Staying Up

Kauia, Kauai sunset, Hawaiian sunset, short days, agingThis is what I dislike about aging.

My days are shorter.

I don’t mean my life ahead is shorter, although of course it is. I try not to think about that, but now that you mention it, yikes, yes. Do I have 10 more years, possibly 15 more years before I’m totally decrepit?

Stop! Let’s go back to my complaint of when my days are shorter now that I’m in the grouping called “elderly.” Dear God, I’m not elderly. That won’t happen until I’m at that decrepit stage. staying up late, tired, yawn, elderly, https://pixabay.com/photos/drink-cup-late-night-bar-pub-ice-1870140/profq1123

But in the meantime, I hear my adult children talk about their weekend nights out with friends until 11 or midnight. Or, they’re up watching a movie with their kids, my pre-teen grandkids, until 11 without a thought. Even friends close to my age tell me they get hooked on a TV series and stay up until after 10:30 p.m.

Me? My eyes start getting blurry by 7:30 p.m. I turn off the phone because I’m not a good conversationalist after 8.  I make myself watch a show, then tiptoe to bed so I can read until 9:30. And I do read for at least an hour, but do I remember the last chapter?

Here’s the dilemma. My son lives in California, a three-hour time difference. With three kids, a wife, and a busy career, finding a time to call his dear ole mom can be challenging for him. Therefore, he likes to call during his commute from the city back to his home in the suburbs.

That’s 5:45 p.m. his time.

8:45 my time.

I love talking to him, and he knows enough now to schedule which day during the week he’s going to call.

So, tonight, at 8 p.m. I pace the room.

I stretch, I water the plants, I try to watch more TV, but the screen is a blur. I drink a glass of water. Brush my teeth. yawn, staying up, https://pixabay.com/photos/cat-breed-cat-yawning-cute-665134/825545

It’s 8:20. Twenty-five more minutes!

I read an article from Writer’s Digest on the couch, stretch, balance in my yoga tree,

It’s 8:39!

Can I make it?

The phone rings. I slap my face lightly once or twice. Hop up and down. Answer the phone.

 “Hi!” I say as bright as the morning sun. “How’s it going?”

111 thoughts on “Staying Up

  1. Wow! I was just responding to YOUR email and your post appeared.
    Just yesterday, my husband and I were talking about aging, using our time more wisely. Since he’s and engineer, he estimates that he has about 500 more weekends left in his life, so he wants to spend them wisely.. I was shocked and then did the math. (Another 10 years = 52 weeks/year x 10.0 Yup, he could be right. Now, he’s got the perfect opportunity to give me the lecture on time management, how I should be prioritising what I do and when,. Agreed. So we both took a nap! But only infants,, toddlers and old people nap in the afternoon!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ooooo I love an early night – 10 pm is good for me but it rarely is. Too much fiddle-faffing beforehand. Irrespective, I wake early in the am and seldom go back to sleep. And good sleep is beauty sleep! Have a lovely weekend Pam 😄😴

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    • What a delightful goal, Jill. And reading it, it helps me not feel so ashamed of how much I can’t wait for that 8:30/9 p.m. reading time. But 3:30 a.m. wake up? I thought I was bad at always waking by 5!! Hopefully your body will soon get into a better “retirement” schedule. But in fact, you and I are never retired – not as long as we’re writing our stories and books!

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  3. You speak the truth! One of my friends calls it ‘matinee age.’ We never would think of going to a show or heading out for a movie in the evening; matinees are the thing, just as meeting for lunch has replaced meeting for dinner. Part of it’s an unwillingness to drive after dark, especially amid all the drunks from the bars, but part of it’s that we start to yawn at one another, even if we’re grinning while yawning.

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  4. You have mapped out my days hour by hour. And by the looks of things, our blogger friends fit the same mold, though I can’t imagine getting up at 3:30 a.m. like Jill.

    Of course I read in bed, a habit, and before long the book wiggle-waggles, and if I don’t watch out, it falls to the floor.

