Wednesday, October 19, 2011

On Self-discipline

I have this problem: I stay up way too late on the compy. Internet, games, writing, all sorts of things that keep me up until deep in the A.M. hours. That's how it is. The cool kids go out and get wasted, the geeks stay home and binge on World of Warcraft. When I was unemployed, this didn't matter, because who gives a crap if I wake up around noon? But the day job requires that I get up at 7 A.M., so clearly an all-night-long TVTropes wiki-walk won't do.

I try, I really do. But I get a good game, or an intriguing Cracked list, or what-have-you, and the next thing you know it's 3 A.M. and I'm cursing myself for lack of restraint. Then comes the next morning, and oh what a trial it is. Day job is dull as hell on the worst of days, so staying awake when you're already short on sleep is nearly impossible I'm dozing off at my desk, editing records in my sleep (and then cursing and backtracking through them to make sure I didn't fuck something up), and even when I do stay awake I can't focus enough to do the work fast or right. And every night, the same fearkin' thing again. I tell myself to go to bed early, but the fact is, bed means the next time I'm conscious I'm headed back to work for more dreary drudgery. Who wants to do this when your leisure hours are so precious.

This has happened to me once or twice before, and the last straw is always the same: yawning on the morning commute. Because that's where this humorous story gains the potential to take a very, very dark turn: Falling asleep at the wheel. This has happened to me twice. Neither time resulted in an accident, but it was a big scare.  It's not reached that point yet this time, but I have been yawning, and the memory of past near-misses is troubling.

So, no more excuses. Out come the big guns:

That, in case you don't recognize it, is a lamp timer. $20 or so at any hardware store. It's meant to turn the lights in your house on in the evening, and off after you go to bed, without you having to worry about it. How it works is: You plug the timer in to an electrical outlet, then you plug the lamp into the timer. The colored green and red thingamajigs can be placed at any time you want, and the big wheel turns as time passes. When the time hits a red marker, the timer cuts off power to the lamp. When it hits a green, power resumes. And it doesn't just work for lamps, you can hook up anything you need to go off at a given time to it. Like my compy.

So now, I don't have the choice to stay up later then 1. (I may move it back to midnight or 11 if that doesn't solve the problem.) I shut down by then and get some sleep, or compy shuts down for me. Yes, I know data loss and Stupid Windows Shit are probable results of a sudden power loss, but y'know what? My own damn fault for not having any restraint. A guy's gotta do what a guy's gotta do, even if it has to be shoved in his face.

Socrates once said, "Know thyself." LupLun would add: "Especially know when you need a good bitch-slapping."

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