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samedi 5 mars 2011


It would seem that my sleep patterns are, to put it scientifically, seriously fucked up (yes, that's the scientific term. Of course it is).

Right now (as in, this year and probably for the last two decades or so, if not more) I'm most definitely a night person. It's in my genes, apparently. My mother always claimed that it was a Mackintosh (her maiden name) trait to be able to stay up late and hate getting up in the morning. It was certainly true of her, and of several other members of my (somewhat dysfunctional, let's be honest here) family.

But I think I can claim to be the family champion. Living "alone" (as in, not with a partner) and working essentially from home have honed my skills like nothing else. Yes, on school days I have to be up at 7.30 to get the girls to school by 8.30. But I'm generally home again by 8.40, and frequently in bed by 8.45. Yes, that's 8.45 AM. Depending on my schedule, I then don't get up till I either have to go and teach or have to go and pick up the girls (so, a get-up time of either 10.15, 12.15 or (whispers from the embarrassment of it all) 4.15).

I am not, however, a lady of leisure. I work a lot, I'm good at what I do (yes, I'm multi-talented) and I work hard. So as I'm obviously not working during the day, I work at night. I work after the girls have gone to bed, often till dawn, sometimes not even going to bed at all till after coming back from school.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not proud of this at all. I'm just stating fact.

Equally obviously, and given that the girls aren't here at all this week (and I have no teaching till Monday afternoon), today (Friday) has been particularly special. I went to bed on Wednesday "night" at 7.30 am and had to be up at 10 to get the girls' suitcase packed for their trip to Paris. I didn't go back to bed till 2.30 am the next day (so technically Friday morning). I was up today at 11 to make sure I was dressed and presentable when the food shopping delivery guy turned up, but was back in bed again at 12.30 (once he'd been and gone and I'd put the shopping away). I then got up again at 6.30 pm. And now, it's after midnight and I'm about to start doing some work.

See? Totally fucked up.

I keep saying how I'm going to try and get my life together, but I know that until I get my biorhythms sorted (and right now, I'm on the same biorhythms as an owl, apparently) and human again, I know I'm never going to get anywhere. It doesn't matter how tired I am, if I'm not in bed by 9.30 pm, I get a second wind and can stay up more or less indefinitely.

And no matter what time I go to bed, whatever time the alarm clock rings, I feel like shit and really, really have to force myself to get out of bed.

I'm sure there's help I could get with this, but I've no idea who or where; I also know it's one of the things about me that drove my ex crazy (obviously, I held things in check a little better, but still often didn't get up till 11 in the morning and frequently didn't see the girls before school) so I'm guessing plenty of people would be horrified. I'm always embarrassed about my sleeping habits. It probably seems to my daughters that I sleep a lot, but in fact I probably actually sleep less than most people.

My aim for this year? To get myself back on track. I know I'll never be a morning person, but I need to set myself some limits and find a way (find some discipline) to help me achieve them. I'd like to be able to get to bed between midnight and 1 am, and up between 8 and 9 (an hour earlier for both on school days, obviously). It seems like a helluva challenge for now, but I know it would be beneficial.

OK, diatribe over - time to get some work done (you can tell that despite all my good intentions, I clearly have no intention of getting cracking tonight; that's because I just spent the entire day in bed and feel totally wired for work right now...).

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