I am sort of always on a constant path for improvement. I read a lot online about better ways to do things like organize, save money, cook, enlighten myself, blah blah blah. I spent the better part of my 20s having fun – albeit responsibly – but without much care or planning for the future. Beyond a mutual fund that I’ve drained and replenished as many times as I’ve changed living spaces and my fortunate lean towards classic fashion style, I haven’t accumulated a lot of things (beyond a husband, ha) that will last into my future. And funny how I care about that now.
I know this is going to sound wacky to talk about New Year’s resolutions in October, but the fact is, we’re not that far from the holidays, which inevitably leads to another stab at those resolutions.
Also, I was noticing how I look exhausted in 99% of my profile pics on facebook, so hey, maybe I should try sleeping more than 6 hours a night. I thought it sounded like a good resolution for next year, and then it dawned on me that that sounded pretty familiar.
Let’s check in with my 2011 resolutions:
- Experiment more with cooking, breaking into some more advanced recipes. Eh, I cooked a few new things and did keep away from too many Real Simple recipes, but I didn’t put too much of an effort into this.
- Try RPM, the cycling class at the gym. I tried this, and I didn’t even hate it. I just wish my gym had classes more geared toward my schedule (whatever that is). More importantly, however, I did reintroduce cardio into my life. I can almost call myself a runner again.
- Get more sleep. I regularly stay up much too late and then get up at 6 a.m. to start writing. It’s bad for me. My friends call me a vampire. Nope, not even close. I’m going to blab about this ad nauseum below.
- Read more. I’ve always been a reader, but with all those late nights, books lose priority for precious minutes of sleep. In 2011, I want to get back to reading before bed – and still get a decent night’s sleep. I’ve been reading The Other Boelyn Girl for approximately four months. I’m just so tiiiiired before bed.
- Completely quit smoking. Ugh – I hate even admitting I still do, but putting it out here holds me more accountable. This is probably the last thing I expected to conquer, but thanks to that running thing, I can say that I don’t miss cigarettes. So strange how your perspective changes after you’re off of them for a bit, too.
- Paint more of the house, most notably the living room, dining room and bedroom.OMG! Totally did this! Well, not the bedroom yet, but I’m gonna next month, I swear.
- Attempt more gardening. I succeeded big with container tomatoes last year and my herbs were pretty decent too. This year, I’d like to plant something in our side bed that doesn’t wilt in the crazy high sun it gets, plus I’d like to try a few more vegetables in the backyard. I was so good at container gardening this year that I didn’t even take any pictures to tweet about my success. It wasn’t perfect, however. I never even ate my jalepenos and red peppers, and my cucumbers were rather stunted (though I did reap 2 large ones). Contemplating digging an actual in-ground garden next year – stay tuned.
Okay, well, I guess I didn’t muck that up too terribly. I’m rather shocked. However, let’s further discuss this one glaring issue: Sleep.
First of all, I need to explain a few things. I’ve come to learn how incredibly lucky I am that I can sleep. I don’t have insomnia, and I rarely even wake up in the middle of the night (probably b/c I’m only sleeping about 5-6 hours per night). I don’t have any trouble falling asleep either. I’m out almost as soon as my head hits the pillow. I also regularly fall asleep watching TV in the living room (we don’t have a TV in the bedroom) – It’s an ongoing joke that playing a DVD is like giving me a sleeping pill.
Here is my sleep deal: I am a morning person. Always have been. Mom never let us sleep past 9:30 a.m. when we were teenagers, which is pretty darn early compared to most teens I knew. “Miss the morning, miss the day,” she’d chirp (and she still will – just ask her).
In my early 20s, I lived and worked in the city, and so commute was pretty short. My schedule was: wake up, feed cats, get in shower, go to work.
During a 6-month tour of unemployment (woo), I didn’t take the opportunity to sleep in – in fact, I was up between 6:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. every morning, making coffee and scouring the web for freelance opportunities and full-time jobs.
So, when I did finally get a job, I really dug the ‘hang out in my pajamas and peruse the internet’ thing, and I haven’t gone back. In fact, I just get up earlier. I’m now out of bed at 6 a.m. most mornings, including weekends. This also is impacted by having whiny animals, one of whom has me trained to bring his food dish into my office every morning so he can have company while he eats.
This morning time has become invaluable. I use it to work on freelance assignments, write and edit posts for SaraBozich.com, search and edit photos, research for the Weekend Roundup and clean up my inboxes, pay bills, etc.
Now, night time. As we get a bit older, turns out we all go to bed a little earlier. My former co-carousers are now closing down wine-drinking at 10 p.m., and others are sticking to the actual pre-set happy hours, heading home before it gets dark. Others yet are skipping weekday drinking altogether. Meanwhile, my neighbor/good friend works from home and has a 3 year-old, so we start drinking (granted, like 1-2 glasses) around 10 p.m. “It can’t be a late night!” almost always goes past midnight.
Then, there’s my nightowl husband. He can afford it – he wakes up about 2+ hours later than I do every single morning. But he always wants me to stay up and watch TV with him. Sometimes I oblige, so we can have that time together watching shows we both enjoy. Other times I fall asleep on the couch.
As for naps – I didn’t realize this was socially acceptable for adults until my mid-20s, but it’s not for me. I’ve never really enjoyed napping, finding that I usually feel worse afterwards rather than refreshed. If I nap during the day, I either am sick, depressed or had a very very late night for a 30-something.
I know I need to be getting more sleep, but I don’t know where to find it consistently. I have improved my time management, but it is something I continue to work on. Anyone have any tips or advice?