Cartoons?

It’s 6:31 AM on a Saturday.  Too early to blog?  Well I’m up, so I’m going to dialogue briefly on this relatively new phenomenon in my life of waking up too early on the weekend.  During the week I don’t even get up this early.  We were up past midnight last night playing Settler’s of Catan (yes I won) with friends and yet here I am up earlier then I normally get up. 

I’ve never really been one to sleep in, but waking up this early on Saturday is kind of a new thing.  It’s even more weird because it never happens on Sunday.  Dorothy remarked a few Sunday’s ago ” you always ‘sleep in’ on Sunday but never on Saturday”.  Which is the first time that I really considered how weird it is that I get up so early on Saturday.  It’s not cartoons obviously, so what is it that has me up-e-at-em while still dark on the first day of real rest available to me.

The morning always starts the same, I become self aware.  I’m not a dreamer.  I remember about 2 dreams per year, seriously.  So what happens is I suddenly become self aware, it feels almost like my “minds eye” opens and I immediately get excited to start my morning.  I think this started since we moved into this new house, it was August and the sun came up very early.  The sun rise at this new house is amazing, comes up over the mountains to the east and in August within10 minutes of the sun coming up it’s warm enough to sit on our back poach and enjoy the view.  The cows are munching on grass, the pivot to the south is making that repetative “pshshshshsh pshshhsh pshshhshs” sound.  It’s honestly heavenly.  So I started to get really excited about getting up.

This along with honestly perfecting coffee.  I literally make the most delicious cup of coffee ever-here at my house.  I’ve got the water volume, grind time, bean amount dialed in for one mug, two mug or three mugs depending on how many I’m making for people.  I drink my coffee out of cheap truck stop coffee mugs with the little lids that slide shut to keep the coffee warm.  I love coffee.  So shortly after becoming self aware I usually also think “Oh man coffee sure sounds nice”.  [Coffee pot just beeped, pauses…..ok back]   Jason has described the first coffee as “the sip that rights the world”.   Can’t disagree.

So I become self aware, get excited about my weekend, and start thinking about coffee and then I look at the clock and it’s usually around 6 AM.  I initially respond with dismay if I was up late and think “5.5 hours of sleep isn’t enough!”  So I try to go back to sleep.  I usually doesn’t work and here I am blogging at 6:30 AM and drinking my coffee. 

I’ve always needed less sleep then most people.  My wife will confirm that despite getting 5.5 hours of sleep last night it’s very unlikely that I’ll be that tired today.  So that’s a feature of all of this that can’t be ignored: there’s no obvious negative consequences from this whole process.   Behavior that comes with positive reinforcement (dopamine release from excitement about my weekend, central adenosine receptor stimulation from my coffee) and no negative consequences always becomes more frequent.  That’s addiction in a nut shell.  I’m addicted to Saturday.  

Think about addiction for a moment: the reason that meth is probably so terribly addicting is that it has such powerful stimulation of the reward centers of the brain and nothing too terribly bad usually happens  the first time you use it.  BAM, addicted!   They have a new anti-meth campaign on TV here with the tag “Not Even Once” it’s true that stuff is evil.  I deal with cigarette addiciton in my job a lot and people don’t usually become addicted right away on cigarettes because initially it often makes people feel just a little sick and it doesn’t start stimulating the reward centers of the brain right away!  New smokers actually get “jazzed” from cigarettes, that’s your party smoker that smokes a few times a year and never really becomes addicted.  The person that feels “calmed down” by smoking…you my friend are now addicted.  The concentration of central nicotine receptors has changed and you are no longer the same person.  Drat, make an appointment with me STAT, I can help!

So here we are at the end of the lengthy discussion of why I get up early on Saturday and also briefly about addiction.  Now I’ll tell you the real reason I’ve been getting up early.  I’m pretty sure  I actually figured it out this morning/last night.  It’s only on particular Saturdays that I get up early.  So it could be all that other stuff I mentioned above or it could just be the Saturdays after I have a cup of coffee when I get home from work on Friday night.  The half life of caffeine is such that it’s probably the residual caffeine affecting me at a too early hour on Saturday and making me “alert” while my mind is in the stage of sleep where “alertness” leads to wakefulness.  Now the next question will be….will I change THAT behavior?

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Published in: on February 20, 2010 at 2:10 pm  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. all i know is tht i want some of that perfect coffee

    • Pete’s French Roast

  2. He’ll be able to get up with the baby on Saturday mornings and I can sleep in 😀


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