I have had a long time affection for the time of the day when I can close the blinds, climb into my pajamas and turn off my brain.
Although I have the ability to stay dressed and complete menial tasks after supper, lately I have had a feeling where I think I shouldn't make important decisions at the day's end because I feel slightly impaired. And believe me, this has absolutely nothing to do with alcohol.
Due to an upcoming trip, followed by a reunion and holiday time a few weeks after that, I have had the need to tend to several details and make commitments that involve paying for things online.
One night it hit me. "I cannot hit the 'I Agree' button until the morning. I feel mentally impaired this late at night." This was immediately followed by the realization that this was not the first time I have felt this way lately.
The ability to form cohesive sentences, if I haven't been talking with adults for an extended period of time, is more noticable after 6:00.
The desire to pick up the phone and call someone after supper is nil. Okay, nothing has changed there. Knock that off the list of symptoms.
Any type of bookwork becomes onerous after I start shutting down. But it can be done (just watch what I can do when the power goes off and the battery on my computer keeps going long after the Internet connection has been severed).
Housecleaning at the end of a day? Forget it.
Yard work? I do it before I eat supper and start shutting down.
Phone calls? Inbound, I can do. Outbound? Hurts.
Mental math? Very slow and labor intensive.
Coping skills? Excellent, as long as the blinds are drawn, I am in my pj's and no one is asking me to do anything.
What is causing this?
Is it dealing with 1-1/2 to 3-1/2 year old children ten hours a day, five days a week? Or, and this is the million dollar question, is it because I am addicted to all of my "connections".
The Internet connection distracts me constantly.
The ability to look up the answer to any question, any time of day is addictive. It can be as simple as wondering how old a contestant is, on Dancing With the Stars. Back in the old days, one could only guess or rely on whatever information that star was willing to reveal.
Facebook. I don't spend an excess amount of energy updating my own status but I do spend an extraordinary amount of time "lurking". Granted, I find a lot of inspiration and encouragement within my friend's status updates and positive thinking messages. But it is a time waster. I know this. Yet, during my days of speaking at a two year old level, I crave adult input.
Netflix. Oh dear. I was afraid this could happen to me and I am not too addicted (yet), but the ability to watch ten seasons of a favorite television show back-to-back, all weekend? It is a childhood dream come true. Thankfully I can't stay awake that long.
Texting and the cell phone addiction? I never thought this would be me. But it is. I use my cell phone as my watch, my camera, my Internet connection when I am away from the computer, my alarm and timer and the ability to record or jot down notes throughout the day when a pen and piece of paper are out of reach. Not to mention the need I feel to answer a text message immediately upon receipt.
I am addicted to all of these connections. I know I must do something. I need to sever the connection. If not all day then, at a minimum, part of the day. After supper would be a good place to start.
At the moment, if I don't get something done in the morning, it (often) doesn't get done. These little things start to pile up.
By the weekend, I have several little piles of paperwork, atop the computer desk and in the kitchen, to tend to and make disappear. This past Saturday morning, I had to send two emails, pay a bill and commit to (hit that "I Agree" button) and pay for something else. It took me two hours to do "all of the above".
Two hours? On a morning brain?!
It is taking too long to process information. Writing is becoming work. I used to send emails to friends just to keep in touch. Now? I reply. And bookwork?! Not fun. I am so incredibly grateful I don't "do numbers" all day, every day.
All in all, I know this balance is exactly right.
I need human interaction and contact with adults on a regular basis. My daycare business provides that.
I need a creative outlet. Writing provides that.
I need to challenge myself and grow. Bookkeeping does that for me.
I need downtime and my "sundowning period" after supper gives that to me.
I need friendship and to socialize and, when I don't frighten my friends away by my "need for alone time", I do have friends who convince me to come out and play.
Life is a delicate balance of all of the above and so much more. I think this "sundowning period" is providing me what I need to keep the rest of life in balance.
My only concern? Is the days are slowly but surely getting shorter. I am not looking forward to the days when darkness exceeds the light. I need to make the most of the daylight hours while the light is shining.
It isn't all darkness and gloom yet. I think I need to find a piece of sunlight to carry me past supper time and through the winter.
The twilight hours are beautiful and necessary. But I wouldn't want to live there.