Thursday, May 16, 2013

Side Effects II: Doing the Unthinkable

We all have our little bit of crazy.  Mine is OCD about time.  Lateness, even the thought of being late, leads to an adverse physical reaction--agitation, increased heart rate, quickening breath.  I remember it starting in 2nd grade.  At 3 (or whatever time dismissal was) each class would line up to get on the buses. If it flipped 2:45 an we weren't already cleaned up, I fell to pieces.

I suppose I could go all psychobable and try to dissect what circumstances drove me to that state at such a young age.  But I am not going to  pin it on any outside force.  It is what it is.

How did I cope?  I never did. I worked for years in professional kitchens. 15 minutes early is 15 minutes late. I did not acquire a "kitchen mentality." I flourished in these jobs because the mentality was already there.

Last week I did something unthinkable for a time OCD person like myself--I over slept.

Frequent readers may remember that I get up for practice at Brahamamuhurta--the Hour of God 0400. I could write out the breakdown of my practice to nearly the minute--finishing The Chalisa? 0432. Savasana? 0527.

Imagine my surprise when my wife woke me up at 5:30.

Guess what?  The world did not end because I got an extra 1.5 hrs. of sleep.

The funny thing is that I did it to myself.  I have 2 alarms, the coffee maker which wakes me up when it starts, and the alarm on my phone set for 5 minutes later.

I set up the coffee maker.  I set the delay start.  I never turned it on.

I woke up in the night and realized I left my phone in another room.  I got it and placed it on my dresser.  I never turned the alarm on.

And yet, water is still wet.  The sky is still up.

Imagine my surprise to discover that I didn't really think twice about 'missing' a practice session.  I did not even feel very rushed, having to do my morning out of order.

I credit consistent practice for this. Without consistent practice, the whole day would have been shot from the get-go. But that practice, over time, gradually is making me a little more flexible. A little more ok with my neurosis.

Don't get me wrong, I still have 2 alarms set. But if I happen to get a little more sleep, well that is ok too.

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