When I was young, the thing I hated more than just about anything was going to bed and turning out my light at 9:00 pm. Despite the fact that I would just lie there in the dark driving myself crazy—unable to sleep, unable to shut off my brain—lights out at 9:00 was the rule in my house, one of many stupid rules given only one explanation when questioned: “Because I said so.”
Whenever I had the chance I stayed up as late as I could. When I left home I continued this practice, so glad to be free of the chains with which arbitrary dictates had bound me. I don’t even remember sleeping in my 20s, and my nocturnal habits only changed in my 30s when I was handed a new, non-negotiable dictum by my then-girlfriend: “It’s after ten o’clock! You need to come to bed!”
This settled me into a normal sleeping routine which I have more or less observed since.
And as the years have passed, the older I get, the more I like to sleep. Whereas I used to view sleep as a sign of weakness, a sort of enemy, even, I now find delight and comfort and not just a small amount of usefulness in it.
Sometimes I’ll wake up, swing my legs out of bed, and immediately think, “Wow, in about fifteen more hours I’ll be able to sit my ass down, swing my legs back into the bed, and go to sleep again.”
Last night I decided to rename my alarm (which had been called “Alarm”) to something a little more motivating. So when the Bell Tower ringtone sounded and I looked at my iPod, I read: “You need to WRITE! Get up, you IDIOT!”
I renamed my alarm to give me an extra push out of bed so that I wouldn’t find myself striking the gold of creative flow right at the same time I needed to take a shower and get ready for work. Even so, I did not want to get out of bed. Because I have made peace with the peace of sleep.
I hit snooze a couple of times. Then I got up. So I could write.
But I waited too long. And now I won’t be jolted into my day with the drug of creative flow.
I know this because it’s time to take a shower and get ready for work and all I’ve written is this stupid blog post.