Thursday, November 3, 2011

It's About Time

When I was in my late 20s, I read a novella by Jerzy Kosinski.

Steps, I think it was called.

And what’s interesting is that I don’t remember anything about the plot of that novella. Rather, I remember two very distinct anecdotes from Kosinski’s 4-5 page preface.

Anecdote One: Kosinski had planned a trip to L.A., where he would be staying with his friend, Roman Polanski. Something happened along the way – something about baggage. Lost in London maybe? I forget the details I read. Suffice it to say, though, the airline’s fuck-up was a gift, as it delayed Kosinski’s arrival. Had he landed in L.A. when he was supposed to, he would have been in Polanski’s home during the night of the Manson murders.

Timing is everything.

Anecdote Two: Kosinski sleeps between 4:00 and 8:00. That is his ritual.

Okay, okay, I know what you’re thinking. Four hours sleep! That isn’t enough!

But before you get all concerned about what he was doing to his body, you need to remember, the four-hour span that exists between 4 o’clock and 8 o’clock occurs twice a day. And… they add up to eight full hours of sleep. Which was exactly what Kosinski pursued.

… When I read what I am calling “Anecdote Two,” I smiled broadly. Because, I totally relate. And I have related to that since I was a kid. I always feel tired around 4:00. Whether it's PM or AM, 4 o’clock is pretty much the time when I need to lie down for a while.

As a self-employed person, I realize that I’m lucky. I can answer to my body and soul’s unique circadian rhythms.

I also appreciate that other’s can’t.

Much of the world exists on a 9-to-5 schedule, and so most people must align with that clock, regardless of their own personal inclinations.

If you are doing that against your will, then I am sorry.

AND: if you are doing that against your will, then may I also encourage you to use this coming weekend to your advantage.

On Sunday, at 2:00 AM, we are supposed to set back our clocks, which means we get an "extra hour."

I’ve always been amused by this directive. Mainly because I think the timing is crazy, bogus, and driven by The Man.

But here’s the deal, people. Here’s what’s really happening: THIS WEEKEND, you are being given the gift of ONE HOUR.

And so, for God’s sake, if you don’t need that hour at 2 o’clock on Sunday morning, then save it!

Seriously. Use it when you need it!

As an example: do you have people coming over Sunday night for supper? Maybe due at 6:00?

Okay, then, save that hour! Save it ‘til 4:00 on Sunday afternoon. Turn back the clock then. Cool, right? Suddenly, the guests who are two hours away are actually three hours away!

The gift of time.

Seriously, don’t do it when The Man tells you to do it.

Take that hour when you need it.

Me? I always, always save that hour for Monday morning.


…Life is a gift.

A gift of time.

And once a year, we’re given an extra hour.

Personally? I don’t want to spend that hour sleeping.


Martha Mawson said...

Wonderful post. We are a week ahead of you - we received our hour-long gift last weekend. I used it on the night, allowing myself to stay up that one hour longer without going to be any later. I watched the corner of my laptop as the clock said 1:59 followed by 1:00.

(My verification word is: dedingle. Is that what happens when you remove a clapper from a bell?)

Jules said...

First, I forgot all about Kosinski arriving late to Polanski's home.
Second, OMG I love the way your mind works! I will use this just because I hate doing what "The Man" says. :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Cheryl said...

Almost everyone lags around 3-4 pm/am because that's when our bodies are in need of recharging. That's why The Man (in the form of M&M Mars) did so well with their "Snickers Time" campaign.

As for that hour, I may just try your idea on for size. Not self-employed but I can figure it out.

Sioux said...

I read a Kosinski book decades ago. I can't recall the title, but remember it was quite odd in an almost Kurt Vonnegut kind of way.

I love the idea of two long naps. Some day, I'll be able to do that...(sigh)

Green Monkey said...

Katie! that was great... love the way your mind works. Is that true about Kosinski? What must that feel like to cheat death? I write from home in the mornings and go to the office in the afternoons. Since I started doing this I no longer get that low energy in the afternoon. It's nice to be able to break up the day.

Andrea said...

Ah Katie, I love the way you think outside the clock. Thanks for the tip. I'll use it this coming weekend.

Theresa Milstein said...

Interesting sleep idea.

Missing the Manson murders - that is good luck.

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

The Manson story gave me the chills. Timing really IS everything, isn't it? I love getting that extra hour. No matter how tired I am at midnight, I always get my second wind when I realize it's really only 11:00. LOL

Anonymous said...

Time is an odd phenomenon. The battery on mine failed last week and, as usual when that happens, I felt freed from all restraints placed on me by the clock. It isn't that I don't have other means of telling the time, I just don't respond to those as much as I do to the watch on my wrist. I felt I saved so many hours that week! Good post Katie, enjoyed the anecdotes - the first, chilling indeed...

Anonymous said...

oops, deleted part of that first sentence, battery failed on my watch - though that does mean it failed on my time I suppose... :-)

BECKY said...

Katie, you are a genius! Love your idea about saving that hour until WE need or want it. BUT, what happens in the spring when we lose it again? How do you handle that one?
And the Mansons...yeah very creepy. Years ago I read that Doris Day's son, Terry, was supposed to be there that night, too, but I don't remember why he wasn't.

Linda Medrano said...

Katie, I loved this post. But it did make me a bit dizzy.

Michael Offutt said...

Odd take on daylight saving time. But is it really an extra hour? Methinks that Einstein would disagree. Illusion is everything.

Jayne Martin said...

What a great idea. I love your independent thinking. Damn the man!

Deb Shucka said...

I love how you weave a story out of the most arcane details. I hate the whole clock changing thing because while fall back is a gift, spring ahead nearly kills me with the hour it takes back.

On the plus side, I used my extra hour on Saturday to extend my birthday celebration. :-)