You know those times when, you swear, you’re really going to get into a rhythm, a schedule? For real this time, I’m going to start getting up on time. I’m going to start going to bed earlier. I’m going to…

Yeah. I’m in one. For the past several nights, my bedtime has been around midnight. Now, you normal people might say, “Yeah, and?” but in fact I can’t often do that anymore. Well, obviously, I can, but I don’t like to. It totally messes with me. So, after finishing a lovely DVD marathon of Boy Meets World Season 1, around midnight, I decided: yeah! This time I’ll do it! I’ll just force myself to get up early, suck it up, and..stuff! Yeah! I even meditated last night (this morning?).

I practice transcendental meditation (TM). TM is unlike other meditation methods in that I’m not forced to clear my mind. Because that’s ridiculous. Our brains work all the time. You can’t just turn it on and off, like a lightbulb. I’ve tried. TM, when you learn it, aims to let you be calm, to let thoughts pass in, and then pass out, and gradually penetrate that deep part of your brain that you almost never use (you don’t use most of it, actually). It relieves the stress (or attempts to) from the surface down. Several studies prove a number of things about it, most of which are positive. Better, less-stressed, more intellectual. All sorts of cool things I won’t bore you with. It’s just 20 minutes, twice a day, repeating a mantra over and over. The mantra is particular to each person, private, your own. I learned TM my senior year of college, and absolutely loved it. After several weeks of regular practice, I started getting at that deep part of myself. I’d repeat the mantra, everything would fade, and all of a sudden my timer would go off. Almost every day, many of us also went to the same space to meditate as a group. I got better meditations with other people and good energy in the room.

Balancing two majors, weekend nights as an EMT, a job at the library, and directing or managing several plays, I was somewhat relieved to be able to learn how to meditate. I was able to keep it up most of the summer, since I interned near home and not crazy hours. It slipped off, and now I rarely remember. And it’s not a save-all anytime: you don’t benefit from just a random session, here or there. So, every once in awhile, I think, Yeah! This time! Tomorrow! This week! On Monday!

This morning, my plan was to get up at 5:30, meditate, ease into the day, shower, make tea, heat up a home-made cinnamon roll for a sweet breakfast, and slide out, arriving at work by about 7.

This morning, in reality, consisted of approximately:

5:30 – hear music, see post-it note past-me had placed over the alarm time change buttons, feel the correct ones anyway, reset for 6am.

6:00 – hear music, see post-it note, reset for 6:15

6:15 – hear music, see post-it note, cringe, reset for 6:35

6:35 – hear music, see post-it note, reset for 6:50

6:50 – hear music, see post-it note, sigh, reset for 7:15

7:15 – hear music, see post-it note, reset for 7:30

7:30 – hear music, see post-it note, go to reset, and realize I have a meeting and have to actually get up this time; speed through a shower, put work back in bag, realize I have no time to actually make a lunch, make tea, grab rainjacket, run downstairs with shoes half pulled on.

So, you see my dilemma. Of course I was useless for the better part of the morning until the tea kicked in. I know what I need to do, I just have trouble doing it.

This time, really, I’ll do it. I’ll even set my alarm to reveille to have it blast me out of bed. I’m not military, but my summer camp used bugle songs as a sort of time-keeper, like bells in a school, and there were consequences for missing flag-raising. There wasn’t actually a lot of time between reveille and flag-raising, and the bathroom was always crowded. It was in your best interest to go, and be seen there on time.

I’m a dork, I know. It got me back, though: the other week I was riding the train with my iPod on shuffle, and wouldn’t you know but reveille came on and about scared me out of my seat. Go figure.

PS: please try not to spell “meditate” as “mediate.” They’re so not the same thing. <cough>news writers<cough>