The sky is rumbling behind the curtains, the occasional flash peeping in around the cracks to tell me the storm is close. I’m here, behind my computer, a bit restless in the quiet aftermath of bath time and stories and cuddles and the inevitable struggles too much of a day sometimes brings.
My one vivid memory of bedtime as a child involves a clock — one that my parents must have gotten to keep us in bed a bit longer. When the shorthand pointed to a sea of stars, it was night; blue sky was day; and one evening, I decided I’d stay up until midnight. I must have been seven or so, because we were still in Fresno, in the Spanish-style stucco house with terra cotta tiles that I thought was impossibly old at the time (60 years!). I shared a room with my brother, and I had the top bunk, with a perfect view of this clock. I remember watching, waiting, listening to my brother soothe himself to sleep with his stories, thinking that if I could just make it, it would mean something. What, I don’t quite know — but there was intent. That much I remember.
My memory doesn’t tell me whether I made it or not. Just that I tried–though there’s a satisfaction that comes with this memory that suggests that I at least woke up enough to see the clock strike midnight, just as I had been hoping for.
It’s funny the memories that stick.
There’s a simplicity to this one — a feeling of accomplishment that came simply from the act of setting a goal for myself and (presumably) achieving it. No one knew but me — it was my goal, my challenge. These are the good kind. I’m sharing it here because I sometimes get so caught up in the next externally measured goal — the promotion, the likes, the avalanche of email that means I am important (Right? Yes, you can laugh now) — that I forget that the best things in life are things I do just for me.
Feature photo by Nikita Grishin from Pexels.