How is it that I’m awake again at 4:13am?
Moving to Florida meant that our time zone changed – from Central to Eastern. No big deal, right? An hour. News is on at 11pm instead of 10pm. No problem.
Except that my bedtime has been 10pm for the past decade and a half. I was head-to-the-pillow by 11pm at the latest, and that’s even before the kids were teenagers. I’d try to stay awake until they got home, but I never made it. I’d usually head to our bedroom by 10pm, brush teeth, wash face, put on pjs, try to read a book, and my light was out by 10:15pm. I might roll over to find my husband still engrossed in his book, well past my sleepy-time. How did he read The Fall of the Roman Empire at 11:30 at night? I couldn’t get two pages of anything read before my eyes started to close.
We’ve been living down south for 6 months and I still don’t have a consistent bedtime. I’ve brushed my teeth and washed my face as early as 9pm or as early as 2:30am. I cannot get this figured out, nor get my body to cooperate. I don’t go to bed “on time,” and my waking time is all over the place – 4:30am, 7:30am, roll over fall back asleep get up at 10:30am!
Blame it on my new meds. Blame it on “the female change” (I am 51.5 yrs old – hormones must play a part in this, right?). Blame it on the kitten – kneading, purring, climbing on my face, hungry at 5:00am. But there’s no way this is my fault.
Ok. It is. I admit it. It’s my problem, caused by my choices, which makes it fully my responsibility.
I don’t want to go to bed at 9pm. My hubby is so good at this – consistent, dependable. He knows he has to leave the house for 1/2 hour commute by 7:00am, so he heads to bed at 9pm to get some reading done before lights-out. But I don’t want to go to bed that early. (You can read that sentence again – insert whiny toddler voice.) Shoot, some of my weekly TV shows are just starting! I won’t be done watching until 11pm if I watch Prime Time TV like I used to. Not that there’s anything incredibly amazing on TV, but that’s been my routine – watch TV, then go to bed.
Ah-ha! The culprit…Routine! It’s not that my bedtime has changed – it’s my routine that’s changed. And I am all outta-whack.
I used to work part time at the best job in the entire world – The Children’s Museum of La Crosse. I worked there for a total of just over 11 years, with a 3-year hiatus when we lived in Madison, WI. And since my job was part time, there was a fair amount of flexibility to my weekly schedule. But I knew I had work most days.
My job flexibility allowed for other weekly routines – Tuesday morning Bible Study, Friday morning Moms In Prayer. My month had some structure too. During the school year, the band meeting was on the third Monday at 7pm. There were Bible study leadership meetings, Moms In Prayer prep, getting study done for Tuesday, Care Groups on Monday. When the kids were younger, my after-work schedule was whatever they had going – getting this one to rehearsal, picking that one up from a friend’s.
Though like any schedule, it could be either hectic or repetitively boring, it was routine, consistent. Even summer developed its own easy rhythm, pattern. Simply the freedom of the summer “schedule” – swimming lessons, play dates, Vacation Bible School, Driver’s Ed, camping with friends. Even summer held its own routine.
I don’t have routine, no real reason to. I’m just beginning to figure out my weekly schedule – there’s not much to it yet. Not working (my choice, and I’m really enjoying that freedom right now), Moms In Prayer on Wednesdays, still trying to add Bible study. Still meeting people and finding connections. Might add the knitting club that our neighborhood offers. Community activities change with “season” – when snowbirds return and roads get crowded again. And my schedule has plenty of room to add exercise to each day – why hasn’t that happened yet?
It’s still early. I guess while I wait for my day to start, and my weeks to fill with routine, I’ll relax in the freedom that right now brings. I’ll enjoy the start of this morning with Jesus, trusting Him to fill my future days the way He wants them. I’ll try to do a better job of going to bed, and will add exercise to most days. Today, maybe just a nap after church. But in the meantime, thanks, God, for the sunrise!