I know that everyone is tired and busy nowadays, but today I seem to have finally hit the wall that made me go, “Oh shit.”
Maybe it’s because lately, even though I have a lot (see: A LOT) of stress in my life, I’ve been feeling pretty calm and well-balanced. I think a great deal of this new, somewhat zen mindset is due to the fact that I cut all of the toxic people, gossip, and drama out of my life throughout the spring and summer. I also exercise regularly, which helps me clear my mind and helps regulate stress and all those good things.
But today I didn’t feel zen. I didn’t feel calm or balanced. From the second I woke up this morning, I felt like hell. Physically, everything hurt. I fought an insane can’t-open-my-eyes headache all the way until about 7pm.* Mentally, I felt outright angry and sad. Like my entire world was crashing down around me and I couldn’t do anything about it. Everything and everyone was irritating to me and everything I had to do felt like too much. One of my friends texted me and asked how I was and all I could think to say was “Frustrated.”
Because I’m not sleeping.
Guys, I seriously feel like this:
My name is Andrea and I am IRRESPONSIBLE about my sleeping patterns.
Sometimes it’s like I’m trapped between two worlds of awake-ness.
I’m surprisingly perky early in the morning. Once you get me out of bed, I’m like, obnoxiously perky. I like the feeling of being up early – you know, rising with the sun (or before it, in prairie winters), getting shit done, really taking care of business and feeling productive. Feeling like a part of the “everyday” world. Like one of society’s good members. Yeah.
But at heart, I’m a nighthawk. My creativity and productivity hit a peak somewhere between about 10pm and 3am, and I love being able to get shit done during the quiet of a late night. Especially writing. But when I live by myself, I also like cooking, cleaning, taking bubble baths, doing laundry, having solo dance parties in my underwear, watching movies, whatever, all in the wee hours of the morning. I’m totally fascinated by insomnia and the idea of living in the “graveyard shift” world. Because while we’re asleep, there’s so much going on. A lot of people start their jobs when normal folk go to sleep. And it’s a totally different life. I’m drawn to it like a magnet.
SIDENOTE: As I write this, it’s almost midnight. I work at 8:30am tomorrow morning. I should be in bed.
Some of my jobs** lend themselves to the nighthawk’s lifestyle. Like I said, mostly writing. Sometimes I can be a productive writer during the day, but I can almost always be a productive writer between 10pm and 3am, sometimes later if I let myself stay up. When I did a lot of work in theatre, I was always working at night, whether it be directing a rehearsal or working box office at a local venue. Even teaching Zumba® is primarily an evening gig for me.
But also, a lot of life happens during the day. All the appointments I make need to be during the traditional 9-5 hours. My freelance clients expect me to be available (obviously and rightfully) between “business hours.” I’m starting a new job tomorrow that happens during business hours. That’s when most stores are open. It’s just when “everyday” life happens. So naturally I need to participate in life during those hours.
Lately, I’ve been pulling some serious doubletime. Awake early in the morning until late at night/early in the morning.
I tend to carry on this way until my body says “NO, GRACIAS,***” (see: today) and I crash. Usually I crash in a succession of crashes until I really CRASH and sleep for 10-11 hours in a night (see: somewhere around Friday or Saturday). Then I’ll have “normal” sleep patterns for a wee bit, and then the cycle begins again.
But today I felt worse than I’ve felt in a long time. Bad enough to kind of scare myself. I remember a time when I felt this shitty about life every single day, and I never want to feel like that again.
So, today is the day. Sleep patterns change now. You’re watching me learn my lesson, live, like on reality TV!****
I feel like hell. Like, right now. But I’m going to bed. And when I post this in the morning, I will have only slept 5-6 hours. But tomorrow’s another day, and I’m going to try to do better.
That’s all I can ask of myself, right?
*When I woke up from a nap and drank a bunch of water. Genius.
**One of my biggest problems? The fact that I just said “jobs,” plural. And I don’t mean two. I mean somewhere between four and six with varying time commitments.
***Shout out to my girl, Louise!
****Only not nearly as exciting or scandalous. (Or scripted.)