My mother always said this to me growing up. I think because her mother said it to her. I always disagreed. I knew for a fact that all cool people did cool things after midnight. Its the bewitching hour, there are clocks to be struck, werewolves to turn, glass slippers to be lost, spells to be broken, and Santa Claus comes. Something magical is bound to happen just as the clock strikes 12. Something is different. Everything is different. If we are awake when it happens, then *we* will know the secrets, too.
As an “adult” (and we all know I use the term loosely when applied to myself) I find the after hours somewhat less alluring on weeknights….but the teenager who will forever rebel inside me, fueled by the hours I spend with adolescents each day as a junior high teacher, for some stupid reason still fights to stay awake until 12 each night. Even on a school night.
Tonight, I’m at that point in the night where I could get into bed, read a book, get a fantastic night’s sleep, wake up refreshed in the morning….or I could sink further into the internet abyss and stumble back to my room at 1am or later, knowing full well I have to wake up at 6:30am and teach all day tomorrow. Knowing full well that if I do in fact stay up, I’ll spend all day tomorrow grumbling at my students, forgetful, bleary-eyed and wondering why I just did that to myself again.
I am one of those people who sets her alarm a full half-hour before she actually needs to physically get out of bed, so she can hit “snooze” several times. (this may also be related to the undying teenage rebellion). But same girl will gladly stay up to blog about mini-animals while watching “Planet Earth” or get under the covers and read the same Jane Austen book I’ve read fifty times already.
Because when I am home from school, when I have worked out, showered, studied, eaten dinner, scrounged some chocolate, changed into pajamas, and finally sit down…when the television is off and the kitchen is quiet and my roommates are asleep…when I can actually hear the clock physically “tick…tock….tick….tock….”
This time is my own, my thinking time, my personal nook in the world. This is when I become thoughtful and look up old friends and send messages and texts. This is when I look at grad school in England, browse Craigslist employment in Miami, and calculate how long until my student loans are paid off. This is when I figure out the chords to that one song from that one movie. This is when I look at flight prices to New Zealand and Spain. This is when my mind can freely wander, my heart is soft, and a Carole Kingsong comes on and makes me cry. This is when I want to read my Bible for hours, practice calligraphy, donate money to the nearest cause, learn how to knit. This is when I think I am a songwriter, a poet, a chef, a writer, a dreamer, a creature of mystery unlike any other.
This is when I write about writing and it feels like the one thing I’m doing right in my life right now. Even just for a moment. This is when I dream about publishing a book, and another book, and more and more books, and buying a house on the Mediterranean, typing all day long in a bathrobe, drinking wine for breakfast with sausage and eggs, milkshakes for lunch, and naps in the afternoon, and all my friends are there.
someday, someday, someday. perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.
Same teenage rebel without a cause will wait to post this silly post until the clock strikes exactly…
midnight oh one.
just to be different.
January 19, 2012 at 12:17 am
I have developed a crush on you a few years too late. The two part harmony in Antigua should have been a dead giveaway
January 19, 2012 at 10:13 am
oh, and you could have had it so easily then! :)
January 19, 2012 at 1:06 am
I wish I could like this more than once! I’m also a high school teacher, and likewise I always stay up past midnight on weeknights, when I have to wake up at 6am the next day. I just can’t help it. I’ve given in trying to sleep more, and decided just to do more with my time and enjoy the fact that I can get by on such little sleep.
We can sleep when we’re old and retired right?
January 19, 2012 at 10:14 am
oh thank you so much! i like to say “i’ll sleep when i’m dead.” and i am also guilty of crawling under my desk to cat nap during my prep period…
January 19, 2012 at 4:45 am
Yes, yes, yes! Ditto except for me it’s my time to be me — not mom, wife, etc. It’s a wonderful vicious circle, and thanks for helping me stop beating myself up about it. Another fabulous post, Rachel.
January 19, 2012 at 10:14 am
thanks, lisa, for your continued kindred spirit enthusiasm in writing! :)