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…

My face, their shit.

I have a habit of giving my power away in the very moments when I should claim it.

No, it’s not a habit.

It’s a deeply embedded instinct for survival that, presumably, at some point, served me, but no longer makes any sense in my life.

I’m very clear with myself that I’m responsible for how I feel, not the external environment. When something is troubling me, my primary focus is on my own perception of it. That’s how I consistently endeavour to live my life, and it works well for me. I am good at being happy.

But I have a raging inflamed pain spot that blinds me to this reasoning in certain moments: When a certain someone close to me brings me all the bullshit they’ve accumulated in relation to me and slams it down on the table to win an argument, it seems I am compelled to just shove my face in it.

I try hard not to serve up my own bullshit in these kinds of interactions. The result of that is often incomplete, though the effort is always earnest. But why, oh why, oh why, oh why do I keep eating theirs? We both know it’s not food. What the fuck am I doing? This is not the correct response to the situation. They must be wondering as much as I am what on earth has possessed me to take this course of action.

If, instead, I could just lean back and say to myself “hmm, that’s an awful lot of bullshit for just one meal”, well, there are a lot of conversations that wouldn’t have been quite the ordeal I turned them into. If I could just keep my distance from the bullshit, I wouldn’t need them to stop serving it up. Obviously I’d be quite entitled to the preference. But their bullshit isn’t the problem. My face is.

Oh, wait, I see what I’m doing. I think if I eat it it’ll be gone. That’s part of the reason it’s so soul destroying. Because there’s always more where that came from. No matter how much clean-up I do, I can’t turn off their bullshit machine. In fact, all I’m doing is clearing space for more, and making myself sick in the process.

Gosh, this is so quintessential vintage Yve. What a perfectly preserved relic.

Well, here’s hoping that this absurd and offputting visual has triggered some kind of behavioural amelioration in me.

Paper trail

I have a bunch of unpublished drafts sitting around here.

It’s not that I forgot about this place. It’s not that I didn’t want to write.

In part, I was concerned that I had more ‘important’ things to be doing, and spending my time on this every day would be detrimental.

In part, I had dammed myself up by withholding the post I wanted to write until it no longer felt viable.

In part, I was going through some things that meant my writing took on a tone that I didn’t necessarily want to broadcast.

Most of all, I became uncomfortable with the very notion that I had created this blog, in my own name, showing you so much of who I am, good and bad, if you only cared to look.

I worried it was incongruent with the career I might want for myself, or the goals I was pursuing. I worried it was going to come and bite me on the backside, one way or another, eventually.

I thought about hitting delete on the whole thing – a favourite trick of mine – but I resisted. I let it sit here until I could bear the fact of its existence again without shame clawing at my throat.

It has been tapping on my shoulder persistently for the past couple of weeks. So here I am.