the alarm…

Have you ever tried to work an unfamiliar alarm clock that sounds like a fire alarm, with no warning that it would go off, in the dark, without your glasses, at 6am (but 5am in your own timezone) having been awoken by said alarm in the middle of an anxiety dream?

Welcome to my morning.

I’m in Phoenix for my first WordCamp adventure of the year and I’m not organizing, or running an activation, or working a booth. Today I’m just attending and having chats with amazing people. So I did the kind thing and set an alarm on my phone for 7:30am. Just enough time to eat a healthy breakfast, get showered, get ready, and take a lovely 10 minute stroll to the venue. It was idyllic. Restful. Ideal.

But then the alarm

BLLLEEEEEER BLLLEEEEEER BLLLEEEEEER BLLLEEEEEER BLLLEEEEEER BLLLEEEEEER BLLLEEEEEER BLLLEEEEEER BLLLEEEEEER BLLLEEEEEER BLLLEEEEEER BLLLEEEEEER BLLLEEEEEER BLLLEEEEEER BLLLEEEEEER BLLLEEEEEER BLLLEEEEEER BLLLEEEEEERBLLLEEEEEER BLLLEEEEEER BLLLEEEEEER BLLLEEEEEER BLLLEEEEEERBLLLEEEEEER BLLLEEEEEER BLLLEEEEEER BLLLEEEEEER BLLLEEEEEER…

It was a moment of not realizing it was in my room, then a sudden realization that it was a fire alarm and I had a flashback to WordCamp Philly years ago running down nine flights of stairs in the middle of the night while struggling to button my jeans as the hotel’s fire alarm blared. I remembered standing barefoot on the Philly street. No bra on. Phone in hand. Completely bewildered. All of these thoughts racing while I looked around the dark room looking for flashing light. My thoughts focused momentarily and I realized that whatever it was was nearby. I picked up my phone shaking it to make the noise stop. I’d never head my phone make that noise.

It wasn’t my phone…

I realized I was in a hotel room. And do you know what, for some reason almost always is in a hotel room. An alarm clock.

Back in the day when I first started traveling for work and I wasn’t on anxiety meds and I was way less in control of “stuff” than I am now I would always check those alarm clocks to make sure that they were turned off because I didn’t want them to startle me. If they were too bright I would just unplug them so the light wouldn’t keep me up. I was cautious. But that was 7 years ago. Before I got used to traveling. Before I started doing a lot of work on myself. Mindfulness. And those incredible helpful drugs I take every day for anxiety.

So last night when I checked in all I did was check to make sure I didn’t have down pillows in my room so I wouldn’t wake up a swollen puffy mess. I didn’t pay any heed to the glowing number box.

But the noise…

BLLLEEEEEER BLLLEEEEEER BLLLEEEEEER BLLLEEEEEER BLLLEEEEEER BLLLEEEEEER BLLLEEEEEER BLLLEEEEEER BLLLEEEEEER BLLLEEEEEER BLLLEEEEEER BLLLEEEEEER BLLLEEEEEER BLLLEEEEEER BLLLEEEEEER BLLLEEEEEER BLLLEEEEEER BLLLEEEEEERBLLLEEEEEER BLLLEEEEEER BLLLEEEEEER BLLLEEEEEER BLLLEEEEEERBLLLEEEEEER BLLLEEEEEER BLLLEEEEEER BLLLEEEEEER BLLLEEEEEER…

I picked up the square box of light and sound and tried touching everything that felt like a button. I shook it. I looked for the plug, it was behind a table bolted to the wall. I shook it again. Harder. I was sure whoever was in the room next door must hate me by now. I found the snooze button and took a deep breath. And then I had 9 minutes to disarm the bomb before the bad noise started again.

As far as I see there are 3 possibilities

  1. I accidentally set the alarm myself while plugging my usb plug in.
  2. Someone accidentally left the alarm on
  3. Someone is truly evil and did this as a joke that was really the least funny joke ever and I hate them.

I was able to find the knob that turned the alarm on and off and get it shut down. No. It was in no way instinctual. And no I never did manage to get back to sleep. I got up and meditated. I ate breakfast. I worked for a while. And I’m settled. And I don’t think I’m a mess. And I know the alarm won’t go off tomorrow.

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