    By the way, you have a lovely reading room, and cute and comfy slippers, Pam! 😀

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    • Our daughter’s MIL and FIL (who have become good friends and go to bed early too) gave my guy and I these “reading slippers” for Christmas. We four understand each other’s reading and sleeping habits. Here’s to the wiggle-waggle of our bed-books. 🙂

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  5. This sounds like us – our son and his family live in Utah, a 2 hour difference. We just never know when he will call but always in the evening so we can face time with our granddaughter, who is only 11 months old, but walking and into everything. We worry she won’t know us because we see her so seldom!

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  6. Hee hee. I’m exactly the same way, Pam. Well, even worse. I’ve melted into a yawning, bleary-eyed rag doll by 7:45. I drag myself to bed at 8:15, and my kindle smacks me in the face at 8:45. I laughed when at your cheery sun-shiny greeting.
    And you are a long long way from decrepit (I love that word). According to my daughter, we’re the new 45!

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  7. Love this! Hubby and I use to go out for dinner, go to a movie and have a snack afterwards before heading for home and bed AND then getting up at 5:30a, for another working day. Now, we do the dinner out, skip the movie and snacks–head home to our “late” night of pounding the pillows by 9 pm. I think it’s called “getting smarter” as we “wiser” (not older) folks know how to conserve our energy and spread it where it’s needed!

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  8. This made me smile, Pam. It seems you’ve put into words how many of us feel. The thought of going anywhere in the evening is crippling, though I did drag myself to the grocery store at 8 p.m. earlier this week (following a 7 p.m. choir practice, so I was already out). I was practically alone in the store, by the way, so there are others like me right in my community. 🙂

    Your son is a lucky man to have a mom like you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I shivered when I read that you went into the grocery store at 8 PM!! WOWEE. You must have been desperate, because I have a hard enough time dragging myself to the grocery store at 8 a.m. But that’s such a more decent time to pick up my baked potatoes and canned corn. 🙂 Seriously, I’m reveling in learning I’m not alone with my early-to-read (in bed), early to sleep, makes a woman (and man) happier to keep. ❤

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  9. Thanks for the smiles Pam. It seems we have a bunch of wise old farts here! I used to be a night owl but have been fading earlier over the last few years. I also go to “bed” to read before sleep. Sometimes I eat a snack to fuel me for more reading! 😋

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  10. I love all of this, Pam! Yes…I’m in the same sleepy-eyed club with you…and I warn friends/family from trying to have any sort of meaningful conversation with me past 8:30…I don’t know what it is, but my brain starts to shut down. It might be the 5am (or earlier) potty call from the pooch…but I also think it’s a time of life thing. I adore your description of smacking your own face and doing a quick cardio-inducing hop and a jump…all for your dear and darling son. I soooo get that. Hugs and love! 🥰🥰🥰

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m happy for us to be in the “sleepy-eyed” club together. But, like you, I’m up early as well (5:30 for me) and our brains are wired and busy and happy then. I think a lot of people ‘waste’ brain power after 8 p.m. – they just watch mindless TV. Ho hummmm. Here’s to an early night’s sleep. 🙂

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  11. I am so with you on this! I used to be considered ‘elderly’ but felt young. Not anymore.

    My daughter is on the east coast, me on the West. She calls on her drive home, too, but always works until 6:30-7pm. That works pretty nicely for me!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That works perfectly for you (your daughter being on the east coast, you on the west). One of the reasons I loved living in northern CA. It may even be a reason to move back there – I’d be on the same coast as my son, and when my daughter called from the East Coast at 9 p.m., I’d be bright and chirpy still. 🙂

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    • You just made me laugh out loud, Anneli. It’s not sad that you can identify with me (and it seems all of the readers here!!) – we all are on the side of righteousness – early to bed makes sense!! By the way, on another matter, I loved seeing that you were the editor for Jacqui Murray’s latest book. Fantastic.

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  12. I’m 8 and 9 hours ahead of my family in Canada. They are asleep while I’m up and up while I’m asleep. So many of our conversations and even email chats are around 11 pm my time. I’m OK with that. I can always have a nap the next day. After all, I’m retired!

