Ok. So technically, it’s early morning… Really early morning.
But the humor of that title gets me, when I’m sitting here with the distant, quiet sound of the dryer and the water working it’s way through the pipes.
I might as well be totally honest here. I like being up in the early a.m. hours, even if it IS a break in my sleep. I like the still, cool air. I like the mental freedom that comes with all the family asleep around me, safe, while I’m able to indulge in some writing or a drink of hot herbal tea.
I suppose this is why I should understand that Todd likes to stay up late, possibly for the same reasons. I bring this up because he came to bed about an hour ago. It always drives me nuts because I know he has to be up with the children between 6 and 7. I KNOW he can’t make it on about five hours of sleep and yet he does this so often. He tells me that he was up late doing laundry… catching up, etc., and I want to nag at him about how it is horrible for his health and his coping skills that he’s left himself so little time to sleep.
But this is an old, tired argument. Nothing I have said over the last 12 years has made a difference. So instead, as I sit here in the peace and quiet, I find myself understanding…
Being around other people, even when they aren’t nattering at you because they are hungry or need juice or need help with a game or want to sit in your lap for a book (great image, isn’t it? a 150 person randomly coming along and going “ungh” as they hold up a board book? and yes, I know that was a weird thought, but it’s 2:45 a.m. so I can be forgiven)…
It isn’t just about a bit of peace from the needs/demands of the children. It’s about the mental space that comes from being up, awake and mostly alert, but being simultaneously completely free of demands – implied or otherwise. It’s a no-stress time, even though I could think on it for a bit and begin the stress-cycle just by virtue of the fact I’m not asleep and that has a cost.
I don’t though. I count this cost as acceptable. Is that how he sees it too? He’ll pay with his health and his ability to cope with the small children tomorrow because he NEEDS that time so badly?
I’ll have to ponder it.
It beats the hell out of wanting to smack him up-side of his head for getting so little rest and being such a major poop because of it.
One of the best emails or communications I’ve ever received from my dad was waiting in my inbox when I got up about an hour ago. I had sent him an update on what I was doing. It was a departure from my normal grandkid updates, which are admittedly not frequent. I ‘fessed up to my current attack on academia… And I inserted one comment that I have long wanted to say but hadn’t for a variety of reasons. I loathe being perceived as a flake. I have often suspected that I am considered the flake of the family and I slipped in a brief comment in the email about not sharing my news with others for that reason.
It feels good to have said it… to put it out there. I think I’ve tackled this topic before, but being able to process new information about a situation and make a change in what you are doing? This can look like flakiness to an external-to-the-process observer.
Intellectually I can understand this. Hell, I can understand that we are flawed and human and make wrong decisions all the time… but when you are approaching 40 and you feel like you’ve made more than your fair share of poor decisions? It can wear on your spirit… make you question your decisions and your ability to make a good one.
I have had many, many early a.m. internal conversations in which I have beaten myself up over things I did that went so drastically wrong. (and the question might be asked at this point, why is it that those “conversations” have to happen in the wee dark hours of morning???)
I’m finally starting to let go of some of those things that I have brought up over and over again. Some are easy. Some? Not easy at all.
Knowing this and acknowledging it is funny. It helps. As if, once again, naming a thing takes away the power it has over you.
I am tempted to have a hot cup of tea right now, while I crack my textbook and read for a bit. And why shouldn’t I? I’m awake. I feel comfortable with my choice to be awake and the cost I’ll bear later today, when my eyes are tired and dry. I’ve had more than five hours of sleep already. Taking a “nip” and having a cuppa, while enjoying a review? Sounds good to me.
To any who are up and awake right now, whether you want to be or not… Enjoy the “night music” – it’s a very special time.
Cheers from an awake moonfire