Sleep rx

I had my first good night’s sleep in a long time last night. That doesn’t sound like much of an accomplishment, but it is. I was so tired and so worn out, that it devolved into an Ouroboros of insomnia where my mind was going too fast and my heart raced too much that the thing I wanted most eluded me in a vicious cycle.

It hadn’t been that bad since when the kids were newborns. I used to literally keep track of the hours I’d slept just so I can tell myself in the morning if the night was “good enough” or not. Of course, I was spending more time awake than actually asleep and came to actively dread going to bed, but that’s a different thing.

Lying there, wigging out, I used to think about what if people had literal switches where you could turn them off instantly like a machine. There wouldn’t be a gradual process, just click and you’re out; guaranteeing rest.

I could have definitely used such an augment over the weekend. Also, in a home where I’m typically fighting with my munchkins to go to sleep, I’ve definitely thought about the implications of installing such a switch in them would be too.

When they were baby-babies, I posed myself a philosophical question on a near nightly basis. What if babies had an off switch? But here’s the catch, it was literally an off switch. They weren’t going to sleep like my later sleep-starved thought, but were ceasing to be for however long they were off. Turn them back on again and they were technically alive once more. They wouldn’t grow while off and if you wanted to help your kid sleep, they’d need to be in the “on” position. Follow me so far? OK that wasn’t the question. That’s just the rhetoric.

My philosophical question was: In a world where we could turn newborns off with a switch, how “old” would they actually be? How much longer would that newborn state be preserved?

I guarantee you that after trying to be responsible with such a system, I’d cave in like a week and start trading off nights. One night of sleep for me. One night of sleep for them. My kids might just now be clearing their first “birthday” instead of the two plus years old they actually are.

Sleep and I have always had a weird relationship. My wife loves it. It feels good. It empowers her and she needs like 10 hours every night just to feel normal.

Me? I hate sleep. I think it’s such a waste of time. We spend a third of our lives (well, not me. No now, apparently) asleep and doing nothing. If I could give up sleep without consequences, I’d do so in a heartbeat.

Think of it this way. If someone lived to be 60 years old, then 20 years – 20 years – of that person’s life are spent just lying there. If you gave me the choice of a place to shut down or 20 years of stuff, I’ll take the stuff, please.

I’d always wanted to write a story about a character who’s only superpower was that he didn’t have to sleep. He wouldn’t necessarily be punching bad guys, but he’d be a well-read, artistic, and pretty productive dude.

One of these days I still may write that story.

The flip side to all of this is just because you have more time doesn’t mean you’re more productive. Hell, it could mean the opposite because there’s no rush. What if instead of the most cultured and interesting person, not having to sleep made the most boring and sluggish? Instead of practicing art or a new language with his spare time, he just binge-watched Netflix.

Maybe that’s the story I should be writing …

There’s Still A Little Bit of Wick Left …

My eyes feel like they’re about to melt into a goopy mess and dribble out of their sockets as I type this. I spent most of the day going over spreadsheets and data and verifying said data and inputting new data and putting a lot of X’s in a lot of boxes. That’s not typically something I do, so I’m definitely feeling some Excel Fatigue (is that a thing?) right now.

Speaking of fatigue, it ended up working out yesterday that I had two long overdue doctor’s appointment back to back. Somehow, fate was on my side for once and I was able to schedule the optometrist and the dentist on the same afternoon. It had been 2(?) years since my last eye exam and at least a year since my last dental check up. I was convinced that after so much time, this recent brow-furrowing and eye strain was just as much a precursor to something wicked this way comes as those shadow spots between my molars they are supposedly “watching.”

So imagine my surprise when the optometrist tells me my eyes basically haven’t changed. I could use a new pair of glasses though, as my current ones look pretty “beat up.” The dentist, who was sure to deliver a hammer blow of bad news, told me that nothing’s changed. Keep on flossing, brushing and rinsing and they’ll x-ray everything next time. If they’re not worried, I’m not worried. Good to know that my aches and pains are self inflicted war wounds of my hectic life rather than something more sinister. I am not, in fact, falling apart. Although after their dilation yesterday and LED retinal flaring today, I think my eyes are ready for little rest.

