It Can Wait

bed booksThis is not my usual type of blog post. This is more along the lines of a public confession. And, possibly, a plea for help.

I’m tired tonight. I was tired all day. It was the third day this week (out of four – I’m writing this Thursday night at 8:15) that I dragged myself through the day, fueled by caffeine and sugar. I wasn’t able to do my best work. I came perilously close to snapping at the kids. I’m too wiped to have fun. And do you know why I’m so tired?

Because I’m an idiot.

I get up at 5 each morning. This started years ago, when the quiet mornings were my only time to write. Now, I’m up early to have time to do yoga/go for a walk/shower/dress/pack Tsarina’s lunch/clean the bathrooms/etc before delivering her to school and starting my writing day.

The early hour is not the problem. I like being the only one awake and having time to get through those tasks, so I am free to focus on writing (and, okay, Pinterest) while the girls are at school. The idiocy comes in at night. Almost every night. When I habitually stay up too late.

How late? Well, last night, I got a little over five hours of sleep. Yeah. Idiocy.

Why do I do this to myself? Part of it is the fact that the rest of the world thinks at lights out at 9:30 or 10 is kind of lame. Part of it is that I get my second wind around 9:30, so if I’m not out by then, I have a hard time falling asleep. A little bit of it is due to the fact that Hubs snores loud enough to shake the house. (To whoever invented ear plugs: BLESS YOU.)

But the biggest culprit is me. I have so much to DO! I have to get it all done NOW! I didn’t make my word count/fold the laundry/answer that overdue email/play an online game! I won’t be able to relax if I don’t get the laundry/words/blog done before bed, so why not just get them done now?

I’ll tell you why. Because it leads to too many days like the one I just had. And, because I’m too tired to do my best during the day, I end up – you guessed it – cramming my work into the evenings after the girls are in bed.  Which leads to me being too wound up to fall asleep. Which leads to another exhausted day. Which leads to a self-perpetuating cycle of stupid.

It has to stop.

I don’t like turning out the lights and going to sleep. There is so very much I want to do. But I wonder if half the reason I want/need to do so much is because I’m too frickin’ tired to appreciate and enjoy the things that matter?

I’m setting a goal, and I’m not waiting until January to start it. In bed by 9, lights out by 10, at least five nights out of seven. It means no more post-critique runs to the grocery store, or watching fun stuff on YouTube. It even means less – sigh – Pinterest.

But I need to do this. For myself, for my family, for my work.

And with that – it’s 8:30. Thme for me to put freshly-washed sheets on my bed and climb in.