Friday, March 01, 2013
You know you might be getting old if...
I tend to think of myself as 50-something going on about 20.
This gets me in trouble sometimes with people who want me to act my age. Whatever that means.
Sometimes it seems like they mean that it's time to go sit in a rocking chair and complain about my aches and pains all the time and be boring. Or turn conservative, or something. And that's just not me. It's kind of like when I was getting ready to turn 30, and all of my mother's friends kept telling me that I had to cut my hair short. They didn't like it much when I kept asking who made that rule.
Over twenty years later, and my hair is still long, so you can see how seriously I took them about that.
But, after last night, I think I might finally be getting old.
I went to bed early last night, but I do that sometimes. This doesn't mean I go to sleep early. I can still read in bed, or write, or watch TV. Like last night. I was doing some research for a writing project, reading and taking notes. When a new TV show I've been watching came on at eight o'clock, I closed up my book and my notebook and got comfortable to watch the show. After the show was over, I planned to get the book and notebook out again and do some more work before going to sleep.
Instead, I was asleep by about 8:30.
I woke up long enough at somewhere between ten and eleven to turn the television off, but was soon back asleep again.
This is not like me at all. I'm a night person, often awake until one or two in the morning, sometimes even when I need to be up early the next morning. I like the quiet between ten or eleven at night and two in the morning or so. I do all my best thinking and writing at that time of night.
So, I really hope this is not part of new trend coming. I don't want to be one of those people who goes to bed at eight and wakes up before the sun. Unless I'm traveling and getting an early start on the road, I don't particularly want to see the sun come up in the morning. As far as I'm concerned 8 am is the butt-crack of dawn.
I come by this honestly. My mother was a night person. She often stayed up all night and then slept the day away after she got me off to school when I was a child. Now, I didn't know this about her until after I was an adult. She would go to bed just before time for me to get up so that I wouldn't know that she had been awake all night, and then she would go back to bed after I left for school and then sleep, sometimes until it was nearly time for me to come home from school. This made for an interesting contrast to my father, who was an early-to-bed, early-to-rise kind of guy. He thought nothing of getting up at four-thirty or five in the morning, and in fact had to do so to get to work on time most of the time. He really was a farmer at heart.
I suspect that the reason I fell asleep so early last night was a combination of having to sit through a long meeting yesterday afternoon and eating a more red-meat-laden dinner than I'm used to. Food really does have a sedative effect on me. At least, I hope it was that, and not a sign that I'm turning into one of those folks who goes to sleep early every night and misses the best part of the day.
Not that there's anything wrong with sleeping early if that's what you want to do. It's just that I really don't want to.