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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Taking Advantage of Daylight Hours



I wrote a very impassioned post about society's confusion regarding consumerism and utilities. Made it sound like I was a great energy saver and an inspiration to all. I mean, I try to be energy efficient, making use of natural resources instead of paying for utilities, but in one way, I fail abysmally at this.
In the olden days, before electricity, people would get up at or before dawn, live their life throughout the daylight hours, and when the sun went down, would work a bit by candle light, and then go to sleep during dark times.
While I do not turn on my house light when it is a sunny day and my house is well lit without it (we have large windows that help us take advantage of sunlight), I really do not take advantage of sunlight hours. I frequently stay up past midnight- sometimes till 2 am or later, and then wake up at 7 am or earlier with my kids.

This really is taking a large toll on my body. I am not very functional on 5 hours of (interrupted- mind you- I've got a nursing baby) sleep for days on end. Because I sleep so little, I find myself relying too much caffeine- which is both unhealthy and expensive. I also end up being so lethargic and short tempered (with my kids, my spouse, and even internet contacts) because of this extreme lack of sleep.
To top it all off- I am paying a lot for wasted electricity- if I was asleep during the dark hours instead of awake for all those hours (and then wanting to sleep while it is day because I am still too tired), I would be able to use natural sunlight to brighten my house instead of lightbulbs. My father usually goes to sleep at 9 pm and wakes up at 4 or 5 am- he really knows how to take advantage of daylight hours. Ok, I would never be able to do that and still probably would use electricity for lighting at night, because my husband often comes home between 10 pm and midnight (he works second shift usually) and I like to be up waiting for him... but there is no reason to be up 2-4 more hours after his already late arrival.

Why am I staying up so late, and what can be done about it to improve my life as well as spend less money on lighting the nighttime and sleeping away daylight?

Get off the darn computer.
Desiree, the Happy Atheist Homemaker, just wrote a post that inspired me. She mentioned that she was trying to get all her chores done in the morning so that she had the afternoon to relax and spend time with her family. Simple, right? But unfortunately, its not something I've been doing.
I waste whatever time I have online. When I'm nursing- I'm at the computer. When he's fussy and wants to be held, I'm at the computer. When I'm putting my baby to sleep, I'm at the computer. Once he falls asleep, I use that free time now... to relax in front of the computer.
My house gets neglected, my kids get neglected, my husband feels neglected, and its all because of the darn computer!!! Or rather, the fact that I am hopelessly addicted to the computer.

I put a password on the computer (my husband knows half and I know the other half) that locks the computer during certain hours, to push me to get off the computer and get something done. I always find out the password somehow and just end up using the computer during the hours it should be off.
I made a resolution (and will try really hard to stick to it) to get off the computer during the specified times. And increase the computer's off time. I don't need to waste my life away on the computer.
I really want to try to get all my housework done before I go on the computer. This way I'll have more energy for the housework as I will be doing it right after awaking. I will also have the afternoon and evening free to spend time with my family and my husband. And who can't use a little reward after finishing to clean?

As for my excuses?
Wear the baby, Penny! I posted about baby wearing, but I don't do it often enough.
I can wear the baby while nursing, and get things done that way. I can wear the baby when he's going to sleep. I can wear the baby when he's fussy and wants to be held. I can try to entertain him while doing my housework. No reason to stop doing the housework and instead sit at the computer!

So off I go. I will also try to write up my blog posts the second I get on my computer (something I always procrastinate doing, because there is always another forum to check, another email to check, and some more blogs to read) so that way I don't feel pressured to write my day's post at nearly midnight, after my husband comes home.
I have a confession. I'm writing this post while I should be off the computer. But seriously, as soon as I press "publish", I will physically turn off the computer (instead of hibernating it)--- and guess what? That will also save me money on electricity. Gonna go do some housework now. Wish me luck!


Do you take advantage of daylight hours, or do you also light up the night and sleep away the day? Has anyone else figured out a technique to stop the computer addicted person from wasting his/her day on the computer? Ideas will be greatly appreciated (especially by my husband and kids).

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