Adventure 7: Early to Bed (recap)

In case you missed my disclaimer in the last post, let me repeat it. It’s been a very draining day. I’m tired. This may be short. If it isn’t short, it will probably be incoherent and possibly riddled with typos. C’est la vie.

I managed fully to honor both the letter and the spirit of Adventure 7 . . . on five out of the seven appointed days. That’s a score of 71%, or a C-. Sheesh.

First, though, the triumph. For five days in a row, I turned out lights, locked the doors, brushed my teeth, and hopped in bed at 10:00 p.m. I allowed myself a little calm-down buffer to read or surf the web for half an hour. I must confess that I surfed the web a lot more during this buffer time than I read books. Oops. Then, at 10:30 precisely, the lights went out, and I rolled over and went to sleep.

I thought it would be hard to fall asleep so much earlier than usual. It wasn’t. I don’t think it ever took me more than five or ten minutes to drift off the entire week. I have a very full, and apparently exhausting, life.

I did think, too, though, that after a few days of faithfully following this “early to bed” schedule, getting up at 6:42 a.m. (give or take a snooze or two) would get easier. But . . . it didn’t.

This was a major disappointment to me. I would desperately like to be a more cheerful and energetic morning person, springing out of bed to meet the day with vim and verve. I thought almost certainly that conscientiously going to bed at such a reasonable hour would help me become that vervey early riser, but after five nights, I found I was just as miserable in the mornings as I had been before.

So much for the triumph. Now, the failures. Friday night was equal parts failure and mistake. I lost track of time. I still made it bed and dreamland by a little after eleven. Not so bad.

A worse catastrophe than absent mindedness had been brewing all week, though, and on Saturday, it struck. My early bedtimes had joined forces with my debilitating Internet habit to make sure I never had any time to do housework in the evenings (something I was in the habit of starting at, oh, you know, 10:00 p.m.).

Now, when the house is messy for too many days in a row, it makes me grumpy, and by the time Saturday came around, I was feeling very, very grumpy. I then did what any good weekend warrior hausfrau would do: I rolled up my sleeves and got to work unmessifying the house and yard and ungrumpifying myself. It took all day. And more than half the night. By the time I had tidied the last room, washed the last pan, and mopped the last sticky floor, it was nearly 1 a.m. Total failure.

I didn’t care. I felt wonderful. I collapsed on the bed and slept like a baby. In the morning, I was miserable, as usual — but no worse than usual.

Some of these adventures have left me hungry for more. I’d like to try the Internet one again soon, and the letter-writing one, and I still haven’t given up on finishing the New Testament. This adventure wasn’t that way for me. I love sleep. I need sleep, but . . . I also need the late parts of my evenings to be all mine, at least for now, at least while I’m in the thick of a very crazy stage in life. Otherwise the grumpies come, and they do no one any good.

So, for now, I’ll rest (at my accustomed hour) in the exhortations found in the book of Proverbs (where it is, by the way, much easier to find wise sayings warning against too much sleep than it is to find wise sayings warning about too little sleep). Here’s one from Proverbs 6:

9 How long will you lie there, you sluggard?
When will you get up from your sleep?
10 A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest—
11 and poverty will come on you like a thief
and scarcity like an armed man.

For tonight, though, I’m tired. I might just go to bed early. I might not, but, then again, I might. I least I know that, whether I go to bed early or late, I won’t have any trouble falling asleep.

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