40 Days & Nights. Mostly Nights: A Lenten Journey

I am going to give up my nights, my night owl habits, and what I have often referred to as the most productive hours of my day.

Motherhood did not reset my internal clock to the rhythms of infancy, toddlerhood, preschool, etc.  because those seasons never had a set rhythm unless controlled chaos is considered a rhythm. I have never enjoyed the quiet before or during sunrise. I usually only see a sunrise if I was up all night. I love staying up past 1 a.m. when everyone else is asleep. I love the second wind and feeling of productivity when no one else is in my way.

Which is why I am giving up my night owl habits. I need to let go. Everyone needs a certain amount of sleep, and I certainly don’t get enough of it. It’s no one’s fault but my own. I stay up late to get more done, to write one last paragraph, read one more page, clean up one more spot in the house, respond to one more email, check off one more thing off my never-ending list of things to get done, many of which can and should wait.

And then I wake up after I’ve hit the snooze button too many times, feeling exhausted and already behind another day of producing, cleaning, emailing, multitasking purposefulness.

I am not that important.

The house is not that dirty.

Those emails (unless they are from my supervisors or colleagues and correctly have the RN: date on them) are not “DO IT NOW!” urgent.

The book will still be there.

Even as I sit here typing I am thinking and worrying about what isn’t getting done now and wondering how I can get it all done tonight.

No more afternoon coffee. No more burning the midnight oil. Less cranky Kathy, which is far less than what God has invited me to be. No more being too tired to actually be present to what God has for me.

May 40 days simply be.


  1. Melody Harrison Hanson March 5, 2014

    My husband is a night owl too. And the more music he makes down in his studio the more he’ll keep old age from creeping in. Still has to get up for his day job though and at 53 that gets harder and harder. We agreed a long time ago (twenty years) that he cold stay up as long as he needed to as long as no-one had to pay for it in the am. No pity parties! ANYWAY this sounds like it will be good for you.

    • Kathy Khang March 5, 2014

      Melody, yes because I am also finding that my night owl tendencies continue to wreak varying levels of havoc with my depression. And since the older I get the more the payment seems to be in the morning, God and I decided this year the sleeping to be present thing might be a good one to try.

      Though it did cross my mind that one year it ought be nail polish…or makeup all together for the 40 days.

      • Melody Harrison Hanson March 6, 2014

        I wondered about that when I read this. Definitely sleep is integral to good health and managing my depression.

        It’s so hard to be a mature grown up! 🙂 Exercise and what I eat are also very important and they are the first to go when I get down.

        • Kathy Khang March 6, 2014

          Yes, yes, and YES! I knew things were way off for me a few years ago when I was in a good exercise/eating rhythm but could not for the life of me shake the weight off of my mind and soul. For so many reasons I waited until I just couldn’t wait anymore and talked to my doctor about depression. There are still days, but nothing like that long season.

          On a connected note, I was in my pjs in my bed by 10:45 last night. I don’t know when I fell asleep but I woke up this morning. I can’t say it was an easy morning, but it was another morning.

  2. Michelle Graham March 5, 2014

    You are describing my life. Down to the last detail. So now I must go journal about it. Probably at night. After everyone else is sleeping.

    • Kathy Khang March 5, 2014

      Bahahahaha! I will say that I am I grateful there will not be any staff meetings where FOMO would be the cause of my self-inflicted exhaustion, which has also meant I could not stay awake for sessions.

  3. rdixon1365 March 5, 2014

    Thanks Kathy. This is powerful. I’m curious; what’s your new bedtime goal?

    • Kathy Khang March 5, 2014

      That is a great question. We were just talking about this over dinner. I was thinking right after the news – 10:30 pm, though I also realized that we have older kids with varying schedules, school projects, etc. which means I will have to extend some grace when holding hard and fast to the time will be closer to holding to the spirit of the fast. (Oooh, see what I did there?)

      • rdixon1365 March 5, 2014

        I do see what you did there and well done. Blessings in this adventure!

  4. swithrowking March 9, 2014

    Oh my gosh, Kathy. Me, too. You nailed it!


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