Early in the morning
I started to write this at 5:31 am.
I have not used an alarm very much for the better part of the past two and a half years. This is because small children, who are often allowed (and encouraged!) to take naps during the day, will often wake up very early in the morning. Today, for example, one of my kids woke up at 4:16 am. He made noise for a bit and went back to sleep. The other kid was at it by 5:20 am.
Some people are deep sleepers, and it takes a great deal to rouse them from their slumber. I am not one of these people. Never have been. I wake up easily and often in the night. I'm also someone who, if a threshold of awakeness is reached, is unlikely to get back to sleep. It is like, if I'm 70% awake, then I need to get all the way to 100% awake, and then I need to start the power-down process from the top, all over again. (My body is stupid that way.)
Even before I had kids, I would talk about sleep through a metaphor of riding a train. Someone would see me with dark circles under my eyes, drinking coffee the way a sleep-deprived person who has to be conscious and cognizant does, and they would ask me if I was OK.
"I could not get on the sleep train last night." I'd say. "And when I was able to get on it, to finally fall asleep, they discovered I did not have a ticket and kicked me off after about three hours."
(Interesting fact: People will only ask if you're OK if they have already decided that you're not OK. When it looks like you're doing well, no one asks you if you're OK.)
Since having kids, I'm still a light sleeper, but my overall sleep consistency has improved a lot.
- I'm generally more tired, and I have less trouble getting on the sleep train at the end of the day.
- I still get woken up frequently in the night, but I don't always reach that threshold of awakeness that means I need to wake all the way up and go through the shutdown process again.
- When I do get the full wake up, it tends to happen, like it did today, at a time that helps me wake up early and use the very early hours of the morning to do things like writing this. (Or run, stretch, read uninterrupted, grade papers, etc.)
- Overall, I think getting up early and not having the option to sleep in has forced me to have a regular sleep schedule. The regularity seems to have made the hours I am sleeping turn into a period of consistently deeper sleep with less getting kicked off the sleep train in the middle of the night.
Right now: I'm going to drink some water, and then I'm going to run for a bit. After that, I'll brew coffee and start some of the prep for thanksgiving. (We are hosting family at our house this year.)
In the evening
It is now 5:07 pm, and I've been moving since I finished writing the words above—all day. Go, go, go. I'm starting to feel a little loopy.
Truth: I'm so tired I'm looking at the screen right this red hot second, and my brain feels incapable of thought.
For that reason: I'm going to say, if you live here in the United States, I hope you enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday. If you live elsewhere, I hope you had a good day doing whatever you did this Thursday.
As always: Thanks for taking the time to read these words.
Till tomorrow: Make glorious mistakes.