sleep

365 Challenge: Day 108 – Early Riser

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Early Riser: a person who gets up early in the morning

early riser.jpg

I concede that today’s word might actually be considered two separate words; however, it represents a concept that we are all familiar with and is something I have become as I grow older. So that’s why I feel it’s OK to use this in the 365 Daily Challenge. I believe there’s a ‘next’ button you can hit if you feel I’ve cheated today and can’t bring yourself to read this post. I can accept that and will see you tomorrow.

Early riser. Does that mean you are awake before the sun rises? Or does it mean you’re up by 7am? Does the time change based on work day or non-workday, during the week or weekend? Or are you consistent in that you get up at the same day all the time? For me, although it’s changed over the years, I’ve been in the same pattern for the last decade. I’m generally awake between 6:30 am and 7:00 am. I consider myself an early riser, although by many standards, that might be considered a bit late.

Ignoring sleepless nights or if you’ve gone to bed much later than usual. Forget those with babies or very young toddlers who haven’t adjusted to sleeping through the night. Strictly speaking on a normal day, where’s that line between rising early and rising at a normal time? I ask for a few reasons…

Alarms

  • I rarely set an alarm clock anymore. If I had a very important meeting before 9am, I might set the alarm as a back-up. But for the most part, I don’t need one to ensure I’m awake and out of bed in the morning. My body has attuned to the time of day, the amount of sleep I get and the sunrise. It’s good because I don’t have to be jolted by some strange noise telling me to wake up. I’m also the first one awake in the morning, so I become the alarm clock for anyone else in the house. And I’m generally quiet when I do wake up the other half to get ready for work.
  • Do you use them? If so, is it your phone or an actual clock? What kind of noise does it make?

First Thing

  • When I wake up, I usually reach for my mobile phone to check the time. I can often guess within a few minutes, but I like knowing the exact time. If it’s still on the early side, I’ll try to stay in bed and think about what needs to get done that day… try to ease into my schedule and objectives. If I happen to wake up on the later end of my normal window, I’ll get out of bed and start the mini-routine… bathroom, send the dog outside, switch on the coffee pot, put out Ryder’s pills, food and fresh water, and then begin scrolling through my phone to see if I’ve missed anything overnight. Takes about 10 to 15 minutes but then I’m on the couch with my coffee and laptop to begin the day.
  • Do you jump up out of bed? Do you head right for the shower? Check on other people in the house? Or find some quiet time for yourself before anyone else gets up?

Morning Person

  • My head needs at least 15 minutes before I function properly in the morning. I can go thru that routine I mentioned above, but that’s about it. And then I can’t talk to anyone for about an hour. I need that hour to pull myself together, but then I’m good for the whole day. Not really a nap person. Naps just make me more tired or a bit cranky when I wake up, as that 1 hour period starts all over again. So I just run full steam ahead until the end of the day. I’d say I’m best between 10 am and 4 pm most days. And on vacations, it’s the same way. Just because I’m in a hotel and only in a city for a few days to a few weeks, and might not return again, doesn’t mean I have to maximize my time and throw off a perfectly good routine.
  • Are you bright-eyed and bushy-tailed when you wake up? Do you need some sort of jolt to push you through that first portion of the day?

So what am I really trying to say here?  I don’t like when I have a busy day ahead and I’m forced to write my 365 Daily Challenge post this early. My mind’s not quite awake. But I have a project plan to draft starting at 10am, and I need to head to the gym first, so unless I get this done now and head to the gym within the next 2 minutes, I’ll be behind. Tell me something fun about your morning routine!

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

Review: Peter Pan

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Peter Pan
Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie   My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Before I get into the review… it took me forever to go through all the editions of Peter Pan listed on Goodreads. While I suppose it’s not too important to get the right version, I was shocked at how many there were, as well as that this was a longer series with multiple books. I guess I always knew that, but when I read it, it was just the Peter Pan book, which I believe was the third in the series. I could be wrong… nonetheless… wow… and it’s review time and let’s do some soaring…

There is so much I could say about this book. I could write a formal review. I could compare the story to the TV and film adaptions. I could cover the cartoons. BTW, the most interesting one for me was “Once Upon a Time’s” portrayal of Peter. So dark… LOVED IT. But that said, to me, it’s a children’s tale with a huge primary lesson: We never want to grow up, but we have to…

And that’s what I’ll focus on. This book must be read to children a few times over the years. I’d start first when they are about 4 or 5, and then show the cartoon versions. Let them absorb it and think about it. And then again when they are 7 or 8, helping them understand what it means to grow up. And then again when they are about 12 or 13… and make them do a book report on it, even outside of school. It’s a lesson that must be taught young.

Growing up is scary. But so is not growing up. There’s a fine balance between finding the time to be free and open, enjoying life and staying away from one’s fears. But you must also learn what is necessary to become a good, solid and functioning citizen of the society.

