I can't sleep.
Exactly a month left of teaching before "summer vacation" (a.k.a. returning to my past life of retail a few days a week and painting constantly), and my night owl ways are creeping back quickly as though they've been summoned by my impending months off.
This whole week, I simply have not been able to sleep.
I am a night owl at heart, something I inherited from my artist mother that is perpetuated by my own feeling that there is always something to do, a painting to be painted, an essay to be written, a book to be read, quiet to be absorbed.
I cherished my nights last year especially while painting for "Depending upon the nature of the beast." I would stay up till 4, 5, 6 in the morning painting. The thing is, I usually don't get to sleep late after doing this. I'd have to get up and go to work and go about my day as though I'd slept all night. But, somehow, I'd be fine.
Something switched this year. My wonderful new job managed to retrained me sleep-wise, and all year I have been in bed by midnight and still found time to do all the things I needed to do. I don't know if I could exist on 3 hours of sleep a night anymore if I tried.
All this week, though, I cannot sleep. Maybe I still haven't gotten back to normal after spending two weeks "six hours ahead" in Switzerland. I'm not sure if it's insomnia or if, subconsciously, I am planning on returning to night owl status as soon as school lets out.
This isn't my plan. I like getting a full night's sleep and getting up early and making the most of the day. But part of me feels nostalgic for late nights in the summer.
They began with watching I Love Lucy marathons on Nick at Nite's Block Party Summer with my mom and sister.
In recent years, they include painting with the windows open to the city-dark, navy and glowing with street lamps, the faint sound of cars and insects and train whistles.
Sleeping with the windows open is so beautiful, I want to be awake to enjoy it.
There is a subtle thrill to seeing the sky change from dark to pastel and knowing that you spent all that time making something.
I once read that people are born pre-dispositioned to be a night owl or an early-to-bed, early-to-rise type. I believed that statement until this year, when I was so convinced that I had retrained myself to adhere to a completely new schedule. I'm beginning to wonder if I believed too soon, though, and am thinking that this summer will be the true test.
So what about you - are you a night owl? And if so, what do you think compels you to be that way? Are you an artist? A musician? Or just someone who loves the night? I'm really curious.
So I'm off to try and sleep now. Sweet dreams!