I can’t remember the last time I made a New Year’s Resolution. Ben can’t either, so I don’t know if I’ve ever made one at all in the seven years we’ve been together. I’m sure, at some point, I made some sort of health or diet promise to myself, like so many of us do, but an actual resolution escapes me at the moment. Considering that we’re almost two weeks into the New Year, I’m not sure that what I’ve currently decided to do is a resolution either. However, since it is still January and I am starting something new, I figured resolution was as good a name as anything for my simple little plan; and since the goal of it is, do something simple, I guess it all ties together nicely.
As an English major/teacher, you would think I read all the time. Devour books, even. While true at times (think semester breaks, summer vacations, and Before Children), I don’t so much read any more. Since Harrison was born, I’ve had a couple spurts where I read, read, read for fun, but it’s hard when you’re chasing babies all day to find time to curl up with a good book. If I’m being totally honest, by the end of the day when the kids are bed, I usually want to curl up with a bowl of brownies & ice cream and TV shows that don’t make me think too much, thanks. So, lately, my reading levels have taken a hit while my screen time in the evening, due to said TV shows and numerous facebook, email, pinterest checks, has continually increased. Seeing as my normal usually includes an inability to shut off my brain and sleep, I decided I needed to unplug a bit more and a bit earlier each night which led to my so-called resolution.
Really, it is simple. I’ve decided that by 8:30/9:00 each night, I’m done on the computer. No final checks of facebook or email before bed; no wasting 45 minutes on pinterest while Ben finishes grading or getting ready for the school the next day. By no later than 9, I’m done. My hope is that it will give me more time for reading, my prenatal yoga routines, do nothing (turns out I’m really bad at that), and perhaps plain old sleep. This last one might be most vital because it would appear that my children aren’t going to be giving up on the 5:50 Wake Up Calls any time soon, and while I consider that to be an awful time to start the day, I clearly don’t have much say in the matter.
Like many ideas, I came upon this one by accident on Thursday when I decided to pull my all-time favorite, To Kill a Mockingbird, off the shelf and start rereading it while HD attempted Quiet Time in another room and RL napped upstairs. (I say “attempted” because it is often far from being super quiet and he’s still learning how to really entertain himself for that hour each day, but try, try again is our motto with this one and someday we will be most successful!). Because the book is my No.1, I had a hard time putting it down, even with the Quiet Time interruptions/numerous potty breaks (for HD, not me; belly isn’t that big yet!). That night, before bed, I started reading again and had to force myself to turn the light off at 11. I knew my children wouldn’t understand if Mama was tired the next day just because she wanted to pretend she was back in college and could stay up as late as she pleased, doing whatever she wanted. Parenthood just doesn’t work that way.
Then, last night, I really couldn’t stop myself. I officially logged off the Internets at 9:00, as per my resolution, picked up my book, and didn’t stop until shortly after midnight when I finished the thing. So much for unplugging being the key to more sleep in my life! But it was a Friday night and I knew Ben would be around to help today, so I decided to seize the moment and do what I wanted to do, parenthood or not.
It was fantastic. I was reminded of just how much and just why I love that book so. I was also reminded of what it is like to do something just for me. While I don’t think I should stay up until midnight every night reading, I do think I’m going to like this little accidental resolution. Although all of this probably will take a real toll on my sleep in the near future because my next reading plan is to read, again, The Hunger Games series; I read it so quickly the first time, I know I missed things. After that, I plan to find new titles and new authors to fill my evenings, at least until July when Baby No.3 makes his or her appearance. Then it will be back to the crazy hours of a newborn and reading nothing more than parenting books. But I wonder…just how many books will I read before then, all thanks to learning to ignore my computer an hour earlier at night? Hopefully many!