Wake-Up Call: The CrankaTsuris Method
“Sir? Would you like to have a wake-up call?”
There is nobody who actually likes getting wake-up calls. You would never say that you are sleeping in till Noon, and even though you probably will be awake, you then tell the hotel concierge:
“Why don’t you give me a ring sometime around dinner time? Or, maybe a bit earlier so I can catch a bit of happy hour. I always look forward to the wake-up call because it is the best part of my day.”
“In fact, the only reason I am staying in your fabulous establishment is because I really love the way you folks do the wake-up call. The phone rings really loud, and the best part is that, even after you call the first time, you call me again just to make sure I got out of bed! It is the best!!”
Seriously, getting a wake-up call is one of the most painful experiences. You never get the call when you have had the right amount of sleep. You only get the call when you get too little, and the call is always made at the very point that you are in the deepest part of your sleep cycle.
The wake-up call is all about catching an early flight home, and it is ordered when you all know that if it was five minutes less, you start to think why bother going to sleep in the first place. It is actually way less painful to stay up all night, leave for the airport on no sleep at all than to go to bed for a few hours and have the feeling of a cast iron frying pan hit your head when the telephone starts to ring.
I actually ask for a wake-up call, and then, I set my alarm clock ten minutes earlier to avoid the wake-up call.
We all know that a wake-up call can also be that very traumatic event that puts you in such a state of shock that it becomes so obvious that you have to make a change in your life. Yes. I had my own real-life wake up call back in December 1987 and January 1988 when I lost my girl, my car, and my job. I wasn’t going to last on a diet of pastrami chopped liver triple-decker sandwiches, meatball subs with cheese, lots of pizza, chips, and beer. Maybe two of me would last, but I was determined to return to the size of a single human.
The world itself is in constant need of wake-up calls. And I think it is because there are so many things to wake up from, people can’t choose which one to wake up to, and it is just easier to go right back to sleep. Ok. Maybe a worldwide pandemic may get people to wake up. But, it does seem awfully hard to wake up sometimes.
But, think of the most obvious example of sleeping through the annual wake-up call. A hurricane hits the shore with a devastating force and destroys all the homes in its path. People are interviewed on TV talking about they lost everything they have, and they are even considering moving away from the coast since this was the fifth and worst hurricane they lived through.
Well, you know what happens. A month later, everyone comes back and start rebuilding, and maybe the building will go up a bit higher this time. Of course, it had been a bit higher last time too. Very short memories and people just not waking up to accepting that changes may be needed.
The state of crankiness can be a state from which you never really wake up. You get used to that state, and just think it is all about crankiness. You are cranky. Your friends are cranky. Relatives are cranky. You get on the train, and cranky people surround you. Your co-workers are cranky. And you come home to turn on the tv to just a lot more crankiness.
It is like the house that was hit by a hurricane. You just go back and start the next day by getting on the same train.
The CrankaTsuris Method is all about waking up to our crankiness, and having some play with it, making it just a bit softer. Since nobody is immune to crankiness, we might as well try to learn to have some fun with it.
Now, there are so many things in a day that makes us cranky, but imagine if you started writing a cranky journal. You would keep a record of each day’s cranky moments. There are many things you can write down that are universal. The train was late, and I had to stand in a packed subway car. But the train was late for many people, and you were packed together with all of the same people getting on the train. Remember that you were not alone.
But, there are many cranky moments that are personal, particularly when it comes to friends and family. Write those down, and see if there is a repetitive pattern there. You are dealing with the same stuff, over and over again, and you tell yourself that it may be even getting worse.
One of two things typically happens and neither one is helpful. Either you keep it hidden inside yourself, or you lash out in anger with a huge CrankaTsuris. Neither choice is grounding. There is just a bunch of resentment and anger building over time. Not much fun.
But, do you know what this really is? Crankiness without doing anything about it is actually the first kind of wake up call we all can’t stand. It is three o’clock in the morning wake up call. You were out late last night. You have a plane to catch. You are exhausted. You have to quickly pack your bag, make some coffee, take a shower and get out of the room, while your head feels like it was hit with that cast iron frying pan.
Time to turn off the alarm, hang up the phone and get back to sleep.
So, the CrankaTsuris Method is about doing the second kind of wake up call where we actually make a change. We slow it down. We get heard in a safe kind of way. We listen to our loved one’s cranky experience or even how was caused the crankiness.
Just think of the words that are two of my favorite words: “skillful means”. Everyone starts out saying we are all cranky. I make you cranky, and you make me cranky. But, know what is also true? If I replaced you with myself, and you replaced you with yourself, you know what would happen? Instead of making each other cranky, we would just make ourselves cranky.
The CrankaTsuris is that little oogie stuck in your throat. Instead of always having it stuck, you play with your friends and loved ones to let it out and you give permission for them to do the same. It gives us a chance to inhale and exhale air that is a bit cleaner and a lot less schmutzy.
So, imagine this is the CrankaTsuris practice that has the wake up call at the hotel being much later. You got to sleep in not a bit, but a whole lot. You can take your time to get dressed and go downstairs. Happy hour will be waiting for you.
Remember that you still get the wake up call, but you get one that you will enjoy getting up to.