I have been baking up a storm (today it’s pumpkin sweet rolls) on a foot that I burned on a hot sidewalk -so much so, that I can not run or even bike-and I lost all sense of time and realized that I didn’t have a post ready for today, so I swiped this from another website (RELAX! It’s my website and I gave myself permission to reprint!).
Shift Your Perspective; Shift Your Life
My father was a night owl and could get by with 4-hours of sleep a night. He worked his ass off when I was a kid, usually holding three jobs at a time as a print/radio/television journalist. Because his downtime was limited he worked constantly, dividing his time between each job.
I definitely learned my work ethic from my father. As a kiddo, I tried to emulate his sleep patterns, but always fell short. As an adult, I’ve tried many times to get by on less sleep, yet have failed spectacularly, no matter how I tried to manipulate the hours.
I’ve stayed up into the late night/early morning hours, only to need a few days to recover from my lack of sleep.
I’ve gotten up at the crack o’smack, before the sun rises, only to crawl into bed by 9pm.
Today, my typical day runs like this: I’m up by 7am, at my desk by 7:15-7:30am. I work all day, at least until 6pm, have dinner with Husband, goof off for a couple of hours and then it’s back to my desk for at least another hour, maybe two. By 10-10:30 pm, I’m done.
My need for more than 4-hours of sleep has often left me with pangs of guilt. It eats at me, even now, because there is so much to be done, as I try to make something of this site, along with the ordinary everyday things I typically do: running, writing about running, running a household, making a fool of myself on Skype with Sweet E, mowing with a self-propelled mower that no longer self-propels, caulking, amusing myself on facebook…you know, the important stuff.
So much to do, so few hours. My annoyance is a constant when I’m under the working gun.
Recently, Husband and I the following conversation.
Me: You know, Daddy could work off of 4-hours of sleep and he got a boatload done in his life.
Husband: Yeah, but that didn’t work out so good for him; he died at 60.
M: True… ~wondering if there is any correlation between folks who rarely sleep and an early death~…but, there’s so much I need to get done every day, and my brain doesn’t want to cooperate with my body. It literally shuts the party down before I’m ready to call it a day. I wish I could find a way around it. I feel like I’m not working hard enough; not getting enough done.
Then, Husband says something so profound to me, something that immediately and completely resonates in my lizard brain as TRUTH, that I’m rendered speechless for a moment.
H: You run hot, baby. You get more done in a day than most people. You use ALL THE HOURS (I’m paraphrasing on this last one, but it’s essentially what he said).
Even now as I write the words I wonder why I hadn’t figured this one out before.
I. Run. Hot.
Or in Patti-speak: balls-to-the-wall, baby.
Almost instantly, the guilt over my need for sleep slipped away. Instead of focusing on what I was getting done, which is quite a lot, I was focusing on what still needed to be done (which is still quite a lot).
A shift in perspective is a wonderful thang, y’all.
I have always begrudgingly accepted that 9-hours of sleep is what I needed for optimal performance, but now there’s a huge difference, now I embrace what I need in order to power through each day.
Getting the sleep I need = running hot. Running hot = getting ‘er done, Patti-style.
I told Husband that I wished I had this conversation with him 20-years ago. I could have saved myself so much grief.
You see why I married him, right?
It’s a new day, baby.
What about you? What are you beating yourself up over that could be changed with a shift in perspective?