For years I’ve used the expression “it’s pumpkin time” or “I’m turning into a pumpkin” as a way of indicating that it is time for me to go to bed. Most of the time it’s understood but occasionally someone looks at me sideways like I’ve just sprouted a second head. No my name is not Zaphod Beeblebrox, I am just referencing what I consider to be the most well known fairy tale in Western Culture.
Ya know…Cinderella? When the clock strikes midnight and it’s time for her to go home the carriage reverts back into a pumpkin a.k.a. pumpkin time! Well that’s how I describe bedtime anyway. My bedtime has been lacking in discipline lately and it’s definitely taking a toll. I just have so much I’m always trying to get done and it never seems to let up. That’s partially my fault and certainly was last night. I once read that there is a distinction between people who live genuinely difficult lives (2+ jobs, commuting on public transit) and people who take on too much. The former don’t tend to blow off friends because they are “so busy” but rather are just simply tired. All the time. Whereas your average yuppie who is driving the kids to a million different extracurriculars, or me yesterday trying to do a baker’s dozen things at once, would describe themselves as busy rather than tired. SO I guess last night I only brought it on myself.
Most of the time however I would categorize myself in the “tired/exhausted” camp and that’s mostly because my commute and job take a lot out of me. I mean I spend at minimum 14 hours of my day getting ready for work/commuting/working/commuting/getting unready. That really only leaves 10 hours for anything else. If I were going to try to set my pumpkin time to an hour that would provide 8 hours sleep that would leave 2 hours each evening for me to do something other than work.
Really not much is it? That’s not even enough time to watch most of the superhero flicks that have come out recently. So yes I sacrifice some sleep to do things I want to do and I suppose that makes me more guilty of self-inflicted pain than not. I just can’t bring myself to not constantly overachieve.
The only problem is that with less sleep comes less patience and a general anxiety when people do things that I perceive to be time wasters. I get aggravated quite easily if I have to repeat myself and if I can predict what someone is saying, I often will interrupt them and respond to their question/statement before they even have a chance to finish. It’s a particularly unlikeable habit I think to most people I interact with. I don’t mean to be rude, it’s just that I am tired and trying to get through a to do list I’m always tacking things on to. Sleep loss is bad for all of us and tends to bring out the worst in people. I wrote about that in a past post with a recipe for some great midnight cookies and I should know better. Still I can’t help but push myself. I don’t think anyone but other highly driven people can understand it. The compulsion is so strong to accomplish, achieve and advance.
I conversely don’t understand people who don’t have this inner motivator constantly urging them onward. That tends to also cause a lot of conflict with people I interact with who are anything but a type-A personality. In fact I should probably never again date someone who doesn’t at least understand my type-A is A-ness though preferably he would have a drive and will to match. I’m told that this will temper a bit with time–partly because I’ll mellow and mostly because I’ll no longer have the youthful stamina to run through the wall. As such I’m going to embrace it and utilize the springyness of my relatively young age for as long as I possibly can. I’m thankful for it though I hope to strike a little bit more of a balance than I’m currently maintaining. If only for the safety of others from my impatient wrath.
While it’s not Thanksgiving, pumpkin is usually consumed by the average american only during the 30 days or so surrounding that holiday. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: that’s a shame. Pumpkin is delicious and hands down one of my favorite flavors and so I adore these muffins. The batter seemed a bit too think when I made them so I increased the buttermilk by ¼ of a cup and rounded the pumpkin from ¾ to a full cup in the batter. That may be why I had enough batter for 15 average sized muffins. If you follow my steps and fill your muffin cups up ALL the way you can instead turn out 12 very generous muffins. Personally I like having something that is a smaller size. Calorically it’s better for you and Starbucks sized muffins tend to contain enough fat, sugar and calories to supplement a third of your day without filling you up nearly enough.
Pumpkin Spice Muffins Recipe
modified slightly from Dorie Greenspan’s “Baking from my home to yours”
Yield: 15 muffins Read more