Yesterday morning I sat on the bus in a window seat. It was quite cool and not light yet, with headlights, house lights and street lamps popping out of the dark. I felt very awake — oddly, for me, at 6:45 AM — and, as is often the case when it’s cool and dark, I felt energetic and full of purpose.
I reflected that it’s a shame I feel that way so infrequently except at times I can’t act on it. I felt like I could have made five quarts of jam, spun a bobbin of yarn, knit five inches on a scarf, knocked ten things off my house to-do list, and written a chapter of a novel. But I was on my way to work.
When I get home I’m completely drained of energy and enthusiasm. I have dinner, do a few chores (maybe), read, have a bath, go to bed, and do it all over again the next day. Weekends, my body lunges at the opportunity to sleep until waking up is no longer painful. But then it’s noon — so much precious free time just gone. At which point I have chores, grocery shopping, and other errands to do.
I honestly have no clue how the child-full manage, if they also have full-time jobs. I know at some point you eventually have someone to whom you can say, “Here, take this downstairs” or “please empty the dishwasher.” But it’s not even close to an even tradeoff in terms of effort expended/effort saved. My own mom did not work and didn’t really have hobbies or interests other than reading and TV, so there wasn’t an example close at hand.
And it’s one thing to throw in a load of laundry when you’re bleary-eyed and your ass is dragging. How do you knit something and not screw up? Write something intelligible? Take a class and both stay awake and learn something?
I hope to put some things on an autopilot sort of schedule once I’m settled and things like running toilets and aggressive picture frames are sorted out. Exercise, too, while eating up free time, would help too (maybe using a stationary bike while listening to a podcast?). Still, I wish I could do with a lot less sleep!