Monday, June 06, 2005

Wake Time/Sleep Time

This week, my erratic, night-owl-leaning body clock is quite thrown off. I try to stay on a regular schedule by waking up for an early morning walk and avoiding caffeine in the afternoon and evening (it has a long-term effect that leaves me wide awake in the wee hours if I drink it after 3 or 4 p.m.).

But we were on a cruise from Thursday to Sunday, which wreaks havoc with any semblance of a normal schedule. On the ship, I like to partake of the nightlife and then sleep in until it's time to head to the spa (where I tend to nap even more while on a massage table or in the heated tile loungers in the sauna/steam room area). And now that we're home, my walking buddy is out of town for part of this week. To top it all off, I had to drive my husband to the airport on Monday morning at the ungodly hour of 5 a.m. I crashed as soon as I returned home, and the cats all piled into bed for an extended sleep time. I can sleep late as long as I'm willing to work late, so I had a nice, long snooze. Then, I made the mistake of consuming iced tea around 3 p.m., followed by homemade Barnie's in the early evening. Now, it's approaching 1 a.m., and I'm still working off the caffeine buzz, knowing that I will regret it tomorrow morning.

Hard to believe it was 20 hours ago that I drove my husband to the airport. The fog imparted an eerie feel to the normally routine drive down 417. Even with my driving glasses on, everything looked fuzzy and hazy, as though I was viewing it through cotton gauze. To prevent being lulled into sleep while piloting Canyonero home, I put on my favorite station, WDBO. It was much too early for the radical talk shows, but I listed to the building traffic horror on I-4 (it wasn't too bad yet at such an early hour).

In the winter, I drove hubby to the airport in darkness, and the sky was pitch black when I returned home, too. Now, as the days lengthen, the night sky is usually starting to yield to daybreak by the time I return to Duloc Manor. The black is edged with royal blue, and I know that the sunshine is peeking over the horizon. It reminds me of the Drive From Hell, when we trekked through the Atlanta ice storm on our move to Florida. It was just before daybreak when we hit the first vestiges of hellishness. The expressway was closed down due to an accident, and I sat wedged in the forward-tilted driver's seat, watching the sun rise with tedious slowness while my neck, back, and shoulders found new ways to cramp and spasm. That was probably the longest daybreak I've ever witnessed in my life; time slows to a crawl when you're waiting to resume your 18-turned-to-24-hour drive with a menagerie of animals in the cargo area.

Now, barring intensive therapy, I'm apparently doomed to remember that drive whenever I'm on the road in the wee morning hours. Oh well, the flashbacks shouldn't get too intense because it's highly unlikely that I'll encounter an ice storm anywhere close to Celebration.

The house is very quiet when my husband is out of town, although the cats see to it that I don't get too lonely. The only challenge is to force myself to get out for a while; otherwise, I become too wrapped up in my work and the clock gets away from me. Usually, if I haven't been out during the day, I force myself to visit the health club at night. In the hour or two before closing, I usually have the lap pool at Celebration Health almost all to myself. I doggedly paddle back and forth, cheating through the use of a swim noodle since I prefer the deep lane (it's 6 feet deep, and I'm only 5'2"). Deeper water makes for a more challenging workout, especially if I decide to throw in some water aerobics.

But on this day, I went out at lunchtime; my neighbor and I needed to do some errands downtown, and then we headed over to The Earl of Sandwich for lunch. That's probably my favorite eaterie at Downtown Disney, although Wolfgang Puck Express is a close second (squash soup and goat cheese pizza...mmmm!). Normally I get an All-American (turkey with ranch dressing and cranberry sauce), but my neighbor and I decided to each get something different and then split our choices. That turned out to be a great idea, as I discovered that the roast beef and ham/cheese sandwiches are both divine.

Even though it was lunch, we got there around 3 p.m. I topped off my meal with a large iced tea. Caffeine has a lasting effect on me, so even though it's nearly 12 hours later, I'm still suffering from its stimulant action. The cats know that it's past 1 a.m., i.e. a reasonable bedtime, so they are lurking around the family room, trying to entice me upstairs.

I have to work tomorrow, so I'd best stop my blogging and heed the cats' advice. I'll probably be a zombie in the morning, but I'll have to make a pledge to myself to avoid any caffeine. It will take a concerted effort, but tomorrow I'll overcome my night owl programming and get to bed at a decent hour.

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