When we returned home to California from our vacation a few weeks ago, I was delighted at how easy it was for the four of us to get up early, eat meals early, and be more productive. Of course, this was because our bodies were still on Central Time, but we were living in the Pacific Time zone. JJ and I wondered how long it would last. This body-on-Central-Time-living-in-Pacific-Time happens to us every time we return from our WI trips, and sadly, it never seems to take us long to make the total switch back to Pacific Time.
It has now been two weeks since we returned to California, and we’re still doing … pretty well. We are back on Pacific Time (there’s simply no escaping that), but we’re managing to get up a bit earlier, eat a bit earlier, and get to bed a bit earlier. This is all Very Good.
School started yesterday, and for all two of the mornings of this new school year, I’ve managed to get up by 7am, take a shower, and get both girls up and dressed, do their hair, feed them breakfast, and be out of the house by 8:15 with both girls in tow to walk Lyd down to school. I cannot tell you how proud I am of myself! Yay me! I was sorting laundry by 8:30 am this morning! (Of course, I had an extra impetus to get that started right away. After Curious J and I walked Lyd down to school, I picked her up to go home, plopped her on my hip, took my hand away from her bottm, and found it full of warm poop. J had had a messy diaper, it had leaked all over, and now it was over me as well. We both got totally new outfits after that one. But, at least it happened at the beginning of laundry day.)
Plus, I am proud of myself for being very good at getting the girls to bed early. We are definitely out of the 9pm-or-later summer bedtime routine, and the girls are now getting to bed pretty close to 8pm. I’ve had a difficult time actually managing to close the girls’ bedroom door behind me at 8pm, but it’s rarely been later than 8:15, and that’s still a vast improvement over what it had been. I’m very pleased with that.
Unfortunately, I still struggle with getting myself to bed on time, but frankly, it’s a lot better than it was. The month before we went to Wisconsin, I kept track every night of the time I turned out my light. Rarely was I in bed before midnight, and there were plenty of nights when my light went out after 1am. Not. Good. Now, since we’ve been back in CA, I’ve had a few nights when I’ve been up until midnight, and one night when it was 12:30, but on the whole it’s MUCH better than it was. I’m still aiming for a personal goal of “lights out at 10:30,” but 11:00 is not too bad. Lights out at 11, up by 7 — that equals 8 hours of sleep, and that’s good.
Not only have I been getting to bed earlier, I’ve been sleeping better, too. It should come as no surprise that I was having great difficulty falling asleep during that month before we went to WI. There was hardly a night where I didn’t take some sort of supplement to help me fall asleep. However, since we’ve come home, that’s also decreased dramatically. It’s so nice to just go to bed and drift off to sleep.
But the thing that I’m MOST proud of, and what inspired the title of this post, is that I can tell that I’m being more productive with my time. It (obviously) makes a huge difference to be “up and at ’em” earlier. But, this summer I became very conscious of the example my Dad has set for me, an example he has always been setting for me even when I didn’t notice it, an example I had the chance to witness twice this summer (once at my home and once at his and Mom’s home) of just choosing something to do and doing it. Try not to end up with “paralysis by analysis.” There’s always something you can do to make things a little better. The dishes are dirty? Just quick wash ’em and be done with it. Got a job that you’re not looking forward to? The sooner you start it, the sooner you’ll be done. Having a rough time and you don’t know how it’s all going to work out? This too shall pass, sooner or later. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other, and it will all work out just fine. So, that’s what I’m trying to do, and I can tell that it’s making a difference.
I don’t know if Dad’s example didn’t sink in when I was a child or if I was just too distracted/hormonal/ego-centric/busy to notice, but as an adult, as a parent, as the Chief Cook and Bottlewasher of my home, I’m realizing just how good of an example that my father has always set for me, and I am purpose-fully try to emulate it. I still fail daily – a good book will sucker me in hard every time. (I’m re-reading “The Time Traveler’s Wife” right now, and it’s a real problem to put the book down and do my work instead.) But, I’m trying, and for so long I’ve felt like I haven’t really tried, so I’m proud of myself for finding it in me to make the effort.
And I’m thankful for my dad. As I’ve gotten older (and hopefully more mature), I’ve begun to realize what a priceless example he’s set for me the past 32 years of my life. I wish I was more eloquent so that I could better put it into words, but hopefully it’s enough simply to say that I aspire to be that same kind of example for my family.
(pause for a teary-eyed moment)
So, with that thought in mind, I’m gonna keep on keepin’ on. Tomorrow I’ve got a big day with two big events, and I need a good night’s sleep. But before that, my dishes need to get done and I need to water a bit outside. We’ve been having a heat wave here the past few days with temps up into the 90s, so things definitely need water. But, it’s the first week of school, and there’s always a heat wave during the first week of school, right? 😉 Then it’s off to bed, so that I can carry out my Big Events tomorrow with a smile on my face and lots of energy.
Thanks for everything, Dad. 🙂