24th May, 2008
How often do we surprise ourselves at how quickly time flies? Apologies, readers, for it seems I have been asleep for nearly two months….
I have been rudely shaken out of hibernation for a couple of reasons: firstly, someone asked me the other day whether I was ever going to post to the blog again (yippee – someone’s noticed!) and secondly, the result of my wife giving me one of those “eye rolling, oh never mind” looks this morning.
You see, with our children up at the crack of dawn this morning to get ready to go camping for the weekend with their grandparents, my wife was up and about to deal with the final stages of packing (another story – just how much luggage do two children really need for 2 days away!!) Of course, I was expected to follow suit and so I was woken up with a mug of tea and the instruction, “when you’ve had that please will you go and give Lucy her breakfast.”
Because somewhere between drinking the tea, opening my eyes and getting out of bed (in that order) I had managed to squeeze in an extra snooze. Getting up and throwing on some clothes, I realised that Lucy (6) was now in the bath, breakfasted and watered and was now considering which of one her crate-full of Barbie dolls would be lucky enough to go on holiday with her.
It’s an interesting phenomenon that Mrs R doesn’t fully understand; the fact that I can open my eyes, exchange good morning greetings, show gratitude for the mug of tea… yet apparently have no recollection of the conversation… and any agreements of help that we may have contracted as part of that conversation. Sorry… message sent does not necessarily mean message received!
Marketers, however, do understand this; that human beings are creatures of habit and routine, and trying to break into the programmed cycle is difficult. A survey by advertising agency BBDO Worldwide last year shows that most of us already have a complex morning ritual that lasts up to one hour and in Britain we have an average of 6.9 activities to get through before heading out the door. 69% of people get irritated when their routine is disrupted.
In my defence I can tell you that for regular weeks, Mondays to Fridays, my mornings are a well rehearsed and efficient routine that involve shaking the kids out of bed, explaining to them that getting dressed is a necessary activity before school and providing breakfast before eventually leaving the house.
Autopilot I can do. Plugging into an irregular programme on a Saturday morning, at least for a man in 2008 BC (Before Cornflakes) is far more of a challenge.