Dreaming of a more peaceful time…

Growing up, I used to have a routine before going to bed.  I would say goodnight to my parents, grab a beverage – sparkling water in the summer, hot tea in the winter – grab whatever book I was in the middle of, and spend the last delicious hour of consciousness lost in whatever fantastical world those pages contained.

In between leaving my home for college and being halfway through a graduate program, something changed.

My evenings are no longer filled with the writings of great minds; my dreams are no longer of magic, dragons, and wizards.  There are still plenty of hot beverages, though – but not tea.  Now I find myself guzzling coffee at all hours of the night, attempting to wrangle one more hour’s worth of energy into finishing whatever project I am working on.  And I still read – but instead of characters with beautiful names and tragic back stories  I read the (rather dry) biography of Melville Dewey.  Or the historical conflict between archivists and librarians… or archivists and record keepers… or American archivists versus the rest of the world (jeez, archivists, get it together)!

Rather than peaceful evenings pre-slumber, I am racing the clock to get to a stopping point before I flop down on my bed and pass out in a matter of minutes.  This flopping action includes, but is not limited to,

- forgetting to take off my shoes

- neglecting to take the dog on her nightly walk

- leaving a plethora of dirty dishes in the sink

- setting my alarm for the wrong time

- and once, in an attempt to get back on a more “peaceful” schedule, turning on the burner to boil water for tea and falling asleep with the burner on before the water even boils.  I am lucky that my husband caught that one; I’m not sure even the soothing screech of the teakettle could have awoken me from that slumber.

However, I have to say that I’m not sure this is extraordinary for the life of a graduate student… in fact, it’s fairly par for the course.  And it’s certainly what I signed up for!  I do have to admit, however, that I look forward to the days when I can set aside an hour each night to lose myself in good fantasy fiction, and return to the nights of peaceful slumber filled with spells, potions, and flying carpets.

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