Like so many others around this time of the year, I've set some goals for myself. Unlike others, though, I'm not trying to lose weight or become a different person or any of those things that so often top the list of New Years' Resolutions.
Short-term goals for 2008
1. Sleep at night without taking sleeping pills.
Due to some fairly serious insomnia over the past two years, I had to start taking prescription sleep aids (mirtazipine) in order to get more than four hours of uninterrupted sleep per night.
And don't get me wrong: I LOVE my sleeping pills. I love that deep dreamless sleep that comes with them. But, especially when I was so sick earlier this winter, I was taking a LOT of medicine, and I got a little uncomfortable with the idea of always taking pills.
So I cut out the mirtazipine. It took some getting used to; fortunately, I had almost two weeks of vacation to get acclimated, but I've had drug-free sleeps for three weeks now. [pat my own back]
2. Don't drink caffeine.
I'd actually stopped drinking caffeine over the summer but started up again around October. I'm not doing the 12-steps, so I'll blame it on the stresses of teaching and taking classes, as well as taking on a whole new subject this year, in addition to auditions and rehearsals, and of course the fact that I am a die-hard Diet Coke fanatic.
But it's not great for me, and it does affect my attitude, so I am cutting it out. It helps that the school has started stocking Diet Sprite (though I know water is better ... and cheaper).
And I have seen a difference in my behavior. For example, today my second-worst behaved class acted as they always do, and I was very calm and zen-like. This was in spite of the fact that it was 70 degrees today and the school has cut off the air-conditioner and I was burning up and had a migraine.
And then, during my absolutely worst behaved class, we had a tornado warning and had to go into the hall and, for a minute there, were in danger of having to stay with those kids until after 3:00. Torture! And yet I still managed to keep my mellow outlook, though on the inside I was imagining how--if I had to stay with those kids one minute past dismissal--there would be some kind of apocalyptic showdown wherein the police would show up to see me standing in bloodstained halls with a machete in my hand.
3. Go to sleep without using the television sleep timer.
This is probably the most difficult of my three goals. Silence makes me nervous. When it's completely quiet, my brain starts making up scenarios to explain various household noises, and then I freak out and start thinking there's a hobo under my bed.
But this year I said to myself, "Mei Flower, you are a grown up person--" this is how my lectures to myself often start--"and real adults can sleep without the dulcet tones of the Golden Girls sending them off to dreamland."
It's one thing to wean myself off the sleep timer, but it's quite another to do so without the help of sleeping pills. It ain't easy, is what I'm saying; in fact it's SO hard that I actually had to use poor grammar to describe it (so you know it's bad).
Those are my short-term goals; I'm too wary of commitments of any kind to make long-term goals. (Maybe I can work on that later? We'll see).
And it's only the second week of January ... still plenty of time to fall off the wagon.