To be honest, I fought this mantra for about a week before resigning myself to it…mostly because I don’t want to giggle every time I tell myself, “Jen, arise. Arise, Jen.” (Thank you, Billy Witch Doctor Dot Com. ATHF fans, where you at?) But sometimes the mantra chooses the…mantra-er? Whatever. This was the right mantra for this month, ridiculous associations or not.
For the bulk of my parenting career, I’ve let my children dictate when I get out of bed. Meaning I stay in bed until they are standing literally inches from my face demanding breakfast. Even then, I defer to David as often as possible.
I can’t say I was surprised when Margot told me, “You’re such a lazy mom,” the other day, but I was a little hurt.
In my defense, though, I haven’t gotten enough sleep for more than a few nights in a row in almost seven years. I have three children who, despite being perfectly capable of sleeping through the night, take turns waking me up every couple hours for trivial things. And I have a husband who is magically able to remain oblivious to all of it.
I’m not lazy. I AM TIRED.
I’m also DONE. I’ve spent the last couple weeks retraining everyone to let Mama sleep. The girls know what I will get up for (vomiting or potty accidents) and what I will not get up for (refilling sippy cups or putting their blankets back on them). Ryan is back to sleeping between ten and twelve hours a night. In theory, I’m set.
So, obviously, I’m doing the most logical thing under the circumstances: I’m gonna start waking up earlier. Makes sense right? Amass a huge sleep debt, get to a point where you can start to pay it down, then sleep less on purpose.
I promise I’ve thought this through.
While I may never be a morning person, I see plenty of value in having some quiet time to myself before the day really begins. I might have time to do yoga or go for an early bike ride. Maybe I will eat healthier breakfasts instead of scrounging up something quick before I turn into a hangry gremlin. Getting out of bed before everyone else would give me a chance to breathe before the day comes rushing at me like a cranky toddler with poopy pants.
Notice, however, that I’m not planning to use my early mornings to blog or check emails. That’s because this mantra, arise, goes deeper than that.
You see, today is the beginning of Lent.
(Yes, I’m a Mormon, and no, we don’t traditionally observe Lent the way Catholics or some other Christians do. But when have I ever been traditional in that sense?)
In the Bible, God frequently tells people to arise, followed by instructions to do something specific. Arise, and go to this place. Arise, and tell the people what I said. Arise, and be made whole. That kind of thing.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying I feel called on by a Higher Power to do anything in particular. Yet. I guess I just want to be ready if such a call comes. I want to be able to hear whatever God wants to tell me.
Seems to me this is a small (hopefully) short-term sacrifice that could do me a whole lot of good in the long run.
I’m giving up a little bit of sleep for Lent. I’ll set an alarm, get up before the rest of my family (I hope), and use at least a few minutes of that time to commune with deity. Pray, read a verse of scripture, meditate…whatever feels right.
And then I will arise and get to work.