Thursday, October 10, 2013

Mental Health Mornings

We are on our second week of Late Start Wednesdays and I have had an epiphany of sorts.

Our school district rolled out this new plan just before the school year started, as we were all happily buying items on the school supply lists, counting the days until out little angels were back in class.  The idea is to add extra time to the rest of the school week and leave Wednesday mornings for teacher collaboration. Can I just say, parents don't enjoy having the school schedule tampered with.  When you have everything planned out so you can just get everyone where they need to go on time, it's hard to appreciate any need for change. Since I work from the home this wouldn't mean more than a slight adjustment to my schedule, though I will admit I wasn't thrilled with my kids hanging around the house any longer than necessary.

The first Wednesday on our new schedule I figured I'd get up at regular time and get stuff done while the kids slept--kind of like summer vacation, without the summer or the vacation.  I must mention that I get up at the crack of the crack of dawn--usually by 5:30am--as that's what time my crazy, hard-working, business-owning husband gets up.  Something about birds and early worms, I don't know, it's too darn early.  I don't drag my sorry carcass out of bed because of any sense of wifely duty, but because he is just too darn loud in the morning.  If I'm going to be annoyed anyway, I might as well be up and ready to take a swing at him.

So that first Wednesday I got up with the best of intentions--kitchens would be cleaned, laundry would be washed, my inbox would become my outbox.  The reality?  I lost all five lives on Candy Crush (what human could clear all that jelly?!), checked out Facebook and flipped through TV channels.  Nothing got accomplished, zip, zero, zilch.

So this week I was determined to make better use of my time.  I would exercise before the kids got up!  I would be all done and ready to move on with my day before the school bus pulled out of the neighborhood.  Hard working husband got up and left the house at 4:30am, however, and I have a strict policy that feet do not hit the bedroom floor before 5am.  No exceptions, no way (unless, of course, it involves me hopping on a jet to an exotic location).  So I figured, as I sleepily said good bye, that I'd just stay in bed till 6am. 

Once again, no was body parts were exercised and no work was completed.  I was still too sleepy for coherent thought and it was too dark out for my morning walk.  Instead I sat on the couch and was amazed at the sheer number of infomercials.  (Did you know that Chuck Norris is still alive?)   I might as well have staid in bed.

And that's went it hit me, like a light bulb above my head, a message from God, a voice of sanity in the wilderness:

I should have just staid in bed.

All this time I have felt guilty if I didn't get up with my husband and get something done.  He works so hard and I feel lazy if I don't put forth the same effort.  If I'm not doing work for our company (which I've learned  should not be attempted before 9am when the caffeine has had a chance to kick in), I should be doing something that seems worth trading a paycheck for.

But you know what I realized?  I do work really hard.  Even if everything I do doesn't create any income, it's not like I'm sitting home all day eating bonbons and watching soap operas.  Okay, I'm on Facebook way too much, but the rest of the time I'm doing something essential--invoicing customers, paying bills, taking dogs to the vet and kids to the dentist, grocery shopping, arguing with grumpy teenagers, writing, looking fabulous--all day long.

And you know what's important for good health?  Sleep!  Actual studies by actual scientists show that people who don't get enough sleep have a harder time regulating their body weight. Sleep could practically be considered a type of exercise.

So next Wednesday I will be doing something beneficial for both my physical and mental health.  I am going to sleep in.  And if my husband complains, I will suggest he do something for his health and let me sleep.

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