Archive for January, 2011

online window shopping detrimental to sleep—and happiness?

January 7th, 2011

This month’s resolution—go to bed at night—seemed straightforward enough. And until last night, lights were out before midnight. Except for the night I fell asleep in Carter’s bed at 7:30 pm (and he moved to the couch because “Mommy was snoring!”), making it to bed by 11 pm has proved elusive.

Too often, I find myself trolling for deals online. And it is about the hunt for the best deal. The adrenaline. The dopamine. I love finding the obscure coupon code that I can combine with free shipping and get something that’s on sale—today only. The problem is I lose track of time. The other problem is, of course, actually spending money on more stuff.

In “But Will It Make You Happy?”—one of those “most-emailed” New York Times articles that I usually read on the train instead of the more important news stories—Stephanie Rosenbloom wrote: Research finds “spending money for an experience — concert tickets, French lessons, sushi-rolling classes, a hotel room in Monaco — produces longer-lasting satisfaction than spending money on plain old stuff.” But I still like stuff. But I love traveling with the boys, too.

So I’m trying a new strategy (which I’m hoping will take faster than my resolution to go to bed at a decent hour): If I really, really want to buy something, like the Mend Cinch Bag on sale in Target’s Red Hot Shop (thanks, Daily Candy for the tip!) and I talk myself out of it, then I transfer that money into our “travel” savings account. So far this week I’ve resisted the bag and a necklace. Woo hoo.

But, again, last night, I found myself with clearance items sitting in my Canvas shopping cart with the “free shipping” code already entered.

Then I noticed it was half past midnight. I closed my laptop and went to bed.

first New Year’s resolution: go to bed

January 2nd, 2011

A year ago, I resolved to “show up more” (incidentally, one of my favorite blogs). In 2009,, my mantra was, “I’m doing the best I can.” I thought about making this year’s resolution, “Just show up and do the best I can.” Which would work.

Last year was not a great year, so it shouldn’t be hard to improve upon it. However, the last thing I want to do is set myself up for failure by committing to lose weight, do more yoga, eat better, bake more, cook more, play with Carter more, spend more time with Jeff when we’re not planning Carter’s next move, watch less TV, read more books, knit, etc. I already know I should and want do all these things. I just don’t. (“Cognitive dissonance” is a topic for another day.)

Instead of taking it to either extreme—a day at time or a year at a time—I’m going draw my line at a month at a time. It supposedly takes 21 days to make something a habit, so I’m going to commit to one thing each month that’s doable and good for me, and see where it takes me. Probably not to a new me, but maybe I’ll be a little happier, a little healthier, a little more pleasant to be around.

First up: sleep. My January resolution: Go to bed. At night. Not in the early morning hours.

No more late-night blogging, online shopping, housework, paperwork, busywork. Considering how little sleep I usually get (1 am is not an unusual shut-eye time), I’m going to aim for lights out at 11 pm. I’ll report back on how it goes. Please let me know how your 2011 goals go, too.

Sweet dreams, and to all many good nights. Happy New Year.