So, I’ve been wondering what it would be like to be nocturnal for a whole year. I am familiar with the photographer on Facebook who has done the “Clouds 365 Project” (http://www.facebook.com/clouds365) and I totally admire the guy who decided to spend a Year in a Kilt, starting on his 50th birthday (http://www.facebook.com/AYearInAKilt). Making a commitment to doing something specific, or making a change, for an entire year, has long held an appeal for me. I have been a nightwalker so for weeks at a time, but no more than a month. I’ve been ruminating on this for a couple of days, since it would be a big commitment with no small amount of pitfalls. However, I think best out loud, or on paper, and I figure that I might as well list the pros and cons. The list will perhaps stretch over a few days, as I have given myself until August 15th to make up my mind.
Why August 15th? Because school starts back on the 20th. My youngest (Wafflecopter) is starting Jr. High (7th grade), and this will be a big adjustment for him. I’m sure we’ll need the 15th – 20th to get him geared up and settled in. Also, my eldest (MirtaGev) will be starting college (hooray!), and fall semester starts the 20th. My husband (EdEnder) starts LPN school on the 20th as well, and that is going to be the biggest challenge for us, as he’ll hardly be home. He has been working afternoons/evenings, and now he’ll be gone all day and evening. It also bears mentioning that my daughter and her husband (Delta) are expecting their first child Sept 5th.
Yes, we all live together. For the most part, it works, and we have a fabulous time together. It helps that everyone in the house is a geek who likes video games of one sort or another. We always have something to talk about, and the conversations are always funny and interesting.
On with the pros and cons:
I have been exhausted from flipping back and forth from working nights on the weekends and then sleeping at night during the week. In addition, it feels like I lose a day off. For example, after I work Sunday night, I sleep half the day Monday, and then go to bed late Monday night, so I can switch to a diurnal schedule again. So I have Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday to do whatever needs to be done. Thursday night, I either stay up all night (super tiring), or stay up late and get up early so I can take a good long nap on Friday before work. Let me assure you, scheduling all this stuff is a pain in the ass. There is no taking sleep for granted.
However, if I’m sleeping during the day, every day, then there are certain things that I will miss out on, or for which I will have to adjust my sleep schedule.
1. Wafflecopter’s field trips, for one (if there are any), or school functions (certain to be some). I guess that’s not much different from any working parent, except that you can take a personal day from work. You can’t take a personal day from sleep.
2. Medical and dental appointments. These are blessedly few and far between, and they can be scheduled late in the afternoon.
3. Grocery shopping. I was about to say that I really dislike grocery shopping at night, but it’s not that bad. It’s not even particularly unsafe. I just don’t feel like going out at night. Something to take into consideration.
4. Cooking, cleaning, and laundry. I expect that I will be sleeping from about 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. during the week (more on this later), and helping Nick with homework in the afternoons. One would assume that would also be time to cook dinner, wash dishes, and do laundry. Vacuuming and cleaning the bathrooms tend to be rather noisy chores, but I suppose I could do one of those a day.
Side note: 8 am to 3 pm is only 7 hours, and it assumes that I’m in bed snoozing right at 8, and that I get up at 3 to get him from school. He’ll have to hang out until all the after-school traffic disperses, but we’ve done that before. It’s better than riding the bus, which is a viable alternative to make sure I get enough sleep. I don’t see the point in him wasting an hour of his afternoon on the bus, however. We’ll have to see how long the ride is.
5. Exercise. My goal is to get back to running three days a week, preferably Tues, Thurs, and Sat mornings. The good part is that the park opens at 0600, so I can be back before 0700 to help Wafflecopter get ready for school and get him there on time. I also have a horseback riding lesson once a week, usually at 8 a.m. That cuts out about an hour and a half of sleep time during the week, because it’s an hour lesson. I get really dirty and need a shower afterward, too. I have taken lessons at night before, so that’s also an option.
6. Hobbies. Archery we can do in the afternoons. I can read any time. For drawing and making jewelry, I’ll need a bright gooseneck lamp. Gaming with the hubby is probably going to be limited to one night a week while he’s in school. I would like to take a painting class, because eventually I’d like to paint my characters, or certain scenes from the books. I was thinking that it wouldn’t be possible, and then I remembered that ASU has evening classes for non-majors. (…perusing ASU’s site…) Scrap that. I just checked, and they don’t have painting for non-majors listed in the course catalog anymore. Boo. There’s always drawing, and plenty of room for developing that on my own.
The greatest argument, even more than wanting to feel well-rested and not annoyingly tired all the time, is that I will be able to spend a few hours writing Monday through Thursday, instead of the Tues-Thurs that I have been doing. As this is my chosen vocation, which I hope will someday pay the bills, I would like to dedicate myself more fully to the craft. I’m hoping to publish my first book by December 2012, and there is still a lot of work to do with it.
In addition, I just work better with a regular schedule. It’s easier for me to live my life if I’m doing the same things at the same time every day. If I go running every Tues, Thurs, and Sat in the morning, then it’s harder to wiggle out of it. If yoga is the other days of the week in the morning, then I won’t forget to do it. If writing time is from 11pm until 4am, and drawing from 4 to 6, then the creative juices will be accustomed to flowing at those times. We are all creatures of habit to a certain extent, but I have to admit that I am a creature of routine.
I think I just talked myself into it.