Wake Up Calls of a Different Kind



Wake up calls are at their most powerful not when they are delivered not by the front desk, but rather by fate.

If they had a Facebook page, no one would "like" alarm clocks. What other pieces of technology do you routinely slap, hit, and toss across the room? Their dials are either impossible to tune or immovable; their music muffled white noise. In short, they are sleep executioners sitting motionless all day, then lurk at night with glowing numeric eyes waiting patiently for the precise moment to kill peaceful sleep in the prime of its life. I awake minutes before it's set to awake me to turn the tables on the alarm clock and ruin its morning. (I know. I need to get out more or just sleep more.)

Wake up calls however are much different. "How" you say? (Humor me and say "how?" as I am just trying to make a metaphysical point -- if there even is such a thing). Here's how: wake up calls are harsh but for your own good. There's something even reassuring about being a hotel guest and knowing that a busy day of traveling won't keep you from missing that important morning meeting because of that wake up call. It's a friendly reminder, a virtual shake from a loving parent to coax you rather than rouse you out of bed like revelry.

But wake up calls are at their most powerful not when they are delivered not by the front desk, but rather by fate. Wake up calls like traffic tickets or fender benders that make us take notice of our less than stellar driving habits. Or the wake up calls we receive regarding the illness or true misfortune of others that make you appreciate how good you really have it.

A few months ago, I had begun turning simple failures into life crises. An unreturned Facebook message had become a slap in the face. I viewed social thunder storms as life changing tsunamis. At its height, I placed vital importance on a past relationship that had never been vital to her or important to me in months. I was ignoring the bigger picture -- my life -- by focusing on the things that weren't completely out of my control -- my social life. Fortunately, I had a wake up call that came from inside. It changed due to a little time under ground (See my previous post Going underground who's with me?

Post wake up call, I am embarrassed first that I expended so much time and angst, and second that I expended so much time and angst on non-issues. I've apologized to all those whose ears I bent endlessly stressing over a problem that wasn't there. But I know now why I did it, refocused my energies where I can make positive differences, and it took a wake up call of a different kind to make it happen. And by the look of disdain on my alarm clock's face, it happened just in the nick of time.

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