While attending St Gabriel's School we always got up early enough to get to the eight o-clock mass, we never missed. On Saturdays we were allowed to sleep in and often it was as late as eleven o-clock. On Sundays my Father attended the ten-thirty mass and we went with him, enabling us to sleep until nine-thirty. During vacation we slept as late as we wanted, again somewhere near eleven. My Mother often said we were sleeping our lives away. Even so, I think Bernie did sometimes get up earlier than I did. I loved that time in bed. On the days that I slept in I noticed that I would have a headache in the early afternoon, but, it did not stop me from staying in bed when I could.
When we went to Canada for a few weeks we got up early with everyone else, the farm was fun and there was always something new afoot. After a few years of that I developed a habit of staying in bed, Bernie still got up earlier than I did. I knew I should be getting up but I could not help myself, sleep was such a precious feeling. During the day I would kick myself for getting up so late.
When I was twelve I read Jack London's book "Burning Daylight" and resolved to mend my ways. I got better but still wanted that precious sleep. Intellectually I knew what I ought to do, but physically I was weak. So many times I would get to Bennett
school playground and the ballgames were already underway. They always found a way to fit me into the game. I was able to get up for school but still loved that bed.
I made some gains during my first tour of duty in the Navy. There were other things to do and more severe demands. With that, I thought I had conquered the love of that extra time in bed. It returned when we had kids and they got up earlier than I did on Saturdays. Oh it was so good to sleep in, but the kids made noise and it was impossible
to wring out a satisfying late sleep.
The final change came when I was a Plant Manager for a plant that operated three shifts. The demands for on-site supervision required getting up at any hour and going to the plant to handle whatever was needed. During this time sleep periods were shorter yet I still got enough sleep. I learned that I did not need all the sleep that my body said I needed, it was feeding me false information. Satisfying
sleep no longer was measured by the amount of sleep I received
but, instead, by how much I needed.
It became possible to wake up when I wanted to without
an alarm clock. I have not used an alarm clock for forty years. I know this mystified Pat for quite a while, but she became used to it, and liked the fact that an alarm never went off to interrupt
her sleep. My work schedule now is varied in the time for getting up, yet, I get up at the time needed for each class.
How is it done? I don't know, I am just able to do it. The mind controls the body.