Oh man, that makes me want to watch Daredevil. Guys, the episode ended with him getting caught by the cops. The cops!

I also found out that there’s a light at the end of my work tunnel as, supposedly, a replacement for my old position is to be hired by next week. I’ll believe it when I see it, but just the thought of it … well, I thought it would be squeal-inducing, but I think I may just break down and sob tears of relief. If I do, I’ll get a picture …

But all of this has somehow made me motivated to really tear into my current novel. I’m maybe 20-25% in and there’s a lot left to cover, but I’m ready to kick it up a notch. This double-job business has put me back long enough. Too long. It might have been worth it if they’d been paying me double salaries, but alas. So I’m ready to devote as much of myself to my own endeavors as I can. Lately that hasn’t been a lot, but I’m so frustrated with work-work that the idea of coming home to continue my own work actually sounds appealing. I’ve been jotting some snippets and the start of threads down so I can hit the keys running as soon as I have a quiet minute to myself. This novel HAS to be finished before August. After then I won’t have a quiet minute for a long, long, loooooooong time.

Or so I’m told.

One-Two Punch

I mentioned on Wednesday about hoping to see the critters come climbing out of the trees – I don’t know if they are in fact monkeys. Maybe ethereal monkeys? We can work this out later – and boy did I need them yesterday. So my writing routine was interrupted per usual. At this point, is it really a routine anymore if I barely follow the same schedule two days in a row? Put that on the agenda for next meeting too while you’re at it … Anyway, I had just finished one project and was looking down the barrel of another one coming my way later that afternoon. I had about 45 minutes to myself. It was going to happen then or it wasn’t going to happen at all. I didn’t have the luxury of inspiration or warmup or any kind of prewriting. I jumped in with the sharks.

I have to say, I think it went pretty well. Cranked out about 700 words. It’s true that once the critters start showing themselves, they like to hang around if you keep coming back to them. I hit a bullet point on my outline and advanced the scene in a satisfactory way. I’m pleased with the results. In times past I most likely would have just dicked around those 45 minutes and chalked yesterday up as a wash, figuring I’d make it up to myself by writing again on Friday. Just like I don’t like working out too late in the day, I really don’t like writing the more the day drags on. I get distracted and tired and it’s like pulling teeth to put words down. But yesterday I wouldn’t give myself the luxury of an out. You can’t always have the opportunity to write when you want to. Sometimes the job needs to be done whether you like it or not.

The other highlight of yesterday is that I hooked up our Apple TV. With the babies coming, we keep talking about cancelling cable to save whatever money we can. It’s a pretty scary concept as cable has become quite the safety blanket in our lives. However, last night I finally experienced the majesty of Apple TV. Yes, we’ve streamed Netflix and Hulu and all sorts of things from a laptop to the TV, but never has it been so seamless! It was probably because there wasn’t a bunch of other programs vying for RAM space, but man, it was like watching whatever show we wanted at the touch of a button. It was hard to stop consuming media.

I finally got around to watching the first episode of the Daredevil series and I’m already in love with it. The chemistry between Matt and Foggy is perfect, the show’s choices are smart and edgy, and it’s even shot and framed in a particular cinematic experience that just oozes style. It makes me miss my old Daredevil trades. (They were a casualty when I moved and had to pare down my comic book collection.) This show scratches so many itches for me, I don’t think I could have made a better version if they’d given me complete creative control and an unlimited budget. Granted, I’m only an episode in, but having read comic books since I was 12 years old, this fills a void in my life that so many mainstream books no longer seem to hit. I’ll write a post about this soon as comics have been – and still are, I guess – such a large part of my life growing up. But for now, I want to end on a good note.

Consistent writing? Check.

New source of TV? Check

Work done for the week (for the most part)? Check

I think its time for more Daredevil, don’t you?