24 Hours

A day can feel like a lot of time or a little bit of time, depending on how we choose to spend it.

Hang with your family and friends on vacation? It goes too fast. Waiting for something to come in two days? 24 hours is a long time.

It can be difficult to know how to cram everything you want to do in the time that you’re awake to the time that you go to sleep.

But at the end of the day (or the beginning), it is up to us how we spend it. So if we’re using every minute to further ourselves, or just to relax and treat ourselves to some self-care, it’s worth it.

Prioritize as much as you can and try to schedule some time with yourself as well is my advice.

It’s a whole day. Or, it’s just a day.

Love,

Bailey

Up All Night

“Look at us, baby, up all night.” — the Eagles 

“Nothing ever good happens after 2 A.M.” — Ted Mosby, How I Met Your Mother

These are my favorite quotes about staying up late at night. And they have another thing in common: they tell us that staying up late is definitely not a good idea. Like, bad stuff goes down. And then you’ve absolutely messed yourself up for the next morning when you’re groggy and sleep deprived and so ready to drown yourself in a vat of caffeine. 

But what else are you supposed to do? When the sun sets at 4:45 and your body starts to fold in on itself with the hope of going to bed, how do you let it? Don’t you have to stay up late? 

My answer is that you do. And it’s actually another one of my resolutions. I’m going to be staying up later each night. Why? Because I don’t have enough time during the day to do the things that I need to. But more than that, I don’t have time during the day to do what I want to do. Which makes Bailey a dull girl. And a very uncreative person. 

I mean, just about every successful person, at some point in their career, has dedicated their time to doing what they wanted to do. 

And a lot of those people swear by getting up in the morning, making some strong black coffee, and doing that thing before life really begins, so that they can have some time to dedicate to their passions. 

And there’s those people and then there’s me. I love my sleep, don’t get me wrong. I’m going to actually dedicate my first book to my pillow because it helps me fulfill my dreams (what?), but if you want to get something done, then you have to …um, do it. And because we’re all overachievers, and we have lives, sometimes the only thing to do is stay up until midnight a few nights a week and resist the urge to get some shuteye in order to do what I wanna do. 

And I can’t wait to stay zzzzzzz…..

A Screw Loose

Tonight, I’d like to give you a little taste of my nightly routine.

After I’m showered and calmed for the day, I crawl into bed, tuck the sheets under my chin, and start reading. Ever since I was a kid, someone would read to me until I fell asleep…until I could read by myself. Thankfully, I now don’t have to position a flashlight over my head so that I can read in the late hours or beg my parents to read just one more chapter. I have a set-up. There’s a little electric candle that sits on my windowsill, secured by a single nail, that lights the pages by night, way past everyone else’s bedtime. The light doesn’t shine in my eyes, and I don’t have to get up to turn it off. It’s perfect.

Except

It blinks out. I have to position the wire so that it stays on continuously, but sometimes it still winks out like morse code. I’ve often wondered if the neighbors think that I’m trying to communicate with them (and if they are wondering if there’s actual intelligent life in my room.) And most nights, it’s slightly annoying. Because all I have to do is rest my head on the pillow, and the light goes off, but if I wiggle slightly to the left it will come back on…for a second.

The kicker? I know what’s wrong. The little box that holds the control has a screw loose, so there must be some misfiring going on. I figure that all I have to do is give it a couple quarter turns to make it work normally.

The problem with the problem? It’s that I’ve gotten used to my malfunctioning fake candle and the trouble it causes me. I actually look forward to figuring out how to sit just so in order for it to keep shining. It’s like this little lighthouse with a serious attitude problem that guides me home each night. It has character and spunk, even though it doesn’t have much reliability.

And so, I wonder what other little quirks do we have in our life that we feel need fixing but really add such character to our lives?

Like the leaky faucet, for instance?? Yeah, it’s an environmental cost, but how many times has the drip drop lulled you to sleep? Or what about that squeaky step on the staircase? Maybe it got you into trouble when you snuck in late, but it can definitely alert you to robbers if they ever try to creep up the stairs.

Really, at the end of the day, I think we have a lot to learn from the imperfect. I think it has an important place in all of our daily lives. And maybe, just maybe, we all need to take more time to appreciate things (and people) who have a screw loose.

A Firefly in the Livingroom

Do you think there is such a thing as coincidence? Or is life a series of well-timed, intentional acts?

There’s certainly plenty of evidence for the former. Lightning strikes, for example. However, you could also argue that lightning strikes result from storms, which are a scientific phenomenon that can be easily predicted. Maybe that’s one point for the latter. Of course, romantic comedies would also have you believe in perfect, serendipitous coincidence. But, romantic comedies are also shot on sets with actors and scripts. Looks like that is a draw.

But whatever your persuasion on this subject, I find that some events are simply more difficult to pin down, as either coincidence or fate, than others.

Take, for example, the other night. I’m walking with my mom around the neighborhood. We’re watching the sky darken with a storm, so we’re sort of hoofing it. We pass a corner when we smell it. Cigar smoke.

Okay, not entirely, unusual in itself. Actually, not really unusual at all, is it? Except for the fact that my grandfather (you can read about him here) used to smoke like a chimney stack. And his tobacco of choice was cigars. Add to the fact that I am always thinking about him around the summertime. At his old house, he had this beautiful porch where we could sit outside until the light died, unable to see each other’s faces but able to make out the red tip of his cigar. And of course, the fireflies that lit up the yard. He used to say, without fail, that they would arrive around the Fourth of July and then disappear shortly after.

So, when cigar smoke swept up our noses on our nightly walk, my mom immediately said it was Pop-Pop, stopping by to say hello. I agreed with her, and we rushed home before the oncoming storm could soak us.

Unbeknownst to us, we must have had a hitchhiker.

We walked through the door and plopped down on the couch, exhausted from our hurrying, but glad for it, as we heard the rain splatter on the window. Relaxing back, we heard a faint hum in the room. Looking over, we saw a firefly hovering over the coffee table. It hung in the air like a fairy and seemed suspended there. It was captivating and altogether strange.

Unfortunately, we weren’t the only ones who had seen it: our pet cat was all wide eyes and twitching tail. Not wanting him to eat our good omen, I captured the bug and took it outside. It sat on my hand for a moment and then drifted lazily into the air.

Now, you could say that a firefly followed us into the house and was almost eaten by a well-fed cat. And you’d be right. And you could also say that this was more confirmation of my Pop-Pop, who wanted to send us a sign that we’d recognize. And you’d also be right (at least in my book).

But isn’t that the beautiful thing? If it was intentional, then it was simply a memorable moment. If it was a coincidence, then it was also a memorable moment. That is, if my Pop-Pop sent it, then it’s meaningful, but if it simply attached to our clothes, then it’s adorable.

That’s why you can’t pin it down; it’s both intentional and coincidental. And I truly don’t see or mind the difference that I can’t answer my original questions. Because it doesn’t really matter. It’s all about what you choose to believe, and what “brightens” your day.