Sleep

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I used to love to sleep. Ask anyone and they’ll tell you how much I treasured sleep. Poor Jeff — every night when I would crawl into bed, I would remark that it was my most favorite part of the day and then say something like “sweet, sweet sleep.”

I still love to sleep. But now I don’t get nearly as much.

When I was pregnant, I worried about how I would adjust to changes to my sleeping schedule. And, I had reason to worry because the changes were indeed drastic! Between labor and being alone in a hospital room with a new baby, I started off my motherhood adventure with a three-night sleep deficit. It was rough.

But, I was so happy. I actually remarked to someone during that time that I was “blissfully exhausted.”

Adele was not a good sleeper for the first — no joke — six or seven months of her life. I celebrated at 12 weeks when she slept for five solid hours for the first time. And, it’s only been in the past week (no kidding) that she has started sleeping completely through the night.

So, my sleep that I so cherished has been a bit scarce. And you know what? I barely care.

Motherhood is the craziest thing. So many things that were so important to me just aren’t anymore. They’ve been bumped off the list by the sweetest, snuggliest baby girl. Now my weekend mornings start at 6 a.m., just like my workday mornings. And for the most part it’s fine. Don’t get me wrong — I wish she would understand that she could stay snuggled in her crib for an extra hour or two on Saturdays. And there are times when I ask Jeff to get up with her if I’ve been up with her a few times throughout the night.

I still love to sleep, I do, but I love Adele more. She’s not always going to want to snuggle with me in the morning. She’s not always going to wear footy jammies and have sticky-uppy hair. She’s not always going to sit in her highchair, bang on her tray, and yell “ma-ma-ma-ma” while I get her breakfast ready. I have to relish these moments while they last.

Bye, bye retirement clock.

My retirement clock is dying.

In January of 2000, my dad sent me a clock labeled “Countdown to Retirement.” He was pretty pleased with himself for selecting such an appropriate gift for a bright-eyed girl who had just started her first “real job.” At the time, I think I had like 16,000+ days to work until I could retire (I can’t remember what age he based the countdown on…Jeff, can you do the math?) So, for all nine years of my professional life thus far, I have been keenly aware of how incredibly far away my retirement is. (I’m even more aware now thanks to Jeff’s faltering 401K and my diminishing TIAA-CREF fund.)

Well, last Friday, Jeff happened to be in my office, and he noticed right away that the screen on my digital retirement clock was…well, fading. And now it’s impossible to discern anything on the display besides the word “days,” which is somewhat fitting because it is days (and days and days and days) until I retire. A girl could get pretty depressed just thinking about it. And, let’s face it, with never-ending frigid temperatures and what feels like a total lack of sunlight this winter, this girl doesn’t need one more thing to bum her out.

I guess for now I’ll just hold on to the fact that it’s only 60 minutes until I can go home for the day.

Thank you, Josh Ritter

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Dear Josh Ritter: I barely know you, but you have restored my hope in the music industry by having one of the most helpful, comprehensive, easily accessible websites for promoters of your show to utilize. A downloadable photo prominently featured? Excellent! A bio and press release available for download into a Word document? Brilliant! A user-friendly menu of options? Fantastic.

I may not be at your concert at Messiah on March 27, but I will be thinking fondly of you and your management team while we work on the news release and other materials to promote your show.

All the best,
Beth

I guess it’s hip to be obscure

A large part of my responsibilities as assistant director of public relations at Messiah is coordinating our media relations efforts. A significant portion of that work is devoted to helping various groups on campus promote their events — lectures, concerts, performances, etc.

Messiah hosts a lot of concerts each semester: at least one a week and then two or three bigger name shows on select weekends. I am finding that it is getting more and more challenging to locate any meaningful information about the bands and performers.

I just got off the phone with a publicist who took exception to my frustration that the band she represents has very little useful information available online. Like no biography for instance. Or downloadable photo that I can include with the news release. But, they sure have a spiffy MySpace site where I can listen, listen, listen to their songs and read all their crazed teenage fans gushing about how “awesome” they are. Yippee.

A few weeks ago, I was working on text for a series of concerts, and the only thing I could find about a particular performer was a list of what foods he liked and didn’t liked. Helpful.

Why are these new artists desiring to live in obscurity? I mean, really. If you’re trying to break into the popular music scene, wouldn’t you want people (fans, publicists, journalists alike) to easily access everything they might want or need to know about you? Not too many of them truly care whether you like Twizzlers or not, but, if they’re like me, they would probably like to know the names of the people in your band, when and where you got started, how many albums you’ve released, what the critics are saying about you and your music, and where you get your inspiration.

Ok…that’s enough ranting for now. I do feel better though. And, while I was typing this, the publicist sent a photo I can use with my news release. Great. Back to work.

A cowboy restores my hope

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My sweet husband, knowing how distraught I was by the subway incident mentioned in my blog post yesterday, sent me an e-mail today that simply said, “After yesterday, I thought you could stand to read this story.” The story he is referring to is about Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo who stopped to help a couple change their tire while driving home from the airport after his game on Sunday.

Now, before you get all cynical about athletes promoting their good deeds and charitable causes, let me assure you that Tony’s (I’m so proud of him that I’m going to assume the familiarity necessary to simply call someone by their first name.) good deed was not publicized by him or anyone on his team of marketers and agents. Rather, the woman with the flat tire took the time to notify a writer at the “Fort Worth Star-Telegram.” She was so impressed that someone of Tony’s prominence would stop to help her and husband that she had to brag on him a bit. I’m glad she did. I feel just a tiny bit better.

I also feel better because when I talked to Freddy last night at youth group about the subway situation, he interrupted me mid-story and indignantly declared that he would have wrestled the hammer attacker to the ground. Love that kid.

There is hope!