I’ve always been a night owl. My parents tell stories from my childhood, when they’d put me to bed at 7 or 8 o’clock, only to walk past my room at 11 pm and hear me say “Good night, Mom. Good night, Dad.” (adorable, right?)
Nothing has changed. Nighttime is still my favorite part of the day and the time that I’m most inspired to do things. Again, I’d like to say it’s because I’m a night owl, but it could be because it takes my engine all day to warm up.
My husband’s theory is that I stay up in an attempt to keep morning from coming. I’m especially bad on Sunday nights, finding umpteen things I need to do before going to bed, as if that will keep Monday at bay. It’s beyond frustrating, having to physically stop myself from accomplishing things, to make myself wind down, knowing that when I wake up it will be hours before I feel this engaged again. Who decided our days begin in the morning? And why are they still in charge?
Mornings are hard for me (understatement of the year) and no amount of sleep makes them easier. One of the countless things I love about my husband is his gift for understanding this part of me. Mornings are no easier for him, but he’s always pushed through and taken care of early morning feedings, school bus routines, and any kind of service call – car maintenance or cable company – scheduled at an unseemly hour. That, my friends, is love.
I’m starting to think of depression as a battle similar to not being a morning person. Initially it feels impossible, but then the caffeine kicks in or there’s something to look forward to or I remember that I have young children in the house and simply must get up. In these moments I’m especially grateful I was raised to pull up anything that can be pulled up – boot straps, socks, big girl panties – and get on with it. It’s not always pretty, but it gets the job done.
I think it’s safe to say that’s where I am these days – not always pretty, but getting it done. The phrase “it gets better” gets tossed around a lot in our house, sometimes said wistfully, often said sarcastically, but usually said because it’s true. However, I’ve learned that the “better” doesn’t necessarily mean changes in me, just changes in the expectations I put on myself – such as expecting that one day I’ll magically turn into a morning person. Not. Gonna. Happen.