Monday, February 04, 2008

Pushing midnight

I promised myself that I would come home from work and go straight to bed. As usual, this is proving to be more difficult in practice than in theory. It is not because I am wide awake - I'm not. I'm actually quite tired. And for all the worrying about how the lack of computers at work for a couple hours would affect us, it really ended up being a non-issue on my shift so that just goes to show where worrying gets you.

Every time I work the evening shift, I think "I'm going to go home and get right in bed and get a good night's sleep so that I can be fresh for the morning." This is especially essential when I have to get up and be back to work at 7AM the next day, but even then, it's hard for me to convince myself that going to bed is the best option. I used to say that I could get so much more done in my life if I didn't have to waste time sleeping. When I was in college, I used to stay up until the most ungodly of hours, either journaling or playing games or goofing around on ISCABBS (nerd alert.) So legendary was my propensity to late nights that it was not unusual for me to get phone calls at 3AM and not even think twice about it. Sadly, I am no longer 21 and do not bounce back from that kind of thing as quickly or as easily as I used to.

I think the reason I resist going to bed is because I don't sleep incredibly well. I feel like I wake up A LOT. I usually have a hard time falling asleep and even though I have drugs for that if I need them, I have to be in a bad way to use them because, well, I'm a pharmacist and I've been trained to minimize pharmaceutical use. And when I do sleep, I dream like crazy. While sometimes, they are those dreams that are refreshing and enhance my sleep experience, usually they are those dreams that are disturbing, full of images I don't understand and bother me long after I've gotten out of bed and tried to start my day. At least recently, that's how it's been.

I know that if I did even a little bit of exercise, my sleep would probably improve. I am full of good intentions in that realm, but never seem to be able to make the time. I'm always either too tired or working a weird schedule or chalk it up as yet one more thing that would keep me from being with my family. The red wine I'm drinking right now probably doesn't help either, but damn it feels so good after a hard night at work. I have always been so much more of a wine guy than a beer guy, even though Stella Artois is quite good. It makes me long for the lazy summer Sundays at Prairie Moon Winery.

So for now, I keep on keeping on, for it's all I know how to do. But the last year has seen so many changes in me, in how I look at life and how I approach life's inevitable problems. These changes have provided me with great joy and great sorrow. And keeping on keeping on is, frankly, getting old. I do realize a lot of this has to do with the never-ending winter and I've been much better at taking care of myself as far as my SAD goes these days. I've been kinder to myself and allowed myself the fun things that make life worth living rather than just trying to take on everything and cut myself no slack.

Right now, I wish I could find just 15 dollars to go buy Casey Stratton's new record, but honestly, every last cent in this paycheck is spoken for. So I will be patient and wait one little week at which point I can purchase it completely guilt free. Sorry Casey, you'll have to wait a bit for my money!

And with that, I'm off to bed. I will hope for the best.


Anonymous said...

...and this is me telling a pharmacist to try an herbal supplement. ;) I've been taking valerian root to help me sleep, and so far it's done well.

Dan said...

That's a good idea! I had completely forgotten about it. And this pharmacist who is usually completely skeptical of anything not FDA approved will try any port in a storm.

Matt said...

I understand completely. I have the hardest time going to bed, because going to bed means that you are giving up...the very next thing on the agenda is more work!

Seinfeld has a bit about this...about how "nighttime guy" hates "morning guy".