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Saturday, June 8, 2013

Another Late Night Post

I really should be sleeping, it's almost midnight and I seem to have made a habit of staying up rather too late this past week. Perhaps it's the heat, even with an a/c going almost non-stop it still takes a long time to cool down at night. Perhaps I'm seeking to avoid responsibility and the doing of tasks that are not interesting in the slightest to me, such as cleaning and tidying and studying. Perhaps my circadian rhythm is completely off and so even if I were to try to turn the lights off and enter dreamland closer to 10 pm, I would be unsuccessful. Or perhaps it's just because I can, therefore I do.

When I turned 16, my mom told me that I no longer had a set bedtime. I could now go to bed whenever I wanted and boy did I take advantage of that! I don't think I stayed up all night then, but I did decide that my new mission in life was to record Mission: Impossible (the old series) which came on around 11 pm or so at night, as my brother really enjoyed it. I would sit curled up in our family rocking chair, a blanket wrapped around me, tense with the suspense as they would attempt the impossible, succeeding every time. When it was over I couldn't go right to sleep so I would watch cheesy sitcoms like Golden Girls to try to laugh away the action-filled show I had just seen.

I grew up in countries where nightlife was where it all began, so it wasn't too much of a transition for me to stay up late at night watching, listening to Radio Delilah, or writing in my journal about the teenage angst that gripped my heart. However, a not-too-pleasant side effect of staying up so late meant that I wasn't up with the birds at 6 am, but rather grew accustomed to beginning my day closer to noon, or even afterwards if I was feeling particularly generous. It became an easy habit, one which I seem to fall into too often even today.

As I find myself facing a week that I know can be either productive or a completely waste of my time, I find myself wondering how to startle myself into a way of life that gives me a greater sense of achievement. I am a great list-maker and will often create lengthy scrolls that are about impossible to accomplish in a day. Then I'll feel discouraged and won't even try for the next week or two. I enjoy looking back at my day and realizing I did more than I had planned, but it's not so easy to do so when I find myself stumbling out of bed with just enough time to dress, grab a sandwich, and rush out the door to work.

Just because I can do something doesn't necessarily mean I should. Paul writes about it, in 1 Corinthians 10:23, where he says that just because something is lawful, or not going against the law, doesn't meant that it is helpful to do it. As the NIV says, not everything is beneficial or constructive. There is a lot in the Bible about self-control and self-discipline and fighting a good fight to earn an eternal reward. I think perhaps I will spend some time figuring out how to reset my priorities from "I can do this, therefore I shall," to "How can I please God in what I'm doing?" It requires purposeful effort but somehow I think it will be worth it.

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