Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Becoming my father (or Paying the price)

I've been back from India since Saturday afternoon. Since then I have slept a grand total of 12 hours -- over three days. I should be feeling dead tired. I'm not. Just a little dazed, but otherwise quite functional. Though I'm not usually afflicted by jet lag, this time I seem to be affected by half of the syndrome (early rising), while the other half (delicious daytime naps) remains elusive.

My early rising (5 am Sunday, 4.30 am Monday, 3.45 am Tuesday -- noticing a trend?) somehow makes me feel like my father. Like many Indian men and women he is an early riser. For him, there is nothing more spiritual than greeting the rising sun (although not from having been out all night; that's something my father never managed to see the romance of). When we were young, he would rise early (4 am or so), and work for several hours while everyone was asleep. Since he's a doctor, it wasn't his day job that he was working on, but instead coursework from classes he would take at the university. All of those early mornings eventually got him to a Ph.D.

I wonder if he felt in those morning hours as I feel now: slightly tired, but fully alert mentally. Every now and then, my father would wake either my brother or me earlier than usual (ahem, 5 am), and would make us a cup of tea (in India, even children drink it). We would chat a bit, and then both get to work. I'm pretty good in the mornings, so, although this sounds like torture, for me it was a delicious pleasure to spend those early, intimate morning hours with my father.

They say that as you age you become your parents. Well, I'm paying the price for my travels. It's happening.



P.S. In keeping with house rules, the flugelbindery is applying its usual 2:1 ratio: for every week I've been away (whether for holidays or work travel), two weeks' worth of work is waiting for me on my return. As soon as I dig myself out from under the mountain of work, I look forward to being back at your blogs (and back to my usual sleep habits).


Samantha said...

Good luck with getting out from under your pile of work.
I can sort of relate to getting up to greet the sun. There was always something special when I woke up before the sunrise, but it has been getting harder and harder to do.

If Jane said...

i have been thinking of jet-lag lately...and boom...this post...;))
i wake up early too...not quite as early as your father mais...

Camille said...

I'm becoming more like my father every day too, especially since I moved on my own. Like him, I have no real notion of time (we both seem to believe time stretches as needed, so no need to hurry until the very last minute), we both pause in order to think every few words, forcing (and annoying) the people we're talking to into an unexpected charade game... I'm getting to look like him more and more too. Not that we really look alike in the whole, but just little things, like the way my skin folds around my mouth when I smile. At the rate it's going, in three years' time I'll be eating porridge every morning (prepared the night before, of course), secretely wearing fleece lined jeans ('it's too cold out!') and trimming my eyebrows ('they're too long!' (well, I have already started that)). You're very lucky to be good at waking up early, and growing to be like your father (or me, like mine) doesn't seem to be so bad after all... Good luck with getting all that work done, and sleep well!

shopgirl said...

I hope you had some time for pleasure while you were in India for work. Sounds like a good trade off. I wish I was an early bird, but I picked up my sleeping pattern from my mother.

Good luck on catching up on sleep and work sweetie!


Bombay Beauty said...

Samantha - many thanks - I'm making it!

Jane - Hope your sleep is adjusting. Mine is, slowly.

Camille - yes, that's it exactly. Turning into one's father is initially a bit disturbing, but then after all has a cozy familiarity.

Shopgirl - oh I did. There will be pics soon!



Planethalder said...

I've always been an early riser, even before my daughter was born. Today I am always awake before her and my husband. I was the only teenager I knew who woke before her parents, at 6am (I even used to set the alarm really early so I could do yoga before school). I totally understand it when you say "tired but alert".

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