After all, it doesn't really matter all that much when I get to work, and if I get in too early it increases the percentage of hours that I'm there when our users are sending irritating email. It's just better for everyone involved if I have at least a couple of hours at work when I don't get any email.
However, on the days that I do drive in to work, I really do try to get there in time for lunch, and that's where the problem comes in during the winter months. I really need to get out of bed by about 8AM in order to have time to feed the cats, feed the dogs, feed the birds, walk the dogs, pack dinner, take a shower, get dressed, clean up after all the freaking animals in the house, and then drive to work in time to walk in the door, put my stuff down, and immediately leave for lunch.
While technically it is light outside by at least 7AM these days, when it's cloudy it seems to be about the same level of light from about 7 to 9. Sure, I could get a clock and put it on the wall (yes, a really, really big clock since I can't see anything without my glasses on), but where would be the fun in that? Instead, I try to pick up on more subtle cues.
1. If I roll over in bed:
- < 6AM: the cats all remain in place except for the ones that take up even more space and force me further over the edge of the bed. The big dog continues to snore.
- Between 6-7: most of the cats remain in place, but one or two jump off the bed. The big dog continues to snore.
- Between 7-8: all the cats except one jump off the bed and run to the kitchen. The remaining cat bites any skin visible outside the sheets and is launched off the bed. The cats return within two minutes and settle back in. The big dog continues to snore.
- After 8: all the cats except one jump off the bed and run into the kitchen. The remaining cat continues to bite me and be launched off the bed. The other cats play high speed Monopoly with my pillow being Go. The big dog continues to snore.
2) If I hide my face from the cat trying to bite me by letting my head hang over the edge of the bed:
- Before 7AM: no problem. The big dog continues to snore.
- 7-8: the little dog jumps up and licks my face. The big dog continues to snore.
- After 8: the little dog whines every time I take a breath and continues jumping up and licking my face. The big dog continues to snore.
3) If I sit up in bed:
- Before 6AM: None of the animals are fooled. They go back to sleep. The big dog continues to snore.
- 6-8: General pandemonium. The big dog continues to snore.
- After 8: General pandemonium. The big dog checks to see if I'm actually getting up. If so, she rolls around on her back until I make it out the bedroom door and then climbs/falls off the bed. If not she goes back to snoring.
As you can see, I can pretty accurately determine when 8AM rolls around, assuming I move around enough. You can also see that I don't get a lot of sleep after 6AM. There are days I consider going to a motel to get a good night's sleep.