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This time last year I felt guilty. Wrong. Like I should be doing things differently.
For the past few years I’ve had a difficult time when we “fall back” off of daylight savings. For whatever reason, when it’s gets dark outside, my instinctual critter self wants to be snugged up in my nest. At home. That means that once the time changes, I basically don’t want to go anywhere or do anything after about 5:30 pm.
Well, guess what? Much to my dismay, the rest of the world still bustles outside their nests after 5:30. They have workshops and meeting and dinners and parties. People show up to these things energized, and not in their pajamas.
So for several years I tried to play along. I would haul my carcass 30 minutes across town for a 7 pm workshop, suffer through an evening movie with friends, and fall asleep during any nighttime play I saw, no matter how engaging it was.
Because it’s what people do, right? Why couldn’t I just do like they do? What was wrong with me?
This year I had a radical idea: What if I did what my critter self wanted to do? What if I followed my own natural rhythm?
Hot dog, I am onto something now. So last year, guilt. This year, I go to bed as early as I want. 8 or 9 pm. I get up without an alarm when I’m ready, which has been consistently around 5:15. I start my workday then, and am up when the sun comes up, so I’m getting maximum daylight hours. I exercise, have breakfast, and get ready for the day around 8 am, and then have the rest of the day until my critter self will want to hibernate when the sun goes down.
I’m turning down evening events. I’m not a total shut-in, I did go to dinner and a play with some friends last week (I fell asleep).
But I am honoring my natural seasonal rhythms.
I’m working with myself instead of against myself.
I know that when we go back on daylight savings my rhythm will change again, and I’ll stay active later in the day when we have the sunlight.
But for now, when the big warm light slides behind the ocean, you’ll find me curled, still, and warm in my wintertime nest.
What are the natural rhythms of your critter self, and how do you make them work for you? Share with us in the comments.