First learn the meaning of what you say, and then speak. Epictetus, Greek Philosopher
Not that anyone has ever asked, but I thought that maybe I should explain (just in case the thought ever crossed your mind)…why hymningandhaing? If it sounds familiar and looks horribly misspelled, then you’re right on both accounts. The title is my take on the familiar idiom “hem and haw.”
When I began writing this blog in 2011, I planned to share bits and pieces of my faith along with my everyday life and I wanted a title that would reflect that theme (go with me on this one, the road is a little twisted here….) To hem and haw means to dither, refuse to give a definitive answer and to keep one’s options open (according to The Word Detective at least.) So while the more familiar version of hemming and hawing connotes a level of indecisiveness, uncertainty and fence-sitting, my interpretation is a little more personal. The “hymning” part is a playful way of suggesting that while I’m a pastor’s wife, I am also the least literate hymn person in the congregation! I didn’t grow up in church so for the most part the hymnal is full of dozens of songs I’ve never, EVER heard of. Not exactly what you’d expect from the so-called “first lady of the church,” (a title that makes me giggle every time!) While this might seem like a sad state of affairs, the “haing” part of the title (pronounced ha-ing…like ha, ha, ha) suggests that I try to take all this in stride and accept the fact that no matter what role I find myself in (wife, mother, sister, friend, etc.) I always try to find the lighter side of things and not take myself too seriously. Afterall, NONE of this was my plan. I am just grateful that God’s plans are so much bigger than anything I could have imagined for myself! And that’s where the original hemming and hawing meets my variation. I don’t know where all this is going or how it will all play out. For the most part, I try to stay open to the possibilities, be thoughtful in all situations and just wait and see…realizing that I don’t have all the answers (if any at all.)
So that’s it. It’s definitely not an earth shattering revelation. Just a little insight. Although I will admit that it makes me belly laugh every time someone mispronounces the blog title! My favorite to date is when someone asked me why I call it hymning-and-HAYing…is it because I live on a farm? (No, I don’t.) 🙂
I stay up late every night and realize it’s a bad idea every morning. —unknown
As I near 40, I’m almost ashamed to admit it. Almost. But here’s my confession: When it comes to sleep I am my own worst enemy. I think I might have jinxed myself as a kid when I muttered that both food and sleep were overrated. While I still hold these tenets to be true, I have come to discover that sleep is pretty vital (I’m sure food is, too…I just don’t want to admit it or PREPARE it.)
It’s not that I don’t need sleep. Trust me, I NEED it! It’s just that my clock is “off.” I could try blaming age, but my real trouble with sleep began way before that. It seems that at bedtime…I’m just not tired. As a child I remember sharing a room with my little sister and after lights out, we would simply stay up and talk…or sing. (We had these singing contests where we tried to win the other person over to our song. Popular catchy songs work well, but if I remember right, annoying brain worm songs like “Mary Had a Little Lamb” worked much better!) I also loved to tell stories and like an old woman I could spin a yarn that would go on for days. My poor sister! On more than one occasion I’d tell a story that would go on so long that she would fall asleep before it ended 🙂 It was slightly embarrassing…. Only slightly.
In junior high and especially high school, I continued my night owl ways. It wasn’t that I wasn’t tired. I really, really was! But afterschool activities, a social life and school work kept me up ’til the wee hours of the morning. (Before you jump to any conclusions let it be known that I stayed up way later for school work than for anything else! I know–I’m a NERD 🙂 ) For some reason, I always felt like I had more energy at night. 11pm seems to be peak time for me. To be fair, I have to admit that I am not a morning person. Not at all. Maybe that’s part of why I’m a night owl.
During my college years, being a night owl just went with the territory. We were all night owls…burning the candle at both ends. It wasn’t that big of a deal–nothing ever is at that age. Wake up early, stay up late…some nights sleep was more of a good idea than a reality. I can remember going to a Poe concert the night before a final, closing down the club, going out to breakfast, drinking my weight in coffee, studying for an hour and arriving on campus just in time to take a 7am final–and acing it. (Good genetics, I can thank my Mom for my test taking abilities!) This was the way life rolled and I loved it! Yes, sleep was overrated indeed. We are so invincible in our 20s….
One might think that motherhood would change everything. No. Now I had an excuse to be awake at all hours of the night. Pregnancy, middle of the night feedings, a colicky baby, illness of one kind or another, bad dreams, etc. All this and so much more just pushed my night owl tendencies to the next level because a sleeping child meant that I could have a moment to do what I wanted to do. You know, like watch a sitcom from beginning to end (forget movies…that’s asking for too much time,) have a snack and not have to share, catch up on correspondence, READ, and have a continuous thought (crazy, right?) Let me be clear, my late night tendencies have never had anything to do with insomnia (which sounds horrible!) It really is LIGHTS OUT once my head hits the pillow. It’s just that I can find a million and one things to do before going to sleep. Did I mention that I drink ALOT of coffee?
I’ve given my night owl tendencies a lot of thought lately. For the past few weeks I’ve noticed several news articles and studies that cite the need for better sleep habits…specifically MORE sleep and an earlier bedtime. At first I sort of brushed it off, but I’m starting to think that maybe I should take these things more seriously. These same studies say that a lack of sleep leads to poor memory, an inability to focus, impaired immunity, sluggish metabolism and WRINKLES. (Look, I claim not to be vain, but I don’t know a woman on the planet who’s “okay” with wrinkles!) So, what’s a girl to do? Change seems practically impossible. And let me just state for the record, this wouldn’t even be an issue if I could find a school district where classes didn’t start until 10am (that’s what I call a reasonable morning hour.)
My best friend recently told me that she has successfully made “the transition,” moving from night owl (she was my social counterpart in my early years) to morning person. I know–it just doesn’t seem possible! No longer does she fritter away the late night hours or need to set several alarm clocks to wake up in the morning. Instead she’s up with the sun and happy about it. So what’s her secret? She tells me that through prayer and discipline she has made a change for the better. Wouldn’t you just know it? Jesus is the answer (again!) I have to tell you that I’m not optimistic. It’s not that I don’t have faith…it’s more that I don’t know if I’m ready. Because you see EVERY part of me LIKES staying up late. It’s my chance to breathe, to sit without interruption, to find peace, READ and have a continuous thought all my own! (Notice a theme here?) I like being the only person awake in the quiet of our little home. Maybe it’s an introvert thing, but nighttime is MY TIME!
Okay, so someday (soon) I plan to grow up and get serious about sleep and taking care of myself. And when I do, I know (without a doubt) that Jesus will see me through. That and the threat of WRINKLES….