Thursday, June 30, 2011

Taking back the night!

Something I've been thinking about a lot is circadian rhythms. Well, not really. After all, I quit being a biology major 6 years ago. But I have been thinking about my own personal sleep schedule. I've been thinking about how I hit my peak of energy at about 8 in the a.m. and slowly degenerate from there, and how it's unfortunate that society doesn't seem entirely friendly to people with my habits. I can't help being a morning person, and I've been thinking about how the world might be improved if schedules were tailored to Valerie Time. I also have been thinking that I've blogged about this topic before, but I can't help being forgetful either! I can't find any previous posts on the subject, so I might as well cover it again.

I've noticed, of late, and of earlier, how frequently I avoid activities that take place in the evenings. I commit myself to them with the best of intentions: choir rehearsals at 7pm, volunteer events at 6, social gatherings starting anywhere from 4 in the afternoon to 9 at night. I RSVP with abandon, and then as the evening arises, I suddenly fall victim to an array of psychiatric maladies and lose all my resolve.

I have a reputation among my social circle for bowing out of pre-planned activities. I have headed out for a game night and made it as far as somewhere on the subway before being overwhelmed with hypochondria and heading back for home. I have gone to parties and left as soon as I arrived in the parking lot, suddenly hysterical from social anxiety. I have canceled countless dates simply because I didn't feel up to it when date night rolled around. I skip choir, volunteer events, and outings with friends, because I'm feeling "icky." That's Valerie-speak for a combination of "nauseated" and "out-of-sorts."

Sure, part of this is cowardice. And part of it is conditioning, and part of it is an adventitious mélange of choice genetic tendencies. But part of it is timing!

I don't think this would happen so often if these events occurred in the mornings. In the mornings, I'm raring to go! I can take on the whole world! I could even, perchance, participate in something as terrifying as small talk! In fact, I think I could even stomach these events if they happened in the early afternoons. Directly after work, I have no problem with going out into the world. Heck, I'm out in it already—might as well stay there. But once I've had a chance to retreat to my home, I attach myself there with soft fuzzy emotional Velcro and lose all fortitude. Once I've had a chance to relax for the day, I cannot unrelax and steel myself to face the horror commonly known as "other people."

So, from now on, let's start arranging real-world events to occur in the mornings, and leave the nights open for the socially-challenged bloggers of the world to retreat to the safety of home, the Internet, and their beds.