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  • Writer's pictureKristin Woodward

black under-eye circles are the new black.

oh, hell, y’all. i have stopped even writing posts about how freakin’ tired we all are, all the time, because even i’m bored to tears hearing about it again and again. but you may remember how, despite my valiant efforts, i just never could adjust to last year’s school schedule. i eventually mustered an uneasy acceptance and trudged through  week after week, never really feeling like i was on top of my game, always rushing to be on time or catch up — and never really successfully doing so for more than a few days at at time. and just to be clear, that shit is devastating to someone with a perfectionist temperament.

summer screwed me in an entirely different way. a later to bed, later to rise schedule was certainly more palatable for all of us, but it still — somehow — left me rushing around to try and get into the office at what normal people consider a reasonable hour (generally before 10:00 a.m.). at least i felt more rested. i think.

so now, here we are 2 weeks into a new school year and school schedule. with a twist. that’s right, y’all. welcome to putting your child on the bus in the morning! we’ve gone from a summertime good day looking like 7:30 alarm, waking the girl at some point before 8:00 and an 8:45 departure to 6:15 adult alarm, 6:30 Miss Girl wake-up and 7:10 departure. are you following me here? she is now up and out the door nearly an hour before she was even awake all summer. this shit is crazy.

on the back end for her, that looks like upstairs at 8:00 p.m. for a bath (because we have to do that every single night at this point for the eczema) and down by about 8:45 (because she is so freaking exhausted, she generally falls alseep before anyone can even read her a story).

for me, it looks like living in a nunnery. i have exhibited utterly pristine behavior, enjoying no more than 2 glasses of wine on school nights (all before 8:30), then getting into bed before 9:30 and turning lights out no later than 10:00. and guess what. I have never felt worse in my life. okay fine. in the past month.

i’ll admit that a lot of stress at work is contributing to sleepless nights. what? you don’t also wake up at 3:00 every morning with visions of Keynote decks, spreadsheet vortices, meetings gone wrong and ways to reword ideas that have already been rewritten 6 times? you lucky bastard. i mean, but still, y’all. really?

turns out that 3:00 a.m. is also generally the time Miss Exhausted and Passed-Out On the Floor at 7:45 wakes up and needs a cuddle/a cry/someone to wipe up the spilled water in the sleeping bag she’s insisted is more comfortable than her bed . . . when i return to mine (if i’m lucky enough not to be trailed by the 5 year old i thought i left sleeping in her room), there’s a snoring husband and sprawling dog to greet me. it all makes for some really restful nights, y’all. not. weekend sleep lately has been no better, owing to late nights let out of the nunnery to frolic with, ahem, a high degree of abandon. oh, and the consistent 3:00 a.m. offspring visits.

so last night, having navigated the jam-packed workday in a zombie-like state, feeling the worst i have felt in weeks (months?) — near-narcoleptic exhaustion, brain fog, body aches, diminished will to live — i looked the nunnery straight in the face, eye to dark-circled eye, and told it to fuck off.

Spy was in Richmond. the Brazilians had restored the house to near-magazine-quality clean and clutter free. Miss Girl was down solidly at 8:45. i had a choice to make: i could spend another night being a good girl and immediately crawling into bed with the book i’ve been reading for way too long, crash at 9:30 and hope like hell work or Miss Girl wouldn’t wake me before that 6:15 alarm. or . . . yep. i chose the road less traveled.

i opened a bottle of wine, hunkered down on the living room sofa my backside ever so rarely touches lately and fired up the Netflix. i was hooked on Orange Is the New Black after watching S1E1 like 3 months ago during a bout of insomnia and had vowed that would be my 3:00 a.m. go-to activity. never happened. until last night. let me just say, i was responsible. i did finish that bottle of wine, but i also shut the show down at midnight. and then i slept like a baby for 6 straight blissful hours. really, y’all. this has not happened in weeks!

this morning, the 6:15 alarm blared. i also told it to fuck off and told myself there would be no school bus today. i would drive the girl to school at 7:45. well guess what? i’m not the only one who is fucking exhausted by our recent schedule. she needed that sleep as much as i did. the clock read 7:38 when she crawled into my bed just as i also was waking up.

when i took her into school an hour later, i didn’t really feel like i was lying when i confidently told the front desk admin “she wasn’t feeling well” in explanation for her tardiness. amiright? she had missed all of calendar and potty time, from what she could tell me. in my estimation, an extra hour of sleep for both of us was well worth it. i had my most productive work day in weeks. my will to live returned.

but now what? our body clocks obviously just don’t work well this way! we can’t go through the rest of the year arriving at school 45 minutes late every day. and i have no faith that any amount of work on our sleep hygiene (blech.) will turn the tide.

i actually like the bus schedule when i’ve slept well and don’t wake up crying because i feel so miserable (true story at least once twice). by 7:15, i am child-free and can do awesome shit like unload the dishwasher and catch up on Facebook! but really, i am hoping to get into a groove where that found hour is spent writing or working out and i still get to the office by 9:30. goals, people. goals.

so until the magical trifecta of circadian rhythm adjustment, a stress-free work environment and a snooze-friendly family magically rise together from the shambles that is my (lack of) sleep schedule, lately, i am completely at a loss. but i do like the idea that some after-hours wine and TV might just be part of the solution. i mean after all, i’ve got 2½ more seasons to catch up on!

sweet dreams, everyone!

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