One of the truisms of being a prolonged student is that you extend certain "student-esque" traits beyond their commonly accepted lifespan. That is, many grad students are poor, keep poor hours, eat poorly, and live in poorly cleaned areas, often with similarly minded roommates. Generally speaking, the traits tend to fade somewhat when cohabitation with significant others and children enter the list. But frankly, most of that fits me like a glove. Poor cleaning and poor eating habits segue nicely into the life of the eccentric professor, a position I have been training for quite extensively. And the prospect of some day giving up being poor in a monetary sense is a pleasing, if entirely abstract and distant, possibility. But of all the poorness listed above, I never thought that my first to go would be "keeping poor hours."
That's right. I've been sleeping regular hours for the first time since... high school, probably. I go to bed around 10:30 or so, I'm asleep by 11:30, and I'm up at 7. Let me repeat that, as those who know my sleeping habits may have assumed they misheard: "I'm asleep by 11:30." That's right, the man who once prided himself on never closing an eyelid before the witching hour now rarely sees it at all. How did I get to such a state? It started, as most addictive behavior does, in small increments. Since I'm teaching a morning class this term, I figured it behooved me wake up early on class days. And that was fine. A bit of a pain to remember the night before, but fine. But then I started waking up earlier on my Tuesday/Thursdays. And then I did the same on weekends. WEEKENDS. Oh, I've held the line at the 10 am slumber sessions on my weekend days, but it seems that for Tuesday/Thursdays, 7 am is the new noon.
Now, being up at that time has its benefits. I'm getting more work done. I'm seeing more people. But at what cost? Is it worth giving up a romanticized version of my ideal slacker persona just to be more efficient at my chosen profession?
Well, yes, probably. When you put it that way.
Sigh. The real test will come next week, when my new laptop arrives. If my new schedule can survive a time sink like that, it will probably last the rest of my life. Or at least until the first newborn enters the equation.