Circadian Rhythm

I’ve reached the point in my life where I am ready to fully surrender to the idea that I need in excess of eight hours actual sleep every night, if the next day is not going to be a slog of irritable lassitude.

Thank you again, Surprise Christmas Fitbit.

I have been very interested in my sleep ever since I developed prenatal insomnia. I’d suffered insomnia and other sleep disturbances prior to this but I either wore them as a fucked up badge of honour or used them as an excuse to drink energy drinks. But by the time I was pregnant, I’d already conceded that sleep was important and valuable, and I’d spent the previous three years, if anything, having too much sleep. I’d even developed the ability to wake up in exactly the position I’d fallen asleep in – a skill I prized while frequenting the top bunks of youth hostels with laptop in hand as I meandered around the USA.

For the six months prior to my son’s birth, though, and the two and a half years following, sleep was neither a willing nor reliable companion. And I didn’t sleep AT. ALL. for the three days surrounding his birth. Which was quite the experience. So I often wondered, during that time, how much sleep, precisely, I was getting. I tried stealing my ex’s fitbit for the night a couple of times, but, well, I couldn’t sleep with it on.

Whether it’s the superior design of this newer fitbit or just the fact I’m in recovery I don’t know, but I can wear my Surprise Christmas Fitbit for bed. I’ve fallen out with it a few times for telling me I was asleep when I was clearly Googling random things that popped into my head for an hour in the middle of the night, but we’ve agreed to disagree now, and I think I’ve found a better fit to prevent that bitter quarrel from resurfacing.

What I can say with a fair amount of conviction, though, is that if Surprise Christmas Fitbit doesn’t display a sleep time in excess of eight hours, I am tired. And the lower it gets, the more pissed off I am about it. And the rule still applies if I don’t check the sleep score until the end of the day.

The power of metrics, ey.

I had a good run after Christmas, but I’ve only had two 8hr+ sleeps so far this year. So I guess I need to get more of those data points…

(Runaway) trains of thought

There are two main things I worry about unnecessarily. The first is my parenting decisions (especially the largely insignificant ones). The second is the wording of emails I send.

Last night I probably spent 3 hours wondering and/or researching whether refusing to give my son a bedtime snack when he said he was hungry was wrong. He’d had supper 15 minutes earlier. He seemed like he was stalling. But he hadn’t eaten much of his lunch and he didn’t have a big tea. So maybe he was really hungry. But it wasn’t going to kill him. But it might stop him sleeping well. But he was asleep now. But maybe it was bad quality sleep. But, worst case scenario, he might feel a bit tired tomorrow and he can have a big breakfast. But if I’d just given him a biscuit maybe this whole thing could have been avoided. But then I’d be wondering if the sugar in the biscuit was ruining his sleep. He couldn’t be actually hungry, he’d just had supper. But maybe he didn’t get enough calories throughout the day. Maybe I need to rethink my whole approach to preschooler sustenance. Oh shut up, he’s fine, give it a rest.

Then I woke up sometime around 3am and started thinking about how I was going to word an email I need to send today. Should I apologise for not sending it earlier? Because I really did mean to send it earlier. Or should I just explain why I didn’t send it earlier without apologising? Can’t always be apologising for everything, explaining is probably enough. How much detail should I go into in the explanation? Should I even explain at all or should I just ignore the fact I was going to send it earlier? As long as I send it now it doesn’t really matter, no point making a deal out of nothing. Should I outline everything I’ve done, or try to be as succinct as possible? I could save the details for the meeting. Should I estimate when I’ll be finished by or stick to where I’m up to so far? I’m going to have to estimate to schedule the meeting. Should I suggest a time for the meeting or wait to see what they suggest when they know where I’m up to? For the opening, should I include any details about my Christmas or should I just keep the niceties vague? IT’S NEARLY 4 IN THE MORNING AND YOU’VE BEEN WRITING AND REWRITING THIS EMAIL IN YOUR HEAD FOR MAYBE AN HOUR. WHAT IS EVEN THE POINT? IT’LL BE FINE, GIVE IT A FUCKING REST.

I’m not always neurotic, but when I am, I am it well.

Bedroom athletics

I have a new fun thing to do before bed. I jog on the spot with my eyes closed and imagine I am running through beautiful scenery.

Maybe it’s the effects of lockdown, but for some reason I find it seriously enjoyable. It might even be better than the real thing, because it doesn’t involve all that much actual exertion.

I’m no stranger to visualisation and purposeful daydreaming, so I know I have a pretty well developed imaginative faculty. But I’ve surprised myself with how effective this is at exalting my mood. It’s truly exhilirating. Which part of me thinks must be lame. But who am I to judge?

Now if only I could solve the problem of losing my balance, or accidentally running across the room and coliding with my desk chair.

Positive regard

Seems silly to kill a streak for no good reason.

Dave Hause sent me down a little winding path of nostalgia today.

I haven’t spent much time looking back this past year. I mean, I have in an unwitting, flashbacky sort of way, when my pain has overridden my reason and demanded I gallop through past landscapes while it takes gritty snapshots to justify its existence.

But I haven’t reminisced all that much.

The past is a chequered palace I haven’t really felt safe walking the halls of.

But last night, I listened to Dave Hause and, far from being drenched in quiet misery, I was stirred to something resembling, well, resolve. I had forgotten something about Dave Hause and his music. I’d forgotten about the huge Heart in it. The Hope in it. I’d wondered whether it might draw me back to a version of myself I had left behind, but instead it simply nodded to that version, and I laughed about it, and felt fortified as this new version of myself, so many iterations later.

This evening, I found myself looking through photos from one of the most difficult and painful times of my life – from when my son was barely one and I was destroying myself trying to save a relationship with his father that couldn’t be saved. And there was no sting of betrayal, loss, regret or victimhood. Merely an oozy, burning feeling of consolidation, as I integrated different aspects of my life and my self.

At some point, so long as we don’t hold onto it, the pain and shame of the past dissipates and leaves us with memories skewed toward the positive. While I was looking the other way, it seems I have been blessed by that phenomenon of late.

Dave Hause

I didn’t make any resolutions about this blog.

My resolution this year is to get filthy rich. To be as selfish and glorious as I was always destined to be. To cultivate my Great-and-Terrible-Queen-type energy. But mainly to get filthy rich.

I think that’s really all I came here to say. And when I opened up the floor to any other thoughts that might like to join the party, all that came along was Dave Hause, the punk-grown-up-singer-songwriter from Philadelphia who soundtracked my quiet and despair-drenched life at the backend of 2014. His debut solo album was called Resolutions, and his voice is rivalled only by Brian Fallon in its ability to evoke a nostalgic and comforting grief in me that I don’t think is even my own. Definitely not filthy rich energy. More like good, clean destitution.