Late Night Bryce vs. Early Morning Bryce

Sometimes I swear I’ve got multiple personalities. How is it that almost every single night, I end up staying up until 11:30 or 12:00, enjoying myself by watching the Daily Show or Colbert Report and convincing myself that I’ll be fine in the morning, only to then proceed to wake up in the morning at 5:55 (or 6:15, depending on how many times I slap that snooze button) and hate myself for having stayed up that late? You’d think I’d learn my lesson. Go to sleep late = be tired and grouchy in the morning. But no. By the time 9:00pm rolls around, I stop having any interest in sleep. It’s like a switch goes off in my head, and I transform from the “Bryce Who Was Tired All Day at Work” to the “Bryce Who Wants to Watch a Full-Length Movie.” If I had a lick of sense, I’d go to bed early. But then I’d miss out on the movie.

I suppose in the end it’s the old giving up something worthwhile later for something worthless now sort of thing. I mean, it’s not like my life is enriched by most of the stuff I watch at night–although the extra time just getting to hang out with my wife when there are no kids around is a definite plus. But still, I know that I’d be getting more out of my days if I gave myself a few more hours of sleep each night. And yet I don’t do it. So where else do I fall into this pattern?

Well, eating is definitely one. I know in my head that it’s a bad idea to have three pieces of fudge, and that the long term health risks (obesity, diabetes, etc.) outweigh the three seconds of pleasure that fudge will bring me. And yet I eat it anyway. And how about snapping at my family? Sometimes I can be feeling stressed, and I know that if I snap at TRC or DC that I’ll feel good for a second, only to regret it later. But I still snap. I could probably go on with this list, but I don’t want to bag on myself too much here.

What I’m trying to get at is that maybe I ought to be approaching things differently. Maybe I ought to start deciding to opt for the long-term good choices as opposed to the short-term poor ones. I would think that it’s a life skill–as I get better at only eating one piece of fudge instead of three, I’ll also get better at not snapping at my family, or at going to bed at a decent hour.

All fine and good in theory, but I have no idea how/when I’ll ever get any good at putting it into practice. Do any of you have any tips for dealing with this? I’d love to hear them.

4 thoughts on “Late Night Bryce vs. Early Morning Bryce”

  1. One of Life’s Challenges
    Hi, Bryce,
    I’ve been struggling with a lot of these same things/ideas lately…I think self-control in general is one of the most important lessons we’re here to learn. I do find that when I consciously make a right choice when faced with temptation, I feel empowered and it *usually* becomes easier and easier successively. That’s not to say that I don’t mess up (frequently), staying up too late and/or sleeping in and skipping my workout in the morning, or having one too many pieces of pizza and/or cookies – you can’t give yourself too hard of a time, though, or you’ll crash at some point and undo any good you’ve done. I know that sometimes the “I want to be skinny more than I want that doughnut” self-counsel works for me, and sometimes the doughnut wins over. Not sure that what I’ve said equates to a “tip” as much as a commiseration, but there you have it. πŸ™‚ I recommend a couple books – both are actually parenting books, but they’re all about self-monitoring in parenting, which can apply to self-monitoring in any other aspect of life (marriage, health, etc.). They are Nurturing Good Children Now by Ron Taffel and Screamfree Parenting by Hal Edward Runkel. Haven’t finished the latter, yet, but what I’ve read so far is great.
    And again, sometimes it IS important to stay up late with the wifee and/or to reward yourself with three pieces of fudge. Being too rigid on anything can cause self-destruction. Just my thoughts, though.
    Love, Gretel

  2. Re: One of Life’s Challenges
    Very valid points, Gretel. Thanks for the recommendations–I’ll look into them. And it’s nice to know I’m not the only one out there eating doughnuts. πŸ™‚

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