I've never been a night owl, not once. I could be in the middle of the dance floor in Cabo San Lucas with 7 tequila slammers rolling around in my head and a margarita in my hand, dancing wildly to Backstreet Boys greatest hits mixed with Guns N Roses melody by an up and coming DJ and if one person yawns, mentions a dream they had or asks if anyone else is ready to go home and go to bed... I will be the first one in the cab, mouth wide open, drool dripping out of the side of my mouth within 10 minutes. If you mention sleep or some form of it, I will be catatonic within minutes.
A lot of this has to do with the fact that I love falling asleep, because I struggled for so many years staying asleep. Either I will get a solid 6-7 hours, or a restless 2-3. There is no in between.
Since the first of the year, I have made this commitment to wake up before 4 every single day of the week so I can write and then workout or go straight to working out. What has happened because of that is I am in bed by 8:30 at the latest, but I am falling asleep on the couch by 7:45. Also, I'm no longer a functioning adult after 7:15 as I start to feel the drowsiness creep in and I fight it for as long as I can. However, I put on a show that I know won't hold my attention or open a book that will keep it for only 4 - 6 pages and I'm out. Done, gone to the world outside my household.
My partner doesn't mind, he has the same schedule. Can you believe I found another weirdo who is all about the early morning alarms and the early evening bed times? I mean, if he wakes me up 1 minute before my 3:55AM alarm he does not get a pleasant greeting, but other than those times, its all fun and games.
We get so excited for Saturday night date nights, picking a restaurant we are excited to try, talk about all the fun we are going to have and then make a reservation for 6pm, 5:30 preferably, and are home, asleep by 8:45. How did turning 43 get me the early bird special?
But it isn't the senior discount that we are after, it is the time without yawns. When I plan a night out with my girlfriends, I make sure I have a nap that day. They aren't expected to go home by then. I try so very hard to stay up and in the fun when we got out. Of course the number of pictures they have of me in the middle of the fun, in the middle of deep rooted conversations about solving all the issues we each are facing and I'm fast asleep, drink in hand, chin to my chest, sitting as straight as I can trying to participate, eyebrows raised as high as possible as I'm still trying to act like I'm listening, though I'm completely asleep.
I would say this will one day change, but I don't really know of anyone who gets more energy at night as they get older. And I'm okay with that, but what I'm not okay with is losing touch with those people I'm closest to because my bedtime is earlier than that of their kids. So it is up to me to recommit to them, to make sure I am in touch, to reach out on the daily, because clearly on the nightly it is a lost cause. So if you find that your schedule has kept you from being present in other people's lives or their schedule has prevented them from being present in yours, make a commitment to each other and a time and a day to set aside for connecting.
And if I fall asleep while we are on the phone catching up, just know I support you, I'm here for you, I'm tired and I'm trying. and I promise I will call you back.