Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Open Note to Self

Dear Genevieve,

You can not expect to get up at 4:30 in the morning if you keep going to bed at 11:30 at night. It is both unrealistic and demented. I know that you pride yourself on your ability to function on very little sleep, but I'm afraid that your perspective is horribly flawed. Mostly because of the term "function."

Sure, you're as capable of not sleeping as the next person, but the image you have of yourself as some kind of super human who can power nap between 3-5:00 in the morning, fix breakfast, clean the kitchen, write for two hours, shower, get the kids to school, put in a full day's work and then come home to do it all over again in the evenings is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. You will die.

I know how this misconception got started. Remember when you were 18 and you would stay up until 5:00 in the morning with your friends, and then show up to work at the coffee shop at 6:30?  You have this memory of how you were able to open the shop, work until 3:30, and then go back out again the next night. In reality what happened was you staggered around deliriously sipping iced coffee, which did nothing to curb your exhaustion, and then told your boss you were sick and had to go home by 10:00 am. And then you went out again that night. Perhaps if you had become addicted to cocaine you could have pulled off the kind of bad ass social life that you think you accomplished, but you didn't. If your manager at the time hadn't been constantly stoned you would have definitely been fired, and so the only way you really succeeded in this scenario is that you didn't lose your job because the cafe was run by substance abusers who were passive about their dysfunctional employees.

Your only responsibilities in the fall of 1993 were to serve coffee, pay your car insurance, party, and listen to Nirvana, and you barely had the energy to do those things. You weren't even in college yet! You had almost NOTHING to do, and you were tired.

This is the person that you are thinking of when you imagine yourself as someone who can get a whole lot of stuff done on a few hours of sleep. If you hadn't been so sleep deprived at the time, you might now have a clearer memory of how you really were but this is not the case. Your memory of yourself is a lie.

This brings us up to speed. It is 20 years later and I know this might come as a shock, but your body has aged. And your workload has fucking exploded. You to go to work, come home, cook dinner, help the kids with homework, force the kids to help you tidy the house, and then force them to go to bed. Then you have time for yourself, but if you're going treat yourself to some you time until 11:30, then you need to sleep until 6:00 and not 4:30. While it's admirable to try to wake up with the Amish and get an hour's worth of writing in before chaos of the day begins, it just ain't gonna happen unless you go to bed for 9:00. And that's not happening if you decide to start watching "Dr. Who" at 10:00.

But that's what you did last night, and so now you are on your lunch break and you are ready for bed. This is not good. I suggest that you go to a Starbucks and have a stoned 18 year old serve you a latte.

Stoned 18 year old baristas. The circle of life continues.

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