Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sleeping Beauty

I told you I would update you on the 6:00 project, and I haven't. I was putting it off for a little while, wanting to see how it goes. I read once that it takes about three weeks for a new habit to stick, and tomorrow it will have been three weeks since I decided to get up by 6:00 each morning.

The first two weeks of getting up early were very hard. I am an inveterate night owl. I had normally stayed up until about one or two in the morning every night. Anna still also gets up at night (most nights), so my nights  have been a little crazy and hardly restful. After getting up at 6:00 the first two weeks, with only one missed day (Saturday), I was exhausted! I was getting up early, but I still wasn't able to fall asleep until my old bedtime-OK- some nights I still wasn't even getting in bed until after midnight, because I didn't feel tired. Anna was still getting up to make things worse! Basically I was getting three or four hours of very choppy sleep every night for two weeks.

I persisted in getting up early because I feel like it is God's will for me to do this. When God calls us to do things, we can't just say, "No!" I had never believed before in all that  night/ morning people stuff. Isn't it as simple as just going to bed early so you can get up early? NO. Sleep patterns are like any other habit...you have to retrain yourself.

This past Saturday, I decided to make myself get to bed early. Then our family started coming down with a germ of the sore throat variety- YUCK. But I still woke early. I need to back up a bit. Remember when I said that I wanted to get up early to have an hour of quiet time? That worked great for the first week. Then the little munchkins started getting up with me, and I found myself groaning. Big kids decided it was nice to have mom up to fix a hot breakfast, and I admit, I was feeling a little cheated. I'm so glad I read this insightful post over at Holy Experience  the morning I felt the most annoyed. It reminded me that all the work I do for my family is a prayer. SERVING OTHERS IS PRAYER.

I still pray every morning, but I spend about twenty-five minutes doing the readings, making a morning offering, and offering up the day's intentions. Then I do spiritual reading when I am putting Anna down for a nap, later in the day. It's not the hour I had intended, but it is enough. We can't be greedy, even about prayer time. Right?

This morning I went to lie down after the breakfast rush. I was feeling like I was getting a sore throat, and wanted to fight it off. I meant to lie down for only twenty minutes or so, but I slept. And slept. And slept.
And......slept! My delicious sleep was punctuated by little boys playing knights and vikings:

 "Sam," I heard Tommy call, "Let's play outside because Bikings (vikings) wear boots, and we can wear boots outside!"
They headed out, slamming the door. "Yes! It's warm enough to go outside and play," I dreamily remember thinking. "I can hang out the laundry."

I slept on and on, smiled because I heard a Black-capped Chickadee singing, said sleepy yeses to requests for granola bars, juice boxes, and movies-anything to sleep a little longer. My to-do list slept, too- right in the notebook where I put it last night. I heard Emily practicing her Sonatina and thought how great she sounded, but "I need to tell her not to play it so fast, and that one measure needs perfecting." So I guess as long as there are little people around, we mother in our sleep to some extent.

Three hours later, I woke up refreshed and sore- throatless, I am happy to say! I realize that this gal needs sleep to function- a 'Sleeping Beauty.' I definitely am more beautiful, at least on the inside, when I have had sleep. I did find it encouraging that the last three mornings I awoke before the alarm went off. That's progress! And last night I fell asleep before 11:00- major progress. I think I'm over the hurdle, and before you know it, I'll be a regular old morning person!

Mary Margaret decides what crafts she wants to do.

Emily had a "photo shoot" with Anna.