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  13. Hi, Pam – I can sooooo relate. It seems like I fade earlier and earlier. I am often sound asleep embarassingly early. In my defence, I am up most morning by five am and I seldom ‘sleep in’ past six. Recently I had a friend (my age) mention that she and her husband usually eat dinner at nine pm. I didn’t tell her that Richard and I eat dinner MANY HOURS EARLIER than that! ❤

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  14. Haha, Pam, you are using hyperbole but each line made me smile and accomplishes the task of a writer! When we were not so young, we always said: “I would remain 35 till my kids marry.” Now I say – “I would remain 60 till my grandkids marry.” I refuse to close my kindle till it starts falling off my hands and then there is the support of the other pillow. My hubby turns his face the other way when it rests on the side of his pillow. 😀

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    • Awww, how nice of your husband to allow your Kindle to use his side of the pillow at times. The poets may not use a line like that in their romantic poetry, but hey, we of a certain age know a stronger and deeper side of love then those 20-somethings. ❤ I like that you think my story is full of hyperbole, but nope, all 100% the way it happens. I just didn't mention how I put on the 60s music and dance to it wildly as well, at times, to keep me awake. 🙂

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  15. I found myself in a similar position as I got older, looking to retire for the evening a little bit earlier each year. However, now that I am six months into my “First Retirement,” and I don’t have the work thingy hanging over and in my head, voila! I am actually staying up later. It sounds counter-intuitive to be more relaxed and be more awake, or does it? One thing is for sure. If I return to the work force at some point I know I’ll be keeping the same schedule as yours. You’re a good mom, Pam! (You’re getting two comments since the first one inexplicably went through as Anonymous…here’s hoping you get one from me…)

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  16. Most of my problems with aging have to do with two things:

    1. I can’t remember who I’ve told things. I know I’ve told someone, but I don’t always remember who. This means I seem to be forever saying, “I don’t know if I’ve already told you this or not. Please cut me off if I have.” You must have friends who constantly repeat themselves. This is my feeble attempt at not being one of those people.

    2. The aches and pains are there every day instead of occasionally. I understand that’s part of getting older, so this doesn’t bother me except when it interferes with wanting to do something I can’t do. I stretch each day for my arthritic back, and that seems to help some.

    My wife sounds similar to you in that she goes to bed early. I don’t seem to need that much sleep. I’ll still go to bed at midnight or even 1:00 a.m. some nights, and I’m almost always up by 7:00 a.m.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m smiling and nodding my head at your #1, Pete. I don’t do that as much, but I have several friends who either (a) repeat what they already told me, not remembering that they already did or (b) ask me “Did I already tell you this?” Each time, I’m a little sad because I thought I was the only one they’d confided in. ;-0
      Your aches and pains are no laughing matter. I have several friends who I used to run with/play tennis with/walk and hike with for hours. They are hurting now. I’m finding that yoga and aspirin help me a lot. Um, maybe going to bed by 9 does as well. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I love that despite how tired you feel, you make time for your son and despite how busy he is… He makes time for you. Age aside, not everyone has that! What a beautiful relationship

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  18. My kids often call during their commutes too.. Their schedules are tighter than mine. I’m on the west coast. I have one daughter on the east coast, two on the west coast, so it works fine for me.

    By the time I’m finished reading, it’s usually 11:00 or 11:30, but I do get up rather late. I notice that most of my neighbors open their curtains about the same time I do. There’s one, though, who gets up earlier. There’s always an early riser. He takes his garbage can in long before I get dressed.

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    • Yes, our neighbors roll their eyes at us. My guy takes the trash out around 6 AM. The closest neighbors I think don’t get up until 10 maybe! But it’s nice that we appreciate each other’s routines.

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  19. Hello there ! I have a 6 month old baby and in my early stages of postpartum it was difficult for me to adapt with the sudden change in the sleep patterns, staying up late night was tough, first 3 to 4 months I struggled a lot! But now it’s lot more easier even though my baby sleeps at night 12 ! So before baby, my bedtime used to be 10 pm and now it’s just extended bit more to 12 !
    Happy weekend 🥂!
    Loved your post ✨😌!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Happy baby time to you! Oh how I loved the six-month stage. Because the two months stage was a nightmare! 😏Yes and before I had children I was go to bed around midnight get up around 9 a.m. I started being an early morning person with my first child. My second child was even earlier! Good luck with all of the time changes. Every sleepless night is worth it I promise you! 😍

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  20. Like Nicki, I’m later to bed and later to rise.

