From Eid morning to New Year’s Eve, why I love sleeping through major events

There’s something incredibly satisfying about not always being involved in the zeitgeist

Sleeping through an important exam made me realise I enjoyed missing out sometimes. Getty Images
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My mother never let me skip a day of school. Unless I was extremely sick, there was no good reason for me to not go, was her firm belief. Still, I remained a night owl who preferred staying up late, reading comic books or film magazines.

After graduating high school and getting to university, I was able to dictate my timetable and decide on a schedule more in tune with my nocturnal preferences. This meant staying up late and attending classes in the afternoon, rather than needing to wake up in, what were for me anyway, the wee hours.

Unfortunately, at a certain point, I had to attend an exam that was scheduled for 8am and that was imperative to the grades of that semester. I was up late studying and set an alarm for what I thought was 6am, giving me ample time to get to the testing centre.

Alas, I overslept. I still contend that the alarm did not go off. But in reality, I had probably switched it off unconsciously and went back to sleep (as has been known to happen still). I woke up in a panic, wondering if anything could be done to amend the mistake.

Luckily, there was a second exam session later that day, and I was given permission to take it. No harm, no foul. Despite the stress I went through, I noticed something in retrospect: I enjoyed the fact that I wasn’t there. Even though I was worried about the consequences at that young age, I was simply happy to not be up early.

It’s a risky move for sure, and I was careful to not allow it to happen again, ensuring I graduated. That being said, I found myself wondering time and again how I could recapture the feeling of the joy of missing out (jomo), the exact opposite of the millennial generation's dreaded fomo (fear of missing out). Enter Eid.

Eid morning is a joyous time for families to come together, to see relatives who come from far and wide to be in each other’s company. My family is no different. As most of them live in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, it becomes a necessity for those living in other cities to make the journey.

In my line of work, getting the first day of the Eid holiday off is not guaranteed. The first time I missed out on the Eid morning meet-up because of work, I received calls from family members wondering why I was not there. As soon as I told them I was in the office, they immediately understood.

I have not worked every Eid, though. But now I have a good excuse. Instead of getting myself out of bed, I prefer to sleep in and drive out later that day to make up for it. Or even go the next day after most relatives have left and only the immediate family remains.

Perhaps the best (and safest) way for me to enjoy the feeling of missing out comes around on New Year’s Eve year on year. I have simply never understood the significance of the evening’s festivities. Needing to feel surrounded by hordes of people to eat an overpriced meal or see a fireworks show goes over my head.

And, yes, even though I am a night owl, just knowing I can put my head down and sleep though an event that the whole city, nay world, is tuned into, makes me want to do it even more. There’s something incredibly satisfying about not always being involved in the zeitgeist somehow. Not even being curious enough to observe.

I’m sure I’m not the only one, I’m sure there are people around the world who aren’t cynical, yet just enjoy the feeling of being outside of the club, so to speak. The elation that comes with not feeling the need to step inside the social bubble is second to none.

Published: April 05, 2024, 6:02 PM