I had too much caffeine in the day. These days, 2 cups means too much. Which meant I couldn’t sleep at all. I worked, wrote emails, read reports, few articles, an unfinished book, got random ideas for work and wrote them down in the dark on my phone, daydreamed while I should be sleeping, but still no sleep has happened. I could go on reading, but my body and brain revolted against all the reading. At the same time, they were not being any friendlier towards sleep. This has been happening for the past few days.
I was sleeping a good 7 hours during my holidays. I had only 1 cup of coffee and I was walking a lot. Now that I’m back, the proportions of walking and caffeinating(?) have changed. Thus this spree of sleepless nights.
And a lot of sluggishness through the day. I think the cure for it might be going for a whole night and a whole day of sleeplessness to reset the clock. I’m going to try it for tomorrow. And stay away from caffeine.
The thing about such nights is that the brain gets a lot of thinking done, even though much of it is in a state of fantasizing about the future. There are moments of inspiration, with truly brilliant ideas and leaps of thought. And you want to hold on to them and put them down into words, but the harsh lights of phone deter you from note-taking. At those moments, I wish there were ways to have your thoughts typed up automatically. And then have a way of editing them into coherence.
Unfortunately, I’m not living in the future. So I did take my phone out to jot down all my crazy ideas about work when I got to thinking about work-life balance. And no matter what I forced myself to think about, it all came down to be related to work somehow. After a few attempts, I gave up and realized that if I let myself just float from idea to idea, the lines eventually blurred and it all seemed interconnected, meaningful, holistic.
At work, we keep talking about giving children a holistic education. Thought it might be good for me to start thinking of living a holistic life. This holiday did a whole lot of good to me!! It’s made me think that there’s more to life and the world than what I currently see, grasp and choose to do. It has made me think about having some new life goals and I’m hoping that view of life would stay even when storms at work would try to sweep me into their tempting chaos of workaholism.
I’ve been reading excerpts from Insomniac City (seemed appropriate tonight) on various sites and I’m thinking insomnia might be a blessing in disguise. Not just to get more work done, but just more time to do all the living you want to.. It’s not enough to just be productive at work, wanting to have a holistic life means I also want to be productive at life- get more done, suck the marrow out of every available minute and such. But a somewhat sensible voice in the back of my head reminds me that it might be beneficial to also have a somewhat balanced life. It is good to get the right amount of sleep.
But it’s just one of those “right” things I tell myself but never actually do. I love sleeping but also find it a big waste of time. It’s that sort of unhealthy relationship with sleep which means I overdo it at times and then it eludes me for a long while when I need it most.
For many many years, I spent a lot of sleepless nights thinking about climate change and global warming making it impossible for anything to happen during day time and then the whole world will function only at night. So that everyone wakes up at night, goes on about their work and life and love during the dark hours and goes to sleep in the wee hours. I told myself that such a world could come to be soon. Then I’d truly be able to get some guiltless sleep and function at peak productivity. It’s been more than 7 years and the world still hasn’t changed.
There are times when I can afford to stay up all night and not worry about what happens through the day with other mortals. Those were days when life was truly blissful because your work only depended on you and not others. You could live your own life and have your own schedule. But adulting and responsibility and working with others somehow demands that you wake up early. I did that for a while and could see that I got a lot of work done and it gave me a lot of time in the day. I’d be fine with sleeplessness if I could still manage to wake up early and have a productive day, but this particular kind of sleepless makes you less productive than a pebble.
I think I came here to write because this quote from Insomniac city resonated with me in this weirdly raw way that quotes sometimes do.
“The most we can do is to write — intelligently, creatively, evocatively — about what it is like living in the world at this time.” ~ Oliver Sacks
I’m wondering if I should make writing a habit to go with this sleeplessness. It’s more productive than the tossing and turning and thinking aimlessly. Even though I do love the places this aimlessness takes me to. But when it comes to habits, I’m terrible at productive habits. Habits suggest some amount of deliberation and discipline, or in the case of unproductive and unhealthy ones, a complete lack of moderation and control. I’m more prone to the latter kind than the former. So if it writing at such hours is a truly bad habit, I think it will stick. There are many other bad habits to take recourse to though. Browsing through hundreds of pictures on Instagram, meme-surfing, reddit spirals all compete for attention. But writing this while listening to some Norah Jones has felt much better than doing any of the others. My body is aching now- it’s like my bones want to go to sleep but I’m keeping them awake.
A part of me wants to finish this cycle by going through the motions tomorrow while another wishes for such hours of thinking and writing in the dark and silent hours to continue. I have calls to do in five hours and my heart is beating at an unhealthily fast pace, so I think I should stop rambling now.
P.S – A thousand odd words! Difficult to let go of this greed for validation with numbers even in this state!