What I love about this story is the amount of interpretations you can absorb from the story, the characters, the setting and the action. Just when you think you’ve got them all down, another view point comes into play — and you have to re-think what the moral purpose of the book is about.

Or did Barrie intend it to just be a fun trip for kids… I’m not so sure we’ll ever know!

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.


View all my reviews

365 Challenge: Day 38 – Passive

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Passive: accepting or allowing what happens or what others do, without active response or resistance

Passive is a tricky word. We’ve adopted it across so many aspects of our lives. Passive meaning we do not stand up and fight in a war. Passive meaning we prefer to relax and rest more than rush around. Passive meaning we are lost in thought. For today, I plan to focus on my energy level, which means I am much more passive than I am active.

There are lots of people out there who are energized by running around all day, constantly involved in something and unable to sit still. Folks who get up super early (4am?) to find the time to accomplish all their goals. Those who can survive on 4 to 5 hours of sleep per night. And some who must be doing some physical activity throughout most of their day. That is NOT me. But it isn’t all that bad.

I’ve always required 7 to 8 hours of sleep per evening. I can survive on less, even for a few days in a row, but I’m a bit listless and slower than usual. Productivity and quality probably decrease in all that I do, so I know my limits and try to put myself into bed around 10pm each evening, read for 30 to 60 minutes to relax and fall asleep somewhere between 11 and 11:30. I am not a quick sleeper… it takes a while for me to nod off. I’ve never been able to nap. I’m usually awake between 6:30 and 7:30 each morning, without an alarm, as my body says “let’s start the day.”

I’m good with about an hour of exercise each day. I try to walk if I need to handle any errands, or when traveling on my way to/from work where possible. But when I’m done with work or errands, or socializing at meals or events, I am a passive person. I much prefer to be sitting in a chair / couch / bed, where I am reading, writing or watching TV. By no means am I lazy. I certainly go out to do things, take trips, try new opportunities, play with the dog (he likes to run around the apartment in circles… therefore so must I, it seems). Generally, I could sit for 8 to 10 hours keeping myself busy without feeling the need to get outside and go for a jog, run off to the sports center to play tennis or plan a trip to climb some mountain. I’d rather go walk about a museum, drive through and stop at view points, or poke my head in a few stores for an hour and call it quits for the day.

Some of you are thinking… wow, he’s boring. Yes, probably true. But it’s part of who I am. My brain or body don’t need constant physical stimulation, as they’re both content to express creativity and action in my head. When I am flying in an airplane or in a long car ride, even up to 8 or 10 hours, I can go without needing to stop for any sort of break or even getting out of my seat. Part of me thinks it is “mind over matter,” meaning I can tell myself “this is your plan for the next 8 hours… no need to try to change it.” And then I am capable of sticking closely to it. Of course, this isn’t always the case… and sometimes on a weekend when I have no plans on a Saturday or a Sunday, I get a little stir crazy. Then it’s time to take the dog for a walk, find a store to dash into or look for a friend to go out and do something different.

I certainly wonder how these affinities develop in people. Of course DNA and health have a large factor in it, but how much of one’s upbringing defines how passive or active they are in their activities? Is it about availability of money and time? Or is it about how much you’ve been forced to do as a child that determines what you want to do in your future? Do you choose these behaviors yourself or do they develop as a byproduct of those around you?

I am an only child, so I often spent time alone. I had friends and saw them a lot. But rather than go play hoops on the driveway or climb a tree, I stayed in my room to read or watch TV. It may have contributed to me being shy, I’ll acknowledge that part of the impact. I was a really good child, never asking for things or to be entertained, so my parents never felt the need to yell “go outside and play,” just so they had a moment’s peace. They certainly pushed me every so often to be more active and get outside, but only when they thought I was spending too much time shut up in my room.

If I had a child, it would be about balance. I don’t agree with setting up activities all day and evening long for your kids to be busy. Whether it’s 50/50 or 60/40 (either direction), alone time is important to help develop your analytical skills, as well as build your ability to learn things other than what someone else forces you to focus on. I’d limit the amount of reading, TV and computer time, ensuring at least an hour a day was some sort of physical activity. Maybe even an hour a day of some group activity or sport. Weekends would be 1 down day and 1 up day, meaning they’d go to some cultural or community event, but also need to focus on the whole eat/pray/love theme.

When I started this post about 10 minutes ago, I never intended to discuss parenting styles, but I let the words take me where they did today. And if I were to interpret what I’ve written, I’d say perhaps I’m being a little too passive in my own days. I should challenge myself to try something new every month, get out at least once per weekend to some physical activity other than my normal trips to the gym, and I should probably join a group (book club, writer’s group, museum or community thing) to help expand my self-imposed limits.

How often are you out and about versus home and relaxing? Do you find yourself with 15 minutes of free time on a normal day or 3 hours of free time? How do you balance it all? What’s your preference? For those who can’t just sit still, what’s happening in your mind and body when you just need to bounce?

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay. I am 40 and live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post.