Sleep v. Balance & Exercise

by Michelle Lasley

Michelle Lasley is a mother, wife in Pacific Northwest learning to balance green dreams with budget realities.

February 11, 2011

I rarely get “enough” sleep. Since high school, I’ve averaged 4-6 hours of sleep at night. Every few days, I will either take a nap or catch up on the rest of the sleep by going to bed early. Last night was one of those nights when I went to bed early.

You may recall that our FOUR-year old (omigodicantbelieveit) had a birthday and party yesterday. The two friends he named to attend couldn’t do the weekend before or after, so we settled on my choice which was Thursday, the day of his Birthday. Two of the invited four kiddos attended. All boys. All good fun. Lots of energy, and I think the kiddos got along well enough.

Levi had an agenda for his party. He wanted to:

  1. Fight,
  2. Blow bubbles, and
  3. Play with his Christmas Monster Trucks (luckily we have three!).

Why he wanted to fight is beyond me. Blow bubbles was easy: what kid doesn’t like to blow bubbles? And, the monster trucks – well, duh, remote controlled cars? Of course!

The fighting, again, why that was an agenda item is weird to me, was accomplished with his patterned arguments with one friend. The other was left out of the fighting, and he seemed undisturbed by it. Good. No blood, no tears. Good again.

The monster trucks were integrated throughout. We discovered that one monster-truck remote was on the same or similar frequency to the $10 Walgreen’s truck my husband purchased on a whim in the fall – so the one remote could control both!

We forgot about the bubbles during, but this was accomplished in the post-party bath.

Yea, all three agenda items met.

What did it take, though, to accomplish the party? Well, my husband and I should seriously consider the many good tips Mary Jo, a local-professional-organizer, gives in her blog (reSPACEd). But, so far, we don’t and haven’t. That means before an event we have clutter to de-clutter, toys to pick up, and dust bunnies to sweep. All that on top of cleaning the bathroom, finishing the dishes (yes, a daily task I do keep up on, but gets a workout when making lots of cakes), and the ever-present laundry. I did better planning ahead this time, but still lots to do at crunch time, including picking up Levi’s toys while a friend woke up outside the house, still buckled in the car! Too last minute, thank you. So, 4 days of work, while suffering from a very annoying sinus-cold, means Momma was exhausted.

After the party, clean up barely happened. Put the kid to bed, and I followed soon-after. I went to bed at 9:30 pm last night. A record for me. That means I got a solid 7 hours of sleep last night. SEVEN! Maybe even seven and a half! Wow, I felt SO refreshed in the morning. (The cold tossed the re-freshed-ness out after I got to work, but alas, it was something).

My morning thought process dangled on the idea of sleep exhaustion to a decent night sleep every week or two. Well, that’s not a very good idea. So, then, my brain thought, what could I possibly do to get that good of a night’s sleep, every night?

*Eureka!*

Oh, right.

Exercise.

The thing I’ve been avoiding, knowing it’s the one key element missing from life. The one thing I feel like I should make time for but don’t because there are all these other things that have to get done or the world will crumble and fall apart.

Remember, says brain, you have to take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone else. Remember, says brain, your paternal grandmother died of diabetes complications. Remember, says brain, you are proven mortal because 1) you are and 2) you have an auto-immune disease (which diabetes is as well), and 3) you have allergies (re-enter auto-immune issues).

You have to take care of yourself.

I learned something in the last two weeks. I learned I can bring Levi to daycare EARLY and not get charged extra. That means the daycare-to-gym problem is more or less solved. The big brain hitch isn’t a hitch anymore. The number of excuses I have are, well, running out.

Progress. This is progress.

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