These days, I collapse by 10 every night. And even with such faithful sleeping, I still hit a midday lull around 2PM and can hardly get through the hour. I think this has to do with -- well, now that I'm writing, many things, like the adrenaline of the first months of school waring off, and all the germs the kids bring home and smear around the house-- the shift in seasons and daylight. Mornings are colder and darker, and we're entering the time of year when our rhythms naturally turn inward (yes, even here in sunny California). In any event, every night, utterly exhausted or not, I go to bed because I have to -- tired Bronwen is not a force to be reckoned with (particularly if you are under 5' tall) -- because rallying the kids out of bed, off to school, through afternoon activities, dinner and back into bed's been burning my emotional energy more than usual; exhaustion's not an option.
I didn't realize how constrictive and rigid this has felt until tonight when I pressed "next" at the end of Gilmore Girls (a pleasure I missed earlier in life) as many times as I wanted. Ben's out of town and for hours I've been sitting on the couch working on the photo calendar I make every year for my family (because now it's November -?), eating rice krispies and burning through season 3. Now it's nearly 1:30 in the morning, and I'm getting a bit cross eyed, but it's nice to remember I can do this when I want. I wasn't sure there for a minute.