Whether it’s back to school or back to work, a change in schedule is never seamless. This is especially true when you go from sleeping from roughly 4:00am to noon and now have to be up at 7:00am every day. It’s a bitch, really. You should be on your third hour of sleep and suddenly you have to be awake? Insert expletives here.

Never mind the possibility of getting any sympathy from the people around you. That one boy you like? He’s at work at 5:30am. Your best friends? All up at 6:00am. Your mother? Up at 5:00am. Clearly you are surrounded by crazy people.

So, you’re tired, you’re cranky, and, really, you just want a nap and a taco. Or a cheeseburger. Or both.

Yet, there’s that pesky little thing called your fat ass that you are trying to make smaller and that other pesky little thing called a job that you’d like to keep, so, you don’t give in to those urges. Instead, you come up with coping mechanisms so that you can deal with 7:00am and not throw your alarm clock at the wall… again.

First, there’s the plan. There’s always the plan. You must have the plan. When it is 7:00am and you aren’t really awake and you aren’t sure if you might just have given birth to a half-cat baby or if that was just your dream, you need a plan so that you don’t have to think.

So, the night before, you think to yourself; “What would I like to accomplish in the morning before going to work?”

1. Wake up

2. Work out

3. Shower

4. Get dressed

5. Brush teeth

6. Brush hair (yes, this needs it’s own spot on the list because it takes almost as long as the shower and longer than the makeup).

7. Makeup

8. Deoderant (you were once the smelly child so this ALWAYS warrants it’s own spot on the list).

9. Apply Vanilla Oil so you smell like a cupcake and make the boys drool (They don’t realize why they’re drooling and they just think that you must be really hot).

10. Make breakfast

11. Have tea

12. Leave with five minutes to spare just in case you hit crosswalks at the wrong time and walk to work.

Doesn’t that sound nice?

Here’s what the morning really looks like:

1. Hear alarm clock go off, realize that it isn’t actually part of your dream, that you do have to wake up, and that you don’t have a cat baby ( at least that’s a relief!). Swear like the sailors your ancestors were. Hit alarm. Remember that you want to keep your job… or at least your paycheck. Turn on lamp. Wait a minute or two (or until your alarm goes off again) and get up.

2. Turn on radio RIGHT AWAY. Turn on the rest of your lights in that section of your apartment.

3. Work out? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! Fuck it.

4. Get in shower. Forget why you’re in shower. Remember why you’re in shower. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Dance to music. Wait, didn’t you do this yesterday? And last week? Shouldn’t you be done with it at some point?

5. Either find the outfit you decided on last night or grab whatever is closest and looks clean. Hope that it isn’t one of your slutty outfits. You’re not awake enough to be sure.

5. Brush hair. Consider shaving head. Remember how vain you are about your hair. Consider getting a trim. Remember that you need to deep condition more often. Get brush stuck. Swear. Untangle brush. Find random objects in hair. Finally detangle all of hair without ripping it all out.

6. Start swishing teeth whitener.

7. Put on makeup while swishing.

8. Brush teeth while wondering why you hate this task so much. Again, didn’t you do this yesterday?

9. Realize that you’re running out of time, put on deodorant and vanilla, grab something to eat as you try to run out the door, search for matching shoes, WHERE THE HELL ARE MY KEYS!?!?!?

10. Search for keys. Search some more. Search in purse. Search on dresser. Search in purse again. Search everywhere else. Search in purse again and find them. Swear.

11. Run to make the walk light, walk as fast as possible to work, get there on time, make coffee, and forget that you had to get up at 7:00am. Start counting down to lunch break so you can take a nap. Or get a taco.

Now, let’s go over the important points here.

First: the lamp; getting up in the dark is one of the most miserable things to do and it really isn’t easy. I turn on my lamp and close my eyes for at least a minute because it just plain feels better. The lamp is not a bright one so it isn’t jarring when I turn it on and it just makes the transition easier.

Second: the radio; I don’t think that I’d actually be able to get up every day without it. I’m an extrovert through and through and having that faux interaction in the morning helps wake me up better than coffee would. I wish that I had figured this out years ago.

Third: the breakfast; I suck at this. For a long time I made Egg Cups but I haven’t been responsible enough to actually do that for a while. I kind of miss them. Lately, my breakfast has been things I can eat quickly or grab and run. I keep almonds at my desk and will have 15 of them (yes, I do count them out because I’m neurotic) if I haven’t had enough for breakfast. This last week I was eating half an avocado along with the almonds and it wasn’t quite enough but it made a big difference from the days when I had nothing. You all know I never have oatmeal.

Fourth: same thing, same order, every day; I don’t have to think about it. I don’t have to make decisions. Let’s face it, at that time of the morning if I have to make a decision, it probably won’t be a good one. No, I think I’ll just keep sleeping for now. I kind of liked my cat baby, she could meow and talk and if I dropped her she always landed on her feet.

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