For a week or two every month, I find myself prone to insomnia. I lay in bed unable to sleep. I end up staying up later and later as days progress. Eventually it's sunrise and rather than rising before my children, I have yet to fall asleep. Adrenaline and sheer force of will provide me the ability to ensure they are properly cared for and sent away on the bus for another day at school. Often, adrenaline has kept me awake with such passionate energy that my face is flushed, I'm out of breath and my whole body is on fire. I begin to feel out of sync with my surroundings as my pulse increases. My body is now working in overdrive to keep me awake. I recognize my stupidity by this point and finally go to bed...only to still lay awake. Hours pass as I linger in bed, in and out of consciousness. Finally, I sleep only to rise a few hours later unrested and disappointed in myself.
Lack of sleep starts making me paranoid. It begins to alter my perception of reality and of time. I feel like I'm in a fog of illusion. I keep striving for productivity, only to find I am completely unmotivated.
Suddenly, I obtain an unexpected change in my routine. New clients. New responsibilities. Deadlines. Guidelines. Rules. Order. Expectations...
I begin willingly working these long hours until I crash and sleep while the kids are in school. I lose a day. I lose sunlight. I lose myself. I feel guilt and pressure myself even harder to complete a self-imposed deadline. I don't want to fail. I don't want my work to be a dissapointment. I don't want to endure the persistent questions or risk anger. I strive for perfection and forget that I am only human and always learning and evolving.
I've had to convince myself that endless late nights do not help my productivity. Though I have always been more creative in the silence of a late night, I can no longer waste my days. I have to better manage my time and prioritize. Learn to say no. Take only the work I want and can be the most creative, not the work I need for income to provide for my family or sustain my business.
The hardest part is not accepting this, but is through forcing myself to just let go and sleep. My work will still be waiting in the morning. If I can not realistically finish a project by staying up all night, then it's not worth my health and sanity. I am making changes, for if I do not...I will soon be living like nightmares that haunt my dreams.
Tommorow is the first day back to the routine of combining school and work priorities after a two week holiday break. My newfound determination begins now. Goodnight!