I apologise in advance, but this is going to be a bit of a rant. I’ve just started to read a new book. It came highly recommended by the Hobbit and seems to be perfect for me: It is meant to be about how to relax without feeling guilty about it. My Hobbit is a shining example in this for me. He knows how to fully enjoy a quiet idle time. I don’t. I’m a completely silly workaholic, who is always busy with stuff to do and who feels guilty if I do something other than those things. I’d like to change that and relax a bit more, but between the things that I like to do and the thinks I feel I have to do to get to those things, life seems busy and awfully short. So… perfect book for me…
Unfortunately chapter 1 just really really pissed me off. I will not quote exact wordings, but basically it is a long rant on how we’ve all been brainwashed into feeling the need to get up early in the morning. And how bad this is. It explains that if you look around you in the metro early in the morning on your way to work where you don’t want to be at that time anyway, people look very unhappy – apparently indicative of how bad it is to get up early in the morning. And final thing to send me into the rage of typing this post was to explain that the happiest people are people such as artists, writers and musicians and this is because they don’t have to get up when they don’t want to.
One thing this first chapter has done is really get me energised and angry. This is probably a good thing as in anger I find the extra energy I need to get things done. However I can’t help but have a little rant:
First of all we’ve not been brainwashed! I wish people would get over such dramatic terminology. I’ve tried three dictionaries and they all list brainwashing as a way of making people change their beliefs by breaking down their own belief system and forcibly replacing it with something else. They all list military and religious practices as the usual associations and emphasise the force aspect of it. Now of course to have your mum or dad stand next to your bed while you’re happily sleeping, yammering and shouting at you to get up and make something of your day, can perhaps be construed by a stroppy teenager as “brainwashing”, but in reality it is simply training, habit or culture that encourages you to start the day when the day actually starts according to mother nature. Stop the drama – get the language right.
Secondly – the most likely reason that people in the metro in the morning are grumpy is because they’re packed in with lots of pushy, smelly other people and because they’re on their way to work – which is also filled with lots of pushy, smelly other people, topped up with pressure, stress and generally not a lot of fun. In comparison, lying in bed till late in the afternoon may be much more fun. However most of those people have no problem getting up early in the morning for their favourite weekend activity, sport, game or travel. This further emphasises that the whole problem of getting up in the morning is more to do with not enjoying the day than with enjoying the night.
Thirdly – The book emphasises on how bad it is to make people get up early in the morning as this is clearly wrong and unnatural. It says we should be free to get up when we want. Those two statements do not combine well: if we’re free to get up when we want, then getting up early is not wrong, but simply a choice the writer clearly doesn’t agree with. Good for you mister writer, but if you really mean that people should get up when they feel like it, then why did you not write that? I happen to be an early riser, who is surrounded by people who sleep in and feel that sleeping in is the proper way to end a night. I disagree. By all means sleep as long as you like if it makes you happy, but please do not expect me to get happier if you force on me to stay in bed beyond 7:30 (possibly 8 if I want to be really late). It makes me cranky, unwell and immensely bored and is a totally terrible start to my day.
So really…. I disagree with just about everything in chapter one and cannot wait to get to chapter two: I love a good rant about stuff.
My lesson learned from this chapter:
– Get up when you want, not when someone else tells you.
– Avoid any advice from writers who believe that musicians, artists and writers are happier because they don’t have to get up early (I’ve seen and lived with several of the type – overall they’re miserable buggers until they’re successful in which case they’re happy because they’re rich and famous).
– Don’t take the metro in the morning: it’s full of grumpy people. Instead…. if at all possible (and it’s more often possible than we think) walk to work :p I walk 2,5 miles to work every day (which is actually shorter than the walk to my previous job) and I’m both happier and more relaxed because of it – and healthier too!