Friday, May 18, 2012

Night-time sunburns are the worst

One of the more interesting parts of Scandinavian weather (narrowly beating out april snow storms), is how light it gets in the summer.  We are still over a month away from summer solstice, but the sun now rises at 4am and sets at 9:30pm.  At the peak on June 21, the sun will rise at 3:31am and set at 10:08pm.  When we first got here in January, this seemed like the greatest thing in the world, but now we are starting to see a few flaws in the plan.

1)      The obvious issue is how to put a one year old to sleep when the sun won’t even set for another 3 hours.  Luckily for us, Calvin trusts his own internal clock, so goes down every day between 6-7 without much of an issue.  We did have to buy some heavy curtains for his room so that the sun didn’t blind him when he laid down, but outside of that we were good to go.

2)      The flip side of the issue is how to keep an infant asleep until a reasonable hour in the morning.  For months, Calvin had us on a schedule of waking up between 630-7am, also like clockwork.  This worked great – right around when we were ready to wake up for work anyways, so he and I were able to have some morning playtime.  Within the last few weeks though, he’s started getting up earlier and earlier.  I think he hit 5am a few times last week.  I’m ready to buy some extra blackout curtains and double up on his room.  But if anyone has any suggestions, hit us up in the comments.

3)      A compounding issue for (2) is that Lisa and I do not have the same internal clock that our son has.  We are very much sun-dependant and find ourselves staying up a lot later than normal.  I’m actually writing this blog in front of the open window, just cause the sun is so nice right now.  It’s quarter of 9.  I will not be ready to go to bed in an hour or two.  This would be fine if it was us two years ago, but our unsnoozable alarm clock keeps getting up earlier!  

4)      All of these issues were probably expected or could have been foreseen.  The one real curve ball has been how the sun affects my work day.  The last few weeks have actually been pretty crazy, and I’ve been working a lot later than I had been in the past.  It’s been a really interesting project and I’ve enjoyed the work, but I realized that I haven’t been getting that “I need to go home NOW” feeling that I would normally have expected.  At first I chalked this up to the free coffee that I drink constantly, but last Tuesday I had a revelation.  It happened when I was finishing up a few slides at night and I had to keep moving my chair to block out the sun setting in front of me.  Once I realized that the sun was setting I started thinking that it was time to pack up soon.  Then I snapped back into reality and remembered that if the sun was setting while I was at work AND I was in the middle of a Scandinavian Summer, I was there WAY too late.  It was about 9:00, and I JUST realized that I was working later than I would have preferred.  I never understood how sun dependant I was until then.  It really affects your attitude throughout the whole day.

 (picture of my building during the working day)

(JUST KIDDING - it was 9pm and the sun was just setting)

And yes, I will post a response blog to this mid-december when the sun sets at 2:30pm or something crazy.  At that point I’ll probably write about Calvin sleeping for 18 hrs a day and needing to leave work by 3pm….  

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