illustrated moment

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The trouble with silent alarms

im silent alarm

I am currently working as a professional lab rat over the summer months and that means I have to wake up by a certain time in the morning. A task which my entire ancestor tree has been doing for as long as life has existed on this gorgeous planet – the task known as waking up – has proved to be somewhat of a difficult thing.

As I’m writing this – and seeing as you are reading this – the general consensus is that I am not in a vegetative state, but in fact I am conscious, alert and orientated. That would mean that I woke up at some point during the day – and I’m happy to report that I did indeed! So what’s the problem? The problem is that I am not waking up at the right time.

Like everybody else, the hour at which I need to wake up by is often too early to make use of my will power, so I set an alarm – in fact, I set about 5 alarms. When I finally go to bed I make sure that my alarm is away from my reach, so that I must get up and switch off it’s super annoying tune – and hoping that the entire process will prompt me not to climb back into bed to cuddle my duvet. Great, so what’s exactly the problem? The fact that I still manage to wake up late because the alarm hadn’t done it’s job!

This perplexing situation made me do a little research of my own. I set the alarm at different times during the day to check that all was in working order – super annoying tune, loud enough to wake up the entire city, going off a million times, absence of a dismiss button – and the results show that there is no reason why I should not be waking up all irritated and tired when the alarm dictates it.

So here’s my very short list of theories on the matter:

1. I am being targeted by an alarm ninja, who sneaks into my room just in time to neutralise the evil alarm clock because they don’t want me to get up and be productive – stupid alarm ninja!

2. I am the alarm ninja – unknowingly rising during deep sleep to switch off the alarm and return back to the dreams happening on the pillow, with no recollection of such activity when I finally do wake up – stupid alarm ninja brain!

Told you it was a very short list.

What a silly problem to be having! I have to now make an effort to retrain my brain to recognise the sound of the alarm clock so I can wake up before any funny business happens to delay my mornings and get me in trouble!

Stupid alarm clocks! 

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Papercuts

Who knew paper could be so sharp?

In the blink of an eye it can ninja-slice your finger and leave you with the agony of its sting. Papercuts are almost invisible – unless you look really, really, really closely for them. They don’t tend to bleed, so you are stripped of your right to take a picture of it and send it to your friends for sympathy. They hurt like hell, but you can’t moan about it without sounding like a wimp.

Papercuts are annoying, stealthy and unexpected. Fact.

Have you ever seen someone from across the room and their apparent demeanour just puts you off?

Have you ever met someone and for reasons you can’t quite pinpoint, you find yourself not wanting anything serious to do with them?

Have you ever used the phrases, “I just don’t think we’ll get along“, “they just don’t seem like a good character, you know?” or “they just seem to rub me up the wrong way” without really spending any significant amount of time or effort to get to know someone?

Just like that insidious papercut, you have emotions that you are pinning onto this new person, without giving them a chance. We are all guilty of it, unfortunately. We make an initial judgement before we get too close – it’s a defence mechanism. In an effort not to expose ourselves and be vulnerable to the external world, we put on our metaphorical Google glasses and collect data about the other person even before we truly interact with them. From a distance, we inspect their behaviour, the way they react to those around them, how they laugh, how they talk – the list is endless, and exhausting. How creepy is that? I would hate it if someone monitored me like that, and then decided a category and label for me.

Let’s just ease up on the weirdo-creepy attitude, and give people a chance. When you drop your guard and cross your imaginary moat you may actually surprise yourself by making a new friend or forming a new relationship. Of course, we don’t all live in Cloud Cuckoo Land and we may also find that the people we interact with aren’t pleasant – but at least you gave it a shot! In a world where a lot of information about you and I is available for public viewing on the internet, we can fall into the trap of feeling entitled to judge someone with all the data we can collect about them from a distance, rather than waiting for a real conversation to occur. The age of technology has made personal interaction even more fun and an adventure than ever before, so enjoy it. Whether your experiences are good or not so good, at least you let go of your previous hang-ups and stinging papercuts so that you could live the human experience for that moment in time.