Wednesday, February 09, 2005



I fasted today but since I am in the not-hungry phase of my cycle, it wasn't hard. Oh, those last few minutes before dinner were kind of tough but nothing compared to having to prepare a break-fast dinner on Yom Kippur. I couldn't do a Yom Kippur-style fast anymore, though. I take too many medications; I'd at least have to drink water so I didn't pass out from low blood pressure.

It seems somewhat odd but I do like Lent. I like the idea of preparing, really working hard to get ready, for Easter. I almost always "give something up," and usually, it's chocolate. There have been years when it was extremely difficult for me to do that, but now I don't think it would be. Entire weeks go by when I don't eat it, although I then turn around and eat it every day for a month.

I thought about giving up chocolate again this year, but decided that's basically a meaningless gesture. If I don't have chocolate, I'll have something else instead. Wouldn't it be better to do something positive, rather than (or in addition to) giving up a luxury?

So: for Lent I have resolved to go to bed at a decent hour, and get up earlier in the mornings. IOW, I will establish a more healthy waking/sleeping schedule for myself than what I've got now, which is quite frankly pathetic. Most nights I am in bed by 1AM, but I would say that at least every other week or so I stay up reading and writing until 2AM or even 3AM. I really have to stop doing that.

I realized that all of my adult life, I've been this way. In my first marriage, the argument that my ex and I had the most often was about me not coming to bed with him. I always wanted to stay up and read. Even before then, I remember staying up late to unwind after a closing shift, waitressing, when I was in high school. I like being the only one awake in the sleeping, quiet house. I like setting my own consciousness adrift in some fictional world. I like being able to hammer out an essay or a review without being interrupted at all.

By giving up my late nights, I relinquish all those things I cherish too much. This one change is both a sacrifice and a positive act, because regular sleeping hours can only help my health, and there's a hope that I'll have more energy for everything going on in the house, too.

I have tried to make this change many times before. 2004's New Year's resolution, to get to bed before midnight, was a complete, utter, dismal failure. I think I managed it fewer than 20 times the entire year! And that includes times when I was sick or recovering from surgery -- those days I had naps during the day and used them to rationalize my staying up late!

Why do I think this will be different? I hope it will be, I will pray for help and do my best. I do need help with this, because I can foresee horrible consequences down the road, not too far, either. Mom's leaving in just a few weeks, and then I'll be on the spot for school morning breakfasts, and making lunches, and emptying the dishwasher, all those little things that Mom does every day while I sleep until 7:30 or 8 or 8:30, even!

I need this change in my life, the sooner the better.
Good night!

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