XIII. An Hour a Day Keeps the Regrets Away -

Mandatory track in high school instilled in me great anxiety.

There on the track in Flushing, Queens, we all looked out onto the horizon that was the New York City skyline and waited for the teacher to blow the whistle that would signal us to run. We had to run until we didn’t fail.

If you didn’t finish running 3 miles in 24 minutes or less, you failed.

The worst part of running track was waiting for that whistle. The beginning would inevitably be horrid, but whatever came after, regardless of that panic-stricken anxiety, was better. Yes, walking up twelve flights of stairs to my next class, before the late bell, after running the 3 miles, was better than standing in that huddle outside.

This scenario is the exception to life.

The beginning of the day, the time you wake up from slumber, lays out how the rest of your day will be.

I usually do not eat breakfast, but something tells me that regardless of whether I do or not, it will not matter.

That is to say, eating breakfast last week would not have prevented my pants from ripping straight down the middle during class.

Eating breakfast this morning would not have prevented me from changing into three different outfits before settling on a completely uncomfortable and slightly tacky outfit because I was running late for a class. (Although, upon retrospection, perhaps eating something would affect the health of my hair and would then have prevented me from wasting time trying to manipulate my dry hair into something not resembling an afro.)

Two days ago I did not eat breakfast but my day was running smoothly because I made the trek to the library and completed pending work so that I was slightly less behind. With that incredibly productive start to the day even after leaving la biblioteca, I managed to do some more work before the day came to an end.

The next day a similar scenario happened. I did my weekly roommate task of cleaning the rust/mold, hair, and extraneous I-don’t -want-to-know-what-that-is that litters the bathroom. I then cleaned my room before a three hour meeting.  Afterwards I did the laundry, after which the day came to an end. Success -

Tis’ life and such tasks need to get done sooner rather than later.

(Why yes, I am concentrating in disease and have seen the repercussions of dirt + human orifices.)

I’m sure you all know those days of accomplishment when you can’t help but call up your mom and casually list off whatever you have done. The acknowledgment, “you done good”, just makes your day all the more better.

After these past couple of weeks of me being back on campus, I have come to the conclusion that the first hour after you wake up is a microcosm of the twenty-four hours that follow. Whatever occurs within that hour will determine the rest of the day.

How do you ensure that the first hour after you have woken up is optimal?

Planning seems to be the only answer.

Deciding what you will wear the night before, actually getting out of bed when your alarm goes off, not attempting to change your face no matter how hard you squint into the mirror and will yourself to look like insert name here, have enough time to walk to class, participate at least once (if it’s not lecture), and - 

60 minutes have passed. The fateful hour is up. You can now live your day to the optimal standards.

But for now, as I sit and type this, I know that my day is almost over and all I have are regrets with the exception of this soon-to-be-published post.

Here’s to a new day.

More specifically, tomorrow….because God help me if I don’t get stuff done there will be no fateful one hour after waking up - there will be no waking up because there will be no sleep and so the vicious cycle of sleep deprivation will ensue.

And what is worst - since you won’t have anything to be acknowledged for, there will be no calls to mom and who doesn’t want their mommy?