Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Wake Up, It's Time For Bed

As I write this, it's 2:18 AM. At this point in college, if I didn't have an early morning class to wake up for, I'd be heading to bed about now; this would be the kind of night where I'd be playing Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic until not even another Zebra Cake could help keep me awake. At this point on summer break--any summer break, in high school or in college--I might be coming home about now from an especially long night of bowling and movies with my friends.

At this point, where I am right now, I should have been asleep three hours ago. However, I'm still on college time after all these years--realistically, it's only a little over an hour past my bedtime, given that I do have something to wake up early for. Amazingly, I function quite well on this schedule, even without being a coffee drinker.

I think about how active I was throughout school: choir, theater, anime club, video game club, and all that D&D, for starters. Now I'm supposedly a grown-up; the only real commitments I have are the practical ones that keep food on the table and clean laundry in the hamper. I've still got a social calendar and an extracurricular activity or two, but nothing I'm doing now compares to what I did in school--which makes nights like tonight feel all the more baffling.

In college, I'd be writing this post as a personal journal entry after a day comprised of catching up on webcomics over breakfast, three classes, walking all over campus, lunch with friends, a few hours of homework, an hour of D&D prep, choir practice, dinner with friends, twenty minutes of last-minute D&D prep as the players are filtering into my dorm room, a three-hour game session, a trip down to the cafe for a milkshake, and the aforementioned cooldown with SW:KotOR. As things actually happened today, I had breakfast at work, went to the grocery store after work, had leftover chicken and rice over an episode of Saturday Night Live on Netflix, read a chapter of a book, and accidentally took a three-hour nap when my body physically shut down on me in utter exhaustion, waking up just in time to go to bed.

What happened to me?

I suppose I can blame my collapse tonight on a particularly busy weekend: attending a wedding on Saturday that had me socializing or on the dance floor for about six of the eight hours I was there, driving across the state to get home by midnight, waking up early enough to be across state lines for a local fair by noon the next day, spending about six hours pressing through crowds of people to buy fresh apple cider and see the unnaturally large vegetables on display, making a detour to stop for dinner, driving home in the dark, and coming home just in time to go to bed for work the next day. Don't get me wrong--I had a blast. I also spent roughly ten hours in the car this weekend, and was on my feet for half of the rest of the time. So it's perfectly understandable to want to take a nap after all that.

What makes being an adult so much more exhausting than being a college student is that I spend more time driving than I ever spent walking across campus, more time maintaining my home than I ever spent maintaining my dorm room, and more time working than I ever did attending classes and doing homework, save for when midterms and finals rolled around. I'm spending more time doing fewer activities; that, I think, is why I feel so much more drained on a regular basis than I usually did in school. I'm just as busy and am having just as much fun as I was at certain points throughout college, but now I'm only juggling a few big activities instead of the bevy of smaller ones that, collectively, were equally heavy.

Still, eating leftover chicken and rice and falling asleep before you can put the dishes away is a pretty pathetic way to spend an evening.

That's why I'm still awake right now: There were too many things I still wanted to do with my evening for me to go straight to bed after my nap. My mind was abuzz with all the things I'd have to put off for another day if I didn't tackle them tonight. I stared at the ceiling for about five minutes before getting back up to do something with my evening. Now it's 4:30 AM (egad), which, when adjusted to take my nap into consideration, is just past my bedtime.

Perhaps one day I'll look back on this period of my life, and say, "Ah, 4:30 AM. You know I sometimes used to stay up until then writing blog posts?"

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