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The venetian blinds in our bedroom begin to glow at around 5:30am, signalling my eyelids to warn my eyeballs, who in turn let my brain know, that they day is starting. The brain tells the eyelids to open squintily, the eyes to strain to see the alarm clock at the foot of the bed...and then the brain turns everything off, before the head hits the pillow, reminding everyone that we wait until the alarm clock (armed with a tuned-in country station to assist in getting me to turn it off within three notes of that song about checking one another for ticks) to tell us when it's really time to get up. By the next day, however, they eyelids and the eyeballs no longer remember what the brain told them. Light is light, and that's their job -- the brain shouldn't be so bossy when it comes to seeing things. When morning comes, things are to be seen, and the eyeparts make sure they let the brain they're ready to do their job.

It's summer, and that's good -- time to spend time outside, if you've got time to spare. Problem is, my days are full to begin with. On top of regular workdays, there's a big project wrapping up this week and a server upgrade this weekend. Some summer things are obligatory: birthday party on Saturday, Trollwood show tonight, Des goes to her mom's next week. Although I intentionally leave my lawn longer than everyone else on the block, I still have to mow it from time to time. Where do I fit in summer fun?

I tuned up my bike a few weeks ago, but I have yet to ride it. I suppose, if I let myself get up at five thirty, I'd have an extra three hours in the day to ride around the empty streets in the cool morning air. Maybe the eyelids are on to something.

Last weekend, we found success in getting up early to go rummaging. In fact, we were up a hour earlier due to a clock mixup, which gave us more preparation time. Most summers, we leisurely get ourselves out the door around 9 or so, a good hour or two after the sales have opened, and end up digging through the leftovers that the dedicated rummagers tossed aside. At seven and eight, all the cool stuff is still there -- plus, it's not so warm, and the traffic is lower. So, why don't I listen to the eyeballs and get up early?

Sadly, I'm already exhaused by nine, when I leave the night half of my split-shift schedule...moving that sleepiness up three hours would cause trouble. It's not so bad if I weren't so busy during the day, but I've got stuff to do. Bills gotta be paid, and so forth. Work, versus fun -- the American Dream is to have as much of both as possible, but "time" is the flaw in that equation. It's always easier to get more work; fun is a bit tougher.

The question, then, is how do I trade work for fun? I'm supposed to be doing a lot more of it -- increasing my self-value by allowing myself more me-time -- but it's tough being poor. As time devoted to work shinks, the dollar-per-man-hour needs to go up to sustain income. But, there's nothing fun about that, now, is there?

Having fun is much harder than working, it seems. No wonder the eyelids are so ready to get up in the mornings -- it's their job, and they can't let themselves lie around doing nothing. It's a mindset problem, though; there's not a lot of reality effecting these ideas. Back to the "me-time" thing, I guess; I need to recognize the value in relaxation, equate that with the value of work, and not get into the "how will I have fun when the power is shut off?" mindset. We've never had the power shut off, and it's unrelated to my free time. I need to make myself believe that work is work, and fun is fun, and I need both. Maybe my eyelids will take a break, let me sleep in a bit. They work too hard, so early in the mornings.

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