#2 Middle: Tiredness Isn't What It Used To Be

by Steve Faulkner on 19 January 2021 | filed in Middle. On being of a certain age.

Please note. ‘Middle’ is a series of rather self-indulgent ‘free written’ blogs. This basically means that they are a stream of consciousness and daily reflections I find myself needing to do now I’ve reached a certain ‘middle’ age. To make sense of it all. Forgive typos and poor grammar. 

It seemed like a good idea to stay up late and write last night. I had a little burst of creativity and energy at about 11.30 and wrote the previous post. After midnight, usually start to feel a bit guilty, because deep down I know that I can’t function well on less than seven hours sleep. But then I imagine all of the stories I’ve heard of writers, musicians and artists working into the night. I like the romance of it, and the fact that most people are still sleeping. Like the early mornings, it feels peaceful and uncluttered. But it seems I can’t do that anymore without the next day being a bit of a write-off. 

It’s different now. One late night and there is also no flow, no energy and little positivity. Today I’ve felt lonely, unproductive, heavy, unhealthy and slow. The things that usually put me into the zone have left me outside. I have tried. I still filmed, edited read, did my yoga and meditation. But without the energy to go into these activities, there was no energy to draw from them. 

Luckily, I knew that the cause of the negative thoughts: six hours sleep, and I am very aware that it all sounds like a bit of a downer, it isn’t that bad. It just isn’t much of anything which, for me, is unsustainable. 

I have to keep journaling and to remember this, because even though I know what I need to start the day right - enough sleep and an early start - I still sometimes take the path of least resistance and make plans based on what I want to do, rather than what I need to do.

To feel good, I need to get up, get into my daily yoga practice or exercise and then get the kids sorted. This is how a good day starts for me. Often I don’t want to do it. I want the short-term pleasure of a lovely lazy morning involving newspapers novels. But this never ends well. If I don’t engage my body within the first hour, I’m screwed. Short-term pleasure in this context is for me very short. It soon turns to frustration and procrastination. And once that kicks in, I have a battle on my hands. A struggle that today, lasted all day. 

This is all part of the process, but if I don’t monitor my patterns closely, I can be left with bigger problems that are longer lasting. 

Life seems to short to go bed early. There’s so much fun stuff to do and learn. But I need to be a big boy and listen to my annoying mind and body. The key is to stick to the plan and get back to loving the things I’m lucky enough to be able to do.