Thursday, March 23, 2006

Running on Empty

For the last couple of weeks, I have not been getting enough sleep.

I should preface this by saying that I'm pretty sure I've been running a sleep debt since high school. I remember once staying up all night, and staying on the phone with a friend, to finish a physics problem set. We met behind the band room at 7:00 AM to write up our answers, then unpacked our instruments and joined our bandmates on the field for practice.

More generally, I always liked staying up late, probably because that's when everyone else was asleep, and I was free to do whatever I wanted without interference or comment from others. Even if that was something as mundane as sitting on the couch and reading a book.

My senior year, I tried out for the part of Sky Masterson in Guys & Dolls, mostly because I wanted to sing "My Time of Day". I didn't get the part.

But enough about high school.

For the last couple of weeks, D has been involved in an FDA audit at work, and had to get to work earlier than usual-- at least half an hour, sometimes more than an hour earlier.

We're a one-car family, and my office is located between our house and her work, so she drops me off in the morning and picks me up at night. This means I'm usually at work for close to 10 hours each day, but last Thursday and Friday, it was more like 12, and I had to set my alarm for 6:00 AM.

Left to my own devices, I'll happily stay up until almost 2:00 AM on a weeknight-- usually just screwing around online-- before I notice that the heater's no longer running (the thermostat is timed to shut down at 11:00 PM) and it's damned cold. That doesn't work if I have to get up four hours later.

There's a couch in my shared office at work, and I actually took a nap on it one afternoon. I used to love taking afternoon naps in college, and still enjoy doing so on weekends or vacations. But it's not really practical at work.

And here's the unoriginal-metaphor part of the post: there aren't enough hours in a day for everything I want to do-- sleep, work, play. It's a microcosm for life, wherein we don't ever have enough time for-- anything.

To quote Blade Runner: "I want more life, fucker."

Choice is not always freedom. Because my time is limited, I'm forced to choose how to spend it. Even choosing not to choose is an implicit choice. (Not to go all Neil Peart on you or anything.)

Wow, I'm really rambling here. This post is even more of a mess than usual.

I need to get some sleep.

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