I’m tired. Jet-lagged. Irritable. Bloated. Itchy. Did I say tired? Hungry. Thirsty. Alone. Misunderstood. I said tired, right?
It’s been a long few weeks. I said a tearful farewell to my 17 year dog Max (see you on the Rainbow bridge, Boo-Boo Bear), traveled to both coasts with only a one day break in between and spread my mother’s ashes (she died this past November). Ever since I got back I’ve been working nonstop, making up for the 9 days I was out of the office. I can’t sleep.
I have two suitcases to unpack. My desk is a mess. My eyes are burning. I’ve been eating too many carbs. I’ve been snapping at my fiancé. Last night he forgot to turn his ringer off and his phone rang at 11:44pm. I had just fallen asleep. I wanted to light him on fire.
Planning back to back trips was a very bad idea. Lately I seem to be full of those.
I realized I have a sickness. I cram way too many things into way too short of a time frame. Every. Single. Day.
This worked great when I was in my 20’s. I was able to get through college and a full time job racing from one thing to the next. Often I would work a midnight-8am shift and then race to be at class by 9am. I kept up a house and for a while even raised my 13 year old sister. I didn’t seem to need much sleep back then.
My 30’s weren’t much different. Grad school. Demanding job. House. Husband. Two dogs. No sweat. Everything got done and everything was “perfect.” Got my 4.0 though no one seemed to care. I even had close to 6 pack abs. I didn’t seem to need much sleep back then.
My 40’s. Here’s where it gets interesting. The first few years- no sweat. I was still able to hustle because I was taking vitamins- lots and lots of vitamins. I was running a full practice during the day and teaching at night. But I was meditating. Reading self-help books on being Zen. I gave up gluten. Things were going great. I didn’t seem to need much sleep those first few years.
My Mid-40’s. Something’s seriously wrong here. I’m tired. Like, really tired. And no, it’s not Chronic Fatigue or Lyme disease. I don’t have a tumor or Lupus (as my sister suggested). I’m not depressed or bipolar. I’m not even peri-menopausal, though I do have a bit of a welcome to your 40’s merlot belly (wtf??) My real problem? I just need to sit the f*ck down.
The dilemma is I sit all day. I’m a writer. I’m a life coach. I literally sit ALL day either banging away on my keyboard or helping people with their life issues. So when I’m not doing either of those things (which is next to never) I don’t want to sit. But I need to relax. See my conundrum?
I’ve been trying to analyze my sickness. This morning I left the house 5 minutes late because I thought I had enough time to look up blow dry bars in my area. I’m so busy I don’t want to take time to dry and style my own hair. Lately I’ve been getting a weekly blowout and then using the hell out of some dry shampoo. After day 4 I’m afraid to cuddle with my fiancé for fear my hair smells like, well, dirty hair. He insists it smells great but I’m fairly certain he’s lying. I see his eye twitching.
I could write 10 blogs on punctuality (well, lack thereof) but this isn’t about being on time. This is about why don’t I leave when I should so I can relax and take my time driving and worry about looking up the blow dry bar later. Why do I have to cram that very last thing in that then makes me rush and feel flustered and then defeated when I hit the highway to discover there’s road construction and I would have been fine with it if I had just left 5 minutes sooner.
I once heard a saying: Be a human being not a human doing. It hit home. Somewhere along the line I turned into a human doing. An automaton. Some kind of superhero robot. How did that happen?
There are several reasons it probably happened. Growing up in poverty. Growing up with a mom who didn’t do even the most basic of tasks. Wanting a great life. And on and on.
Like everyone else, I’m craving that balance. “Work-life balance” I’ve heard people call it. Whatever the hell it is I want it. My body wants it. My soul craves it.
Someone asked me recently what my biggest fantasy is. I had to be honest. My biggest fantasy is traveling to an out of the way hotel with amazing black-out shades and sleeping. Alone. I would wear a sleep mask and ear plugs like dear Audrey in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I would put the Do Not Disturb sign up. I would bring my very cuddly stuffed bear. I would sleep for days. I might order room service once or twice and then go right back to sleep. No shower, no flossing: just sleep.
I keep saying one of these days I’ll do it. But I never do. Instead each week I see how many things I can cram in. It’s like Groundhog Day. I don’t realize I have just lived the same exact day as yesterday until it’s almost over.
I try to blame others for stealing my time and draining my energy. Why did “So and So” have to call so late? Why did “What’s His Face” have to invite me to his stupid barbeque? And so on.
From the outside looking in some may think I do a pretty good job with the whole “balance” thing. I work out. I eat right. I meditate. I journal daily. But lately these things have become tasks to check off my “To Accomplish” list (because To-Do lists are soooo 90’s). I’m going through the motions, often yawning and convincing myself I’m doing great. But all I can think about is sleep. And more sleep.
I NEED to fix this. I WANT to fix this. I DON’T KNOW HOW TO FIX THIS.
It’s time. It’s time to come up with an epic sleep plan. I’m fairly certain if I’m rested I can slow down and stop cramming. I really need to focus on both. Sleep more, do less. I’m going to need to do some intense research. This way I can come up with the BEST plan, because that’s how I do everything. And as soon as I have it I will share it with you.