If you’re up, you’re alive…why not live?

It’s half-past twelve in the morning and I’m wide awake.

While I usually stay away from screens during this midnight hour, tonight I am on my laptop for research purposes. Also, my pen ran out of ink and I don’t feel like looking for a new one.

It’s a Friday night, during COVID times, and a quick scan of social media would suggest that I’m not alone.

Over the past several weeks, many have declared, jokingly, that they’re up now because ‘time no longer has meaning’.

It’s this thought that holds my mind’s focus tonight.

I argue that, in fact, that opposite is true: it is during these uncertain and trying times that time actually holds even more meaning.

Please don’t get me wrong- I’ve definitely done my share of coping-through-binge-watching-Netflix-in-my-Snuggie.

But the uncertainty of everything has also stirred in me an unabashed, unquenchable lust for life. One that I have no intention to sleepwalk through.

A quick Google search reveals that most of us spend about 1/3 of our lives asleep and 1/3 of our lives at work- though, as a teacher, those numbers are definitely a little off.

To ensure I can always be energetic and alert for my students, I try to stick to a regular ‘early to bed, early to rise’ sleep schedule. However, my mind has always had a tendency to race, meaning I almost never ‘achieve’ a full eight hours in one go.

During my teens and twenties, I saw this as a shortcoming. I spent most nights tossing and turning, pissed that I couldn’t will myself to sleep.

In college, I began to regularly enlist the help of various sleep aids- which often had the bonus effect of a groggy morning and hangry afternoon.

However, in more recent years I’ve had two major realizations concerning my sleep: 1) ‘eight in a row’ just ain’t gonna happen, and 2) it really isn’t some magical achievement to begin with!

So instead of attempting to ‘achieve that elusive eight in a row’, and instead of lying in bed, attempting to will myself back to sleep- I decided to embrace this biphasic sleep schedule.

Yep. Biphasic. It has a name.

It turns out a decent percentage of people in the world are biphasic or polyphasic sleepers.

Most nights I spend this ‘in-between’ time watching the trees in the breeze, reading, journaling, and contemplating life.

In many pre-industrialized societies, our ancestors would regularly go to sleep early, and upon waking, ‘burn the midnight oil’ to write, meditate, and pray.

While I have often used this time to go within- I also often more easily tap into my wellspring of creativity and have completed some of my more inspired creative endeavors during these ‘witching hours’.

There are many other science-y things I could write about this subject- but the internet is already chock-full of articles, so I’m not going to waste this precious time. If you’re curious, though, there really are some interesting reads on the topic.

But for tonight- whether it occurs regularly or is just a one-time thing- I ask you to consider embracing this biphasic phenomenon. Maybe it will only give you more time to binge-watch your favorite reality show. Or, maybe, it will also awaken in you a new lust for life?

Choosing to Find Happiness in Every Moment

In the true fashion of most Western Millennials I’ve encountered, I’ve spent the better part of my life trying to live one full of meaning and happiness. From the deluge of posts on social media, I see us all calling out to one another, manically searching for this Holy Grail of Happiness. Like I imagine many of those in my generation, I have read my fair share of articles and books, attended many a promising lecture or sermon, and have even times futilely attempted to force an experience that was ‘meaningful’ and could ‘make me’ ‘truly happy’.

The days grow shorter.

The years go by faster.

In the blink of an eye, I am no longer an angsty teen nor a restless young adult.

I see society around me shift. I am now viewed as a full-fledged adult. Not just an adult, but a somewhat wise, responsible adult- worthy of teaching children and having a mortgage. I accept this new role apprehensively and continue on with my ridiculous search for happiness and the meaning of life; knowing I am not alone in this seemingly never ending quest.


The A-Ha Moment

So it came as a surprise that the most profound discovery on my quest thus far would come how or when it did.

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Finding Strength and Happiness in the Wake of Harvey (and Life’s Other Disasters)

It’s late summer here in Houston.

I am sitting on our back patio, in my flannel pjs, drinking a cup of hot tea, waiting for my computer to update.

The cat and I are listening to the summer days soundtrack- a mix of rhythmic cicadas and songbirds calling to one another, with a crow of an illegal rooster chiming in every once in awhile. Although I find it soothing, it’s pretty clear my cat finds this joyous song to be taunting.

Meanwhile, the dogs pay no attention to this summer ballad, and, instead, focus all their attention on hunting down one of the many dancing lizards that are peacocking for a mate.

In this moment I almost forget that Hurricane Harvey has just pummeled my city and wreaked havoc across the Gulf Coast.

My husband and I live on a bit of a hill, and were luckily spared much of Harvey’s wrath. Although there is much to be done, we choose to not get too overwhelmed this early on. We do the best we can to help our community, while also making time for ourselves to wring out a bit. We’re making the most of this extended summer, before school starts back up, because, in a way, this little bit of time is like the calm before the oncoming storm that awaits us this school year.  

It is my husband’s first year teaching, and I am inevitably reminded of my first year teaching, when Hurricane Ike devastated my hometown of Galveston.

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Pay-it-Forward Friday

Babysit for couples or single parents who don’t get out much, so they can have some alone time. (Especially needed as the holiday season approaches!)

Thankful Thursday: Your tears

Your tears…

Tears of joy. Tears of heartbreak.

Tears show you are not apathetic. You are human.

Your tears represent the best and worst times you’ve had.

Be grateful for the emotions your tears brought forth.


Wednesday Words of Wisdom

“The majority of us lead quiet, unheralded lives as we pass through this world. There will most likely be no ticker-tape parades for us, no monuments created in our honor. But that does not lessen our possible impact, for there are scores of people waiting for someone just like us to come along; people who will appreciate our compassion, our unique talents. Someone who will live a happier life merely because we took the time to share what we had to give. Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have a potential to turn a life around. It’s overwhelming to consider the continuous opportunities there are to make our love felt.” -Leo Buscaglia

Peace Movement Monday

Imagine other cultures: Notice the workings of power & privilege in your culture… bring awareness to it… attempt to change this.