Early to Rise Challenge: Day 20

A small victory today: even though I hit the snooze button several times I still got up before I turned off the alarm clock.

It may have something to do with the fact that we went to bed early last night - we turned in at 9:30.  The idea was to play a video game together on my husband's laptop; since he still had to stretch out flat the bed was the only comfortable place we could sit next to each other.  But I was so tired that I just fell asleep, almost right away.

Admit it - now you're jealous of our hot date night. ;-)

But the extra rest was good.  I just wish I could remember the plans I made the night before when I wake up in the morning.  For instance, if I'd remembered that I wanted to take a nice long relaxing shower today, I might not have hit my snooze button as many times.

But with that restful start, it is fitting that today's challenge topic is "Be Quiet."  I love having the time to take a morning shower.  As inconvenient as it is to get up earlier and spend the morning with wet hair, a shower at any other time of day is never as relaxing or refreshing.  In the evening, it either cuts into what precious little "alone time" my husband and I have together or, if I use a time when he comes home late, I imagine I hear too many strange noises in the sound of the water and become tense and paranoid.  I was the victim of a home invasion once several years ago, and it still haunts me to some extent.  I should feel lucky that I don't still have full-out PTSD about the event.

But I digress somewhat.

The morning is a lovely time for having quiet.  I often wish I could get up earlier and enjoy more of it.  It's one of the reasons I loved camping - I love to get up with the pre-dawn birdcalls and meditate on the glories of Creation as the first rays of sunlight start infusing color into the world.  Alas, my husband is not so enamored with roughing it in a tent.  Someday I'll convince him...

The problem with getting up earlier is that I'd have to go to bed earlier.  Six o'clock is about as early as I can push myself consistently given my current bedtime.  And since the time I spend with my husband is often so little, every bit of our evenings together is precious.  I find myself unwilling to give any of that up.

So I'm left with Money-Saving-Mom-Crystal's suggestions for trying to eke out more margin in the day itself.  I've more or less tried three out of the four - the only one I consistently fail at is #2: Saying "No."  And while this does give me some free time to devote to relaxing activities, with a four- and a two-year-old it's not exactly "quiet."  It helps, but it's just not as refreshing as relaxing in stillness.  With a newborn on the way, I expect that even the free time is going to vanish, and it will be a constant inner struggle between choosing morning quiet and needed extra sleep for a few months.  It certainly was that way with Pippin before he started sleeping through the night - he'd generally wake at 7-ish, nurse, and sleep until 9 or 10.  Sometimes I'd take those extra two or three hours to take a shower and be productive, and sometimes I'd elect to go back to sleep with him.

Crystal's right; it's not healthy to fill up the day entirely with to-do's.  With a newborn, that's not often feasible - though getting to spend long periods of time breastfeed can be nearly as relaxing as actual "white space."  My goal is to manage to build up a healthy reservoir of quiet me-time before the baby arrives and hope it lasts through the first rough four to six months.


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