My father had tried everything he could in order to teach me our childhood saying “Early to bed and early to rise”. He went to the extent of saying that I would never be successful in life until I start waking up early in morning even on Sundays. He just didn’t understand how a holiday makes your routine of waking up early changes. Body cycle should remain same even if your daily activities change that day. But on the other hand, I liked to sleep late and wake up late on every holiday since childhood. After going to college hostel, it worsened and my most of the activities shifted to night. Daylight started going in sleep. Though that much late routine wasn’t an option after joining the fellowship since July last year, I never slept before midnight and woke up before 8 am. My father had accepted the fact that he couldn’t change me irrespective of his countless efforts.
It was going to change after 24 years when I started a new chapter of my life while living in a village. The surprise element was that the change happened without any compulsion in a very smooth manner. So my first night in new village home was different in the sense that everyone around went to sleep at 9 pm and it was pin drop silence in the entire village as if it’s past midnight. I didn’t have an option but to go to bed and after half an hour I went to sleep. I was sleeping on the roof inside a mosquito net for the first time in my life. There were others sleeping on adjacent roofs. My eyes opened at around 6 am and I found no one around me. Everyone had gone to the fields for defecation. I felt ashamed of waking up that late even when it was 6 am. From that first morning, I go to sleep at 10 pm and wake up at 5.30 am without any discomfort. The whole body cycle had changed accordingly and it wasn’t even tough. I start feeling sleepy after 9 pm and can’t stay on bed past 6 am in any situation. So I learned this important lesson in 1 day without my father – who failed for 24 years in teaching me the same.
There are many factors which made this transition so smooth. First is the unavailability of a television in my rural house. I used to watch T.V. till late night at my home. Second is the rural environment where a person waking up at even 7 am is not seen in good sight. I was conscious of my image in a complete new and strange place where people could have judged me easily on waking up late. So, it was there in my head very strongly and hence I made a habit of going to morning jog with children of my family. So the routine had been fixed very first morning and it didn’t change even a single day of my 1 month stay here till now. Also, I realized this very obvious fact that if you would go to bed early, you can’t sleep till late as body needs fixed amount of sleep. Once I started going to bed early, it was very easy for me to wake up with sun rise. I never went to sleep so early before and tried waking up early which proved to be the toughest task in the entire day.
Last week only, I told my father about my new routine. For the first time during last 10 months of my fellowship, he praised me for anything. He didn’t want to know about my project or work, but the fact that I was following such a healthy routine was enough for him to make out that whatever I would be doing was productive. He just wants 1 thing from me now that I continue the same sleep routine once I am back from village. This new daily routine gives tremendous positive energy and longer working hours. More than the positive effects of this, I am enjoying my new life style which I don’t want to lose ever.