Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Time Vortex

My wife tells me that I must exist within some sort of time vortex. When I estimate something will take an hour, it inevitably requires at least two. Yet, from my perspective, it seems only the anticipated hour has elapsed. I'll be working at my computer, certain a television show I planned to watch is about to start and my wife is left to explain that the show ended an hour ago. And that's nothing compared to my mornings.

No matter how early I wake and no matter how carefully I plan, most days require a two hour warm up period, at least. It is the rare morning when I am ready to work or leave the house before 9 a.m. — and far more likely that I won't start functioning normally before 10 a.m. When I do rush to leave early, I end up spending time feeling ill at work. No matter my intentions, my body rebels for two hours and I must submit to its terms.

Once I'm working, I lose track of time. What seem to be minutes are often hours, as I've already explained. That's not a bad thing, since nothing would be worse than a slow, ponderous work day. However, I'm often left wishing there were twice as many hours in a day.

At night, I often have as much difficulty falling asleep as I do waking in the morning. I find myself drifting in and out of a light sleep for several hours. Some nights I give up and work or write, much as I am doing at this moment. It is as if my body clock is off by four or five hours.

I've adapted to my personal time vortex by trying to be extra early. Though I seldom manage to be as early as intended, the effort at least keeps me closer to on time.

Even when I've taught morning classes, I have managed to be on time. Often, barely on time, but that didn't matter because shared classrooms mean waiting for the previous class and instructor to exit before entering the room. For the last year in Minnesota and during my first year at my new campus, I scheduled "office hours" for the two hours before class. That's one way to never be late to class.

I'd love to know where the lost minutes and hours go. It would be nice to have some of them stored away for days with too many deadlines.

3 comments:

  1. That's strange because my son does the same thing. My wife and I have to help our son stay focused or he'll take twice as long to complete a task, if he even completes it at all. I wonder if his concept of time is like yours?

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  2. The inability to judge time is simply being "male" :) I've learned to tack on time to anything my Dh tells me.

    My kids need time to get started in the mornings. I and the youngest are the crappy sleepers.

    I think people are just built differently. I find food, tv, drinks, etc can all play a huge roll in how we sleep, and how we wake up. Trick is to find the triggers, try to remove them, and make time work for us, not against us.

    Maybe one day I'll be able to fall asleep in the middle of the night in less than an hour... not likely... but maybe. BUT, I'm not going to worry about it and lose more sleep b/c of it.

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  3. I'm female and could have written everything you did about myself .

    I never "cured" my insomnia but working overnights for the past 20 years has been a better adjustment for me even if it still takes me hours to fall asleep after work and hours to feel really awake even after 7-8 hours of sleep...my mind feels more awake at night (though my body never really feels awake since I passed 30) .

    Even when I visualize everything that I need to do before I can leave the house, all the little tasks seem to take longer then I estimate they should....to the point I have even wondered if it could be partial seizures, MPD or alien abductions stealing my minutes away. Honestly, I'm not crazy but the mind can sure go strange places when trying to understand my aspie traits .

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