It’s 7AM and I’m at my favorite coffee shop in San Diego. I woke up at 6:15AM and hit snooze once (likely because I fell asleep at 2AM). 10 min later and I was up.

The last two months I’ve been hitting snooze. I’ll have a call at 8am and set my alarm for 7am only to snooze it repeatedly until 7:55am. I chalked it up to falling asleep too late the night before (which is also a problem) or my weird waking up at 5am habit. As I moved away from the 5am habit, the snooze habit stuck. I would use caffeine and adrenaline and the still present desire to move things forward to get myself through the day. Then I’d crash in bed randomly one day sometimes for hours foregoing dinner and contemplating skipping plans.

I don’t snooze alarms. It might be a one off incident but I’m a “set an alarm and get up” kind of person. It must be the black and white, ritualistic inner core in me who is still baffled by the other me who is dragging us on non stop adventures zigzagging across time zones.

An alarm is your first action and thought of the day if you wake up to it. It entails multiple decisions – silence, snooze, ignore. I set one of my favorite songs as the alarm sound because I do believe in waking up to something pleasant to start the day. I will admit there are times when I’ve lied in bed awake listening intently and lovingly to my alarm song 🙂 Writing this, I’m reminded of this fantastic quote:

“Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.” ― Dalai Lama XIV

I haven’t been reacting normally to my alarm for two months for a variety of reasons but it finally hit me this past week how much I needed to recharge. On really tough and tired days, I could caffeine it away. A new cold brew drink at the same coffee shop I’m at now bumped my caffeine intensity up a notch. The first time I had it I was nearly vibrating with energy. This week I almost chugged it entirely on my car ride back and felt… nothing.

I played soccer on Thursday this week. Normally I arrive a tiny bit nervous even after 20 years of playing. I arrived yawning this week and physically weighed down. The game was a blur.

The snoozing bled into everything else. I snoozed replying to text messages. I snoozed answering emails. I snoozed anything that wasn’t red hot urgent each day. There was little creative thought.

I’m taking two weeks off starting today. We have an open vacation policy at Automattic but this is the first time I’ve taken a full two weeks to myself. I think the last time I’ve had true time off was likely my freshman year in college when I tore my ACL. I worked all throughout college which meant breaks from school was just a time to try to take on my work and make more money. I write this and am first annoyed with our society for not encouraging balance. I read it over once more and am annoyed with myself. I know better – at least now I do.

I didn’t have a choice to disengage before Automattic. To be clear, I didn’t have the luxury or privilege to do so. Many if not most folks don’t. I am exercising a MASSIVE privilege by taking two weeks off and that makes me sad. It makes me want to go around and Oprah style offer two weeks off to everyone I see.

I’m excited to recharge. I could hardly fall asleep last night excited to have time off as odd as that sounds. “Just think of all the sleep I’ll get!” she thinks as she lies in bed awake at 2am. I jumped out of bed this morning excited to go sit in a coffee shop and type this up on my phone. I’m excited to recharge – anxious to really. There’s so much more I want to do and I just need the silly energy to do so. I closed my computer yesterday and felt my fried brain still swirling with ideas.

I say this to folks on my team but time away is just as important as time working.

To recharge I’m doing the most extravagant thing I’ve done for myself yet for my birthday. I never really celebrate much but have gotten more impulsive as I’ve moved out of a scarcity mindset. I’m headed to France for two weeks with a very dear friend from high school. We’ll eat too much cheese. Lounge by the Eiffel Tower. Talk about our souls. We haven’t set true plans – our only plan is to meet up. That’s all I need right now.

Until I return to work, I’ll be scribbling ideas in my phone as my ability for creative thought comes back. I may even continue working on the book I want to write. I may not. All I know is that I want to get back to a snooze-less existence.

One comment

  1. I wonder if it’s just a sign this break is well-timed. I wonder if you’ll find it “fixed” when you get back. I adore that you have the space for introspection (here) and reflection (there).

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