November 29, 2011

Once Upon a Time

There are two before bed moments in my house. Before the kids go to bed and before I go to bed. Both are mad dashes. Back in the day, before children, I would take a relaxing bath, read a book, watch a television show with hubby. Bedtime was exciting... minds out of the gutter people, this is a family program.

Lately, I fall into bed exhausted. It's become a necessary part of my day, but not one I look forward to. Same goes for showering. I'm not sure when taking a shower became a chore, but it has.

When my kids finally give into sleep, I run around like a madwoman, trying to accomplish all the tasks that eluded me the rest of the day. Sometimes it's writing, sometimes it's housework... but rarely is it picking up a good book, watching a favorite television show, or catching up with my husband. All former bedtime routines have been shattered.

Once upon a time, bedtime was me time. Time to reflect on the day, slowly drift off to sleep. I'd often cuddle in bed with a good book. Lately, I cuddle with a notebook. Every moment spent scribbling down to-dos so I don't forget commitments. I give into sleep when the power to keep my eyes open diminishes.

I can't tell you how many times I start drifting toward dreamland to be jolted awake by a remembered obligation for the next day. I keep a notebook next to the bed for such moments, and it has saved me many a time. It is sad how often I fall asleep with my glasses on and pen and paper in hand.

As a child, you fight sleep because life offers so much fun and excitement. Who wants to sleep when you can be playing, exploring, living? As an adult, sleep is the necessary part of a responsibility filled day. Sad.

Since I don't make New Year's resolutions per se, I am going to commit in December to taking the hour before bedtime for something enjoyable. I don't want to put off bedtime because of all my obligations every day. I want to occasionally put it off because life is just too darned enjoyable.

What is your bedtime ritual?

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