After midnight

Two nights ago I turned my lights off at 12:30am. I was so pissed off -- up too late to swim in the morning and filled with all these negative thoughts and images, including a future vision of my mom moving in with me and ruining my entire life (which is such a pile of nonsense). Then it hit me. It was after the witching hour of midnight. No good comes from the imaginative mind -- mine, at least--when I'm awake by myself on a week night after midnight. Week night is the key factor; if it's a weekend and I've gone out to do something and I get into bed anywhere around midnight I'm proud of myself, dammit.

Here's what else I noticed: as time marched on -- 11pm (arg) and then toward 11:30 panic started to set in, as though something in me knew if I was awake still at 12am my thoughts were doomed.

So I unset my alarm and got up at 7:30 instead of 5:30 and life continued on beautifully even though I missed swimming which is the ideal way to start the day.

I had the good fortune to sit down with my writer friend Ann T and tell her about my discovery of the post-12am pumpkin-mind. Not only could she relate, Ann (who gets up at 5:45am) has a system for this:

If she's up at 10:30pm, she stops looking at the clock. She has her alarm clock radio in her bathroom and puts a piece of cloth over it so she can't cheat. That way there's nothing to get her anxiety rising as she watches the minutes creep toward crazy time.

And another friend has a similar story about being f'd in the head when she's awake too late. My Aussie cousin Jane used to tell me that if she was up past midnight she was doomed to stay up until at least 3am, and she had a big-ass scientist job to head off to in the morning.

So. The chariot turning into a pumpkin at midnight has new meaning. My mind turns into one of those pumpkins that has been split open with the seeds spilling out on the sidewalk, when I'm up in the wee a.m. hours on a weeknight. But it's a short-lived spooky place. (And maybe it's an icky association with the days of partying down well into the hobgobblin a.m. hours ... but we're so over that). So now it has me thinking about time and clock-watching (I can't wear a watch during any kind of race or my eyes will be glued to it the whole time) --and how about one's personal relationships to a particular time of day? I guess we're talking biorhythms now, but I am never able to read more than three lines about it in any article because of the graphs and squiggly lines on the page. I don't speak graphs and charts.

Last night I took my watch off and don't even know when I fell asleep. So I have the extra freedom of not knowing how tired I could possibly be.

Anyone else have a story about their relationship with time?

Artwork: "Persistence of Memory" aka "Persistencde of Time" by Salvador Dali