Early on this Summer, I discovered a thing called getting enough sleep, and my life felt forever changed. I spend most of the year working late and yet still trying to get up early, because it makes me feel productive. Working normal hours gave me a chance to go to sleep at a normal adult time, so that I was actually rested when my alarm went off in the morning. I was going through some emotional things, and I thought it best to just be super nice to myself for a while and get some sleep.
I can’t remember the exact timeline, but know for a while I felt super human. I thought I had discovered the secret of life: eight hours of sleep and two cups of coffee. I was on top of the world for a while, but after finishing all the guest posts, exhaustion hit me. My arms actually felt tired, as if they were exhausted from reaching for that keyboard. Or, as a friend smartly pointed out, probably from being tense while writing all those words. So I was nice to myself for a couple weeks.
I found myself exhausted again last week, and even just walking home from work in the heat felt like a big production. It’s hot. Really hot. And not having a car means walking everywhere, and even though I was walking almost everywhere before, it turns out that almost makes a difference. Walking to work in the morning, there’s a part where I’m headed dead East, and I feel like I’m walking straight into the sun. I was so exhausted one day that let’s just say I have a new appreciation for Sam and Frodo. I probably wouldn’t make it to Mordor.
For a lot of years, I had stress and adrenaline on my side. They hid from me how I was really feeling. Now it seems like my body is saying, actually you do need sleep and how about eating real food and let’s save drinking for the weekends. I’ve still managed to remain productive, but I’ve compromised because it’s hot and I’m tired.
I could approach this from a theological perspective, but that seems unnecessary. Of course the way you feel physically affects how you think and what you can do. And I’ve been getting by on well enough for many years, but I would like to feel better than well enough. I’m working on taking better care of myself if for no better reason than that it serves creativity.