I’m too hot or too cold.

No, these are the mornings where, do I even need to get out of bed right now? No, not really. But I will. Soon. On my own time. I wake up comfortable, no pain in my neck or arm from sleeping on them wrong, no too bright light assaulting my eyes. I wake up because I’m ready to, not because I have to.

Waking up without an alarm is a luxury I am now used to, but waking up content and relaxed? It happens, and it happens on days just like any other, just days where I happen to have my act together a little bit more than others, and I know that I do, and I’m not worried right from the get go.

It’s a simple joy, a joy to stretch and close my eyes again sans guilt, a joy to look at the time, think that I’ve had enough sleep but some more won’t hurt, and wriggle back under my covers without second thoughts.

And it’s an ordinary joy that I’m voluntarily allowing to become an extraordinary joy, in no more than six months, most likely fewer. There are major sacrifices that one makes for many career choices, but there are also minor ones. I won’t ever be returning to my old, faithful ten plus year old alarm clock, or to the grating ring of my cellphone, but I think that waking up with a lazy smile is going to become quite the luxury all too soon. It will fall victim to either anxiety, or to chronic sleep deprivation, or an on and off combination of both.

From what I’ve gathered, a number of people at my school either currently take, or have taken sleeping pills. They have trouble falling asleep, and I’m going to bet they don’t wake up well either. I admit, I’ve had trouble falling asleep on occasion, but I’m determined to avoid medication (fine, non-over the counter medication. Benadryl has been my friend in the past).

Speaking of sleep, it’s past midnight here and I’ve been woken up every morning. I don’t think I can quite aim for a joyful morning (too many things rattling around in my head that need to be done) but I can aim for pleasant, and that’s a very close cousin. Goodnight!

Written by Aba

December 27, 2010 at 6:26 pm

7 Responses

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  1. sorry! i gues I should WD-40 my door… if only i can find my bottle of WD-40…


    December 27, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    • I’ve been meaning to do it myself for ages and I just kept forgetting to ask you where the WD-40 is. It doesn’t wake me up often though, or I definitely would’ve taken care of it sooner.


      December 27, 2010 at 6:42 pm

      • yeah… i don’t really remember where i put it. damn.


        December 27, 2010 at 7:56 pm

  2. Ah yes, the joy of oh-so-good sleep. It’s something I experience less and less it seems, but how sweet it is when it happens! Tomorrow it’s an early alarm-assisted wake up for me, but I do have a four-day weekend coming up. A four-day weekend with no traveling, to spend in my own home, which hasn’t happened in as long as I can remember. The alarm will remain in the off position, that much is certain!

    Bob D.

    December 27, 2010 at 6:45 pm

    • Ooh, enjoy your four day weekend! I don’t think I’m going to be dragged anywhere today and I’m really looking forward to being home all day and napping on and off as I please.


      December 28, 2010 at 3:21 am

  3. Wow, I’m so glad to hear you’re staying away from sleep drugs. Can’t tell you how many stories I’ve heard of people who have become dependent on Ambien etc. … Screws up the sleep-wake cycle, which then screws up mood, energy, etc. Valerian root is also an OK choice; melatonin works for some people. … Good for you for allowing yourself to enjoy the moments of really being in bed, without anything else to do.


    December 29, 2010 at 11:46 am

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