Have you ever had a beautiful dream? A dream you would have loved to enjoy for a little longer, then suddenly an alarm rings, and you must wake up, literally aborting the dream? But sometimes it is even worse, the sound of the alarm is intertwined in the dream till it becomes part of the episodes in your dreamland?
It happened to me this morning. My roommate has a nice ringtone for his alarm set at 3 AM. To be generous, nice is an understatement. It is a lovely neon for Nokia, and sometimes I just become a little kid listening to the tone during the day to add a little color and flavor to my day. But this morning, it messed me up. I am joining King Nebuchadnezzar in saying that the thing has gone away from me. I can’t remember the dream, and if I were a powerful monarch like the king of the Land of Shinar, I would have issued a decree demanding all the wise men to tell me the dream and its interpretation thereof. But it turns out such totalitarian tendencies do not work in the world today, except in the servitude of besetting sins, for I have seen a drunkard in tears going for what was supposed to be their final glass, yet it proves otherwise. So I would be safe to wing myself in the faith of Daniel in the tune of “there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets.”
Another thing that happened to me is the mixing up of episodes. Immediately the alarm began ringing, I got mixed up, and it appeared like it was part of the unscripted dream. So instead of waking up, I got myself doing something else which took too long to get done, after which I got irritated and woke up to pen this piece—the dream killers.
In life, we can be best described as a bunch of dreamers. Every one of us has something we are yearning for, which we believe will change our lives for the better. We hope to get things in control if we secure a particular job opportunity. We think life will be sweeter if we secure a partner’s heart with some given descriptions and anatomy. Maybe if we attain some degree of piety, then our problems would cease or reduce tremendously. We are well aware that if we pursue our postgraduate degree, we will be marching towards the top five percentile and enjoy the reduced competition for the limited opportunities. But somehow, these dreams, as beautiful and with great potential, as they have, remain a null hypothesis.
Why is it so? Why do we have our great dreams aborted before we can leverage them to make life smooth?
The alarm mentality
Most people believe that they cannot wake up on time without an alarm. They set the alarm, which for most people, rings too soon, and they begin snoozing as if that is what they signed up for while setting the alarm. The alarm has shocks that can interfere with peaceful sleep and bring about other side effects we didn’t set ourselves in line for. Studies and experience show that the human body is one of the most complex systems, and it can be set to function a certain way. We can establish a perfect body clock and wake up at a particular time daily without an alarm. In life, alarms can be a wake-up call. We have great things we need to do. We have great dreams that we want to achieve at particular times. So we end up setting alarms in life. Haven’t you had friends who were to drive a Cadillac at their twenty-third birthday? Still, three years later, they seem to be snoozing the alarm as they have no better option than the readily available ‘footshubishi.’ What about that senior bachelor? He is almost turning to self-appointed celibacy! So the first challenge with the alarm mentality is our snoozing behavior. We ignore the alarm and sign up for a little more sleep, then extend too long, missing the same appointment for which we had set the reminder.
Secondly, we tend to wait for the alarm even when we have the privilege of waking earlier than expected. Haven’t you experienced it before? There are times when you just can’t sleep anymore, an hour or two before your alarm rings. But what do you do? Many people miss these privileges of redeeming the time in the confidence that a wake-up call will come in the fulness of time. So they lay themselves down in a stupor or do things they didn’t plan to do, which in most cases proves baleful. Maybe Charles Spurgeon, the prince of preachers, had it better when he said, “If the devil catch a man idle he will send him to work [for him], and find him tools.” The idle moment as you wait for your alarm may make you miss great opportunities in life.
You need to begin working on that proposal, but you are swimming in complacency because the alarm has not rung yet. You have an opportunity of clicking the best partner to help you wade through the waters of life, but your matrimonial alarm was set for thirty, and so you let the dime go because you are only twenty-seven years young. You can begin some great projects, but you feel too young and choose revelry instead. The challenge comes when you are old enough (according to your thinking) but less creative. You prepared for these not on practice and thought but on your hinges like a sedentary door. How long are you going to wait for the alarm?
Do you have an established circadian rhythm? If you don’t, then the alarms of life will continue harassing you and spoiling your dreams!