Day 19: Waking Up

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Taking part in the Ann Dee Ellis 8-Minute Memoir Writing Challenge. This is Day Nineteen.

I have never (ever!) been a morning person. There have been periods of time where I could force my round peg into that square hole, but at the earliest moment I could reset to my natural center, I am once again up half the night and sleeping beyond the sunrise. I don’t like sleeping late, per se- sleeping to noon is a big waste- but if I get six hours of sleep, I can easily, happily and naturally manage 2-3 am to 8-9 am for my natural sleep cycle. I don’t much like being up after 3 am, actually- that’s always felt like the actual witching hour, rather than midnight- the time where the day tips from late-night to suddenly really freaking early morning. I don’t like watching the sun come up after staying up too late- I do like being asleep for that. Even for me, there is “too late.”

Night time is when I have the easiest time hearing my own thoughts. It’s when the dust settles, the house is quiet, and I can begin to piece together again who I am today.  Daytime is for other people. Night time is for me.

There is a closet full of paintings, all of which were born in the dark. There are sheafs of essays and memoir sketches and writing ideas, all born in the dark. I suspect this is common with many creative people, particularly mothers whose days are too-often swallowed up by the needs of other people. It’s not as intense now that my kids are a little older, but when they were littler, sacrificing a few hours of sleep a week for my own sanity and sense of self was completely worth it.

These days, my alarm goes off too early.  I get up with all the kids to help them get ready, pack lunches and get out the door. Once I’m up, I am up for the day, and unless I am sick, I don’t nap much or go back to bed once the “up” switch is flipped. Sometimes I wish I had more control over that, but I’m resigned at this point to whatever circadian rhythms underpin my personal time clock. *shrug*