When I was in high school and college, I could stay up until three or four in the morning and easily sleep until two in the afternoon. When the sun became annoying, I would pull a dark t-shirt over my eyes and return to my slumber. When Ariella was in utero, everyone was telling me how much I was going to miss sleeping and how tired I would be. Yeah, my sleeping schedule became somewhat erratic for 12 weeks or so, but it was never awful, and I always found time and space to nap if it was really needed.
Only in the last three months have I started to be concerned about a lack of sleep and an inability to catch up on missed sleep. My typical week looks like this. Monday, wake for work at 5:20 AM and depart at 6:00 AM. Get home from work at 4:30 PM. Put Ariella to bed between 7:00 PM and 8:00 PM. Get into bed around 9:00 PM. Fall asleep around 11:00 PM. This pattern repeats with little variation through the week with at least one night inevitably lasting until midnight (last night in the case of today). You’d think six hours and 20 minutes would be sufficient, but I assure you, it is not. Furthermore, I regularly wake up around 4:30 AM for no apparent reason, but returning to sleep is impossible. I would guess that over the course of seven days, my average amount of sleep is between 5.5 and 6 hours.
The weekend isn’t much better. Saturday always starts before 8:00 AM. Often, I have things to do even earlier than that. This past week, I volunteered with Revolution at 7:00 AM, so I arose around 6:15 AM. Sunday, I have church, which in Annapolis calls for a 7:00 AM rise and shine. Inevitably, the weekend also makes for later nights, so there is no relief from the lack of sleep.
There are consequences. I have A.D.D. I don’t say that to be funny or anything. I legitimately have it. I currently have eight programs open on my computer and two on my Blackberry and I have interrupted this writing experience multiple times to do something or another with all those applications. I have discussed my erratic attention span with a doctor, who has confirmed my self-diagnosis and offered medication. I have declined it because I’ve never felt debilitated by it. Until now.
At work, my role necessitates a bit of multi-tasking which can be tough for an A.D.D. person. I manage it at work with dozens of post-it notes all over my office, and I somehow manage to excel at work. Unfortunately, all my organizational energy is exhausted at the office. Outside of work, much of the time I feel adrift, subject to the whimsy of any current that comes by. I’m not unhappy, but I fully realize I’m not currently capable of FULLY enjoying what is around me. I only partially enjoy it.
This whine-fest doesn’t even have a solution. I will continue to cheat myself in the area of sleep. I know to make it worthwhile, I need to have more of the conversations like I had with Becky, Joel Pazmino and Tim and Karla Lowe last night. It was the kind of conversation that effortlessly jumps from the deep to the superficial and back; a type of conversation I’ve not had much of since leaving the company of my friends in Fredericksburg, who I still miss with a constant dull ache.
Sleep debt. It’s a concept, and I know my sleep debt is at a point that would make Dave Ramsey cringe in terror.
Anyway, I got up in the middle of writing this to eat some cheesy rice doused in Jalapeno hot sauce…and do some other random stuff. It’s good to be alive (even if way too much of it is spent awake).
I need to write another music blog soon. Becky is showing her prowess in the music-related blog genre, and I need to remind myself that I can do it, too!