The Memoirs of a Night Owl
Hi everyone! Welcome to my late evening pondering. As it so happens, while I am writing this blog, it IS late at night. I am currently sleep training my daughter (She’s in her crib crying and I’m trying to resist running to console her with every ounce of my being). I don’t believe in sleep training personally, but at this point, I will try anything that works because I so desperately need sleep myself. Hence, the writing of this particular blog.
My sleep patterns throughout my life have always been sporadic and I can survive on very little sleep. Of course, as I age, the actual number of hours of sleep varies over time. I probably needed the most sleep when I was a teenager to be completely honest. I remember dreading school and all I wanted to do was throw the cover over my head and go back to sleep.
Today, I want to write about the kinds of things I do (or used to do) late at night when I either can’t sleep or don’t feel tired. I’ve got a few:
- Clean and organize
- Study for school
- Lay in bed and woefully wait for the next hour to roll on by
- Watch Netflix series
- Write in my journal
- Browse my phone & Social Media
- Work like a crazy person
- Rock my son or daughter to sleep
As a child, I would LOVE to stay up late. Usually, it’s because my parents told me not to and I loved to disobey. (Doesn’t every kid?) So, I would decide that a part of my room needed organizing, and I would start by taking ALL the stuff out and there would be a bigger mess than when I started. My parents would usually already be asleep, so they wouldn’t notice the light under my door. Sometimes I would get caught and my mom would freak out at the mess. But, there’s no WAY I could go to bed with a mess. I had some strange OCD habits when I was young, but I’ll tell you about some of those later. EVERYTHING had to be cleaned up before I could begin to think of sleep, no matter how late it was.
As a young adult, I would sometimes do the same thing, but I would get into a cleaning frenzy. The fridge and stove would be pulled out, or all the drawers in the fridge would be pulled out at 2am in the morning. At that age though, the thing I did a lot was study and read for school. If you didn’t know, I have two degrees from the University of Alberta. The first is a science degree, and the second is a teaching degree. I spent all of my twenties basically working my ass off, going to school and working, both full time to pay for rent and other adult things.
Around the same time, my Dad passed away. I ended up getting shingles, having to quit my job and I developed severe insomnia. I lay awake thinking about how many years my family and I had left. Sure, it may sound morbid, but that’s what happens when someone close to you passes away. I also held onto a lot of guilt surrounding the situation. I didn’t visit my Dad as often as I should have, or taken care of him as you would an aging parent. My sister and I had visited him once when he was severely sick, and something very traumatic happened. So, to preserve my own sanity and peace of mind, I didn’t go back until he had died. I think I would mostly cry myself to sleep at that time of my life, and I had a few nightmares, but the thinking about the situation mostly went away when my life underwent another tragic event. I was in a terribly abusive relationship. I was so depressed and I hated everything about my life. As I think back, I don’t understand how I could ever have let another human being make me feel that way. That’s when I had my son. I had no where to go, no one to help me until finally, I’d had enough and left for good. The years that followed were not great ones. I would try to distract myself with Netflix Series, reading, and I also wrote in my journal A LOT. On top of that, my son wasn’t a very good sleeper so I would stay up late at night and rock and rock him until he would FINALLY fall asleep.
Thankfully, I am in yet a different chapter of my life. I’m not religious (I used to say I was atheist, then agnostic) at all, but I prey to the Powers That Be for allowing me the strength to fight my way back up from the bottom. I’m not going to say that my life is all rainbows and lollipops (no one’s is), but I have reason to be happy every day. However, with my new responsibilities of having an online business and an infant daughter, life is still challenging. I find myself browsing social media (either for business purposes or for fun) late at night. I had to stop for awhile, because for the first year or so all I read about was Covid, and I’m so not going there in this Blog.
When my daughter sleeps a full 10–12 hours in her crib at night, this is when I pour myself into my work. I don’t get a lot of time during the day, with maintaining the household and looking after my 9 month old. Don’t get me started on weekends — I feel like I’m constantly getting food for everyone, and it never stops! When I get the chance to work, and I have the energy for it, I will usually stay up until 2 or 3 a.m. and edit videos, write my blogs, plan my content, you name it.
Then there are the times when my daughter won’t sleep, and I find myself rocking her the same way I did my son. The difference is, I have a bedroom and a crib for her, so as I said at the beginning of this Blog, I sometimes listen to her cry for awhile. However, when I am feeding or rocking her to sleep, I think on the days gone by, the past and all the people that have come and gone through my life. I ponder the forces that have brought me to this place and this time. I am so grateful for all the people in my life and both the good and bad things that have happened to me because I wouldn’t be who I am today without those experiences.