    After Jeopardy, we usually watch a movie for a couple of hours before getting in bed to read at 11. Lights out by midnight and up at 8 am. We don’t “go out” after dinner too often ~ just Bridge for me one night a week.

    Sunrises aren’t much of a draw for me. 😀

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  21. Hi Pam, I am also an early to bed person and aim for 9.30pm although it rarely works for me and it’s usually 10pm or 10.30pm. I get up at 5.30am every day and I’m always an energiser bunny throughout the day so I am worn out be the night.

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  22. I’m nodding like crazy. I used to be a night owl, but in summer I seem to wake with the dawn and fall asleep at sunset. Ok, the sun does set a bit later but still. I expected grey hair and wrinkles, not this. 😦

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  23. My eyes start getting blurry by 7:30 p.m. I turn off the phone because I’m not a good conversationalist after 8.  I make myself watch a show, then tiptoe to bed so I can read until 9:30. And I do read for at least an hour, but do I remember the last chapter..wow wonderful really …this was perfect for me,,.

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  24. I had to smile at the end, Pam, and I can definitely relate to this! This year with the time change and the nights growing shorter, I haven’t been able to make it past 9pm. I used to be able to stay up until 10 or 11. But now once the hands read 9 o’clock, I am tucked into bed faster than you can brush your teeth! I’ve even called it a night as early as between 8-8:30! Insane! I thought it was only me, but it looks like I’m not alone after reading other’s comments. I’m a little relieved, to tell you the truth. I was worried about me. 🙂 We do get up early at 5:30 am each morning, so that’s another thing. On days off or weekends, I still get up early. (good time to blog) If I sleep until 6:30 am, Celebration! 🎶
    I guess it’s all a part of growing older. Not only do our bodies change, but our body clocks shift also. Yikes! So much to look forward to! LOL
    By the way, I’d stay up later to talk to one of my kids too. ❤️

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  25. It’s quite evident I’m the outcast here who is a born nighthawk. Since I was a child I was up (in my room) well past bedtime. Nothing has changed, hopping in bed at midnight is my usual. Then I read until my Kindle falls on my face. Lol 🙂 x

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  26. As for me, it’s the other way ’round. I am a night owl at heart who needs to fulfill my House Husbandly duties be getting up early to see the rest of the family off to work and school. If I was left to my own devices I’d be in bed by 2 am and up at 10.

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  27. A lovely post, Pam and whenever our children call we are there to answer with a smile in our voice, with love in our hearts! I wonder will your son read your post and realise your dilemma?! I’m not suprised you are ready for bed early if you’re up at 5.30 am. Although usually in bed by 11 pm and reading to midnight the past few weeks bedtime seems to have shifted forward an hour and I can myself settling into this new routine! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yikes – you don’t go to bed until 11? I’m smack down in a dream by then. 🙂 Fortunately, my son doesn’t read my blog posts (at least, he’s never indicated that he does) unless I send him a particular one. I won’t be sending him this one. :-0

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  28. Very good concise post.

    I am getting a similar feeling. We have less energy available as we grow older. It feels like constantly stretching it thinner and thinner every year.

    I am blessed with a job that starts late. I am absolutely not a early bird and i dislike business in the morning. I’d rather have energy from 5pm to 11pm. This is when the fun happens.

    I developped working noon to 5pm and clutch all my work in 5 good hours instead of a regular 8 hours workday where you lose three out of procrastination/boredom/sadness. If need be i work until 8pm. Being productive is key to claim your time back. It’s the one real skill that pays off in the long run.

    Because it pays off in time, the one ressource which value increases as you grow older.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. I am the opposite. I have never been a morning person so now I sleep late and begin my reading around 11:PM. My days may start late, but they are usually fully even if I am just relaxing. Like you, when my son calls, usually when he is in the car, I am bright and perky no matter what.

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