When There Is No Time For Sleep, Progress Suffers

Maybe it’s my hypochondria but I am always worried that one day my mind will completely slip. One day I’m a semifinalist in the Writers Of the Future contest, the next day I can’t type a coherent sentence.

I’m convinced that one day my wife will find me caught in a loop in front of the mirror repeating, “It’s the future, it’s the future…” over and over like Leonardo DiCaprio in the Aviator.

So last week when I got confused about where I was (TWICE), I became a bit concerned that it was the prelude to full scale, underwear on my head, shit on my face, mental breakdown.

The first time it happened, I was driving home at 10:00pm from teaching a Tuesday night class on blueprint reading, when I suddenly thought I was on the wrong highway.

In my defense, it was pitch dark out and the lights from the dog food plant did resembled the lights of Greenville. And I was sort of zoned out driving the same 45 minute drive I have driven the past 1200 times over the past three years – literally. However, after a few seconds I realized where I was and continued home.

Then Thursday it happened again. This time it was on my way to Vicksburg (a two hour drive I’ve been making twice a week for the past two years). It was early in the morning and I was listening to the news when I suddenly realized that I was on the road to Jackson.

Again, in my defense, the roads are one in the same. Highway 49 Splits at Yazoo City – one way goes to Vicksburg and the other to Jackson.

I hadn’t yet made it to Yazoo but I was completely disorientated for about 20 seconds (which seems a lot longer when you think you’ve lost your mind).

At this point a began to wonder if my room mate at the mental institute would be a quiet catatonic sort or a lively “I SEE SPIDERS” type of mental patient.

Then a few nights later, I was teaching class and I was so tired I couldn’t quit yawning. That’s when it happened. I was trying to divide 1 1/2 by 2. Now I knew the answer in my head but I simply couldn’t do the math on the board to get there. The class must have thought I’d been drinking.

That’s when I realized I was just exhausted.

“My candle burns at both ends; it will not last the night; but ah, my foes, and oh, my friends – it gives a lovely light!” – Edna St. Vincent Millay

Aside from not sleeping well in general and having the cardio capacity of 90 year-old chain smoker, I’ve been working two jobs for the past two weeks (and will continue until Easter). Mondays start at 5:30am and doesn’t end until I get home around 10:00pm. Then after watching a little TV to wind-down I get to sleep around midnight. By Wednesday morning I’m a zombie.

Research has found that after 17 hours without sleep alertness and wakefulness is similar to the effects of a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05 percent — after 24 hours of not sleeping, about the equivalent of a BAC of 0.1 percent, according to the report.

Wednesday, I got some bad news about a friend that kept me up that night and then Thursday and Friday blurred into one another, so that by Saturday I was spent.

Aside from feeding the animals (and myself) I accomplished fuckall this weekend. Saying I fed the animals was my way making myself feel more accomplished.

Truth is, it takes about a minute to let the chickens out in the morning and about 3 minutes to put the chickens up and feed the cat and dog at night. So I had a grand total of 4 minutes of productivity.

By the way, if you are a homesteader, leave a comment below on how long it takes each day to tend your animals. Even if you move cows, I can’t imagine it takes more than about 1 1/2 hours.

The cold temperatures and drizzling rain didn’t exactly spur me to get off the couch either.

However, the cold weather won’t last much longer and in a matter of weeks it will be time to split hives and start breeding queens.

So last night, I went to sleep at 10:00pm and rather than watching TV when I get home tonight, I will go straight to bed. Hopefully Ben Franklin was right, “Early to bed and early to rise…” well, you know the rest.

Also, since Lent starts this Wednesday, I will be giving up my 12 Coke Zero a day habit. I chose that because… Well BECAUSE I DRINK 12 COKE ZEROS A DAY – there is no way that is healthy. Besides, I read a study that said Aspartame could contribute to certain Thyroid conditions.

Maybe the reduced caffeine will also help my sleep… that is, of course, if I don’t have a psychotic break when I go into caffeine withdraws. Well here’s to hoping I hallucinate about naked fairy princesses and not flying spiders. Happy Lent!

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