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Tired But OK

Thursday 11/16/2006 4:31 AM

Those who know me know I've never exactly maintained a what most people would call a normal sleep schedule. Never been a morning person. Add to that a condition my pulmonologist called a long sleeper (ten hours of corpse-like rest is nowhere near unusual for me), and you get someone who just isn't cut out for the old 9 to 5 routine.

About ten years ago, I was working four jobs simultaneously. I was working for The Man at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. I was teaching computer music at The Florida State University. I was DJ'ing at a nightclub several nights a week. And I was trying to start a web development business. When I look back on those times now, I wonder how I survived at all.

Little surprise that I was chronically and continuously sniffling and wheezing and generally rundown. Allergy attacks would kill me. And I developed this condition where I would wake up in the early morning (say 5AM, sometimes just a couple hours after I went to bed) gagging on the smallest amount of phlegm that was stuck in the back of my throat. Almost as if I was water boarding myself.

As the web dev buz took off, I had to cut out the other jobs. First to go, I think, was the teaching. I loved that class at FSU (in some respects the pinnacle of my professional life), but for something like the $65/week or so I was earning, I couldn't justify it anymore. Next was the DJ job. Then, finally, The State (I like to say I evaporated from my job, but that's a story for another day).

After about six weeks of being unemployed, err, self-employed, Candy castigated me one day by uttering this now famous (to me, at least) line: "I don't know why you left The State to work on your own. All you're doing is sleeping and playing Quake all the time."

Of course, she was right. But at the same time, I realized that it was OK with me that that was all I was doing. I was paying my bills (barely), but most importantly, I was recuperating from my life as it had been. Over the next few months, I spent more and more time on the business, but I decided that with my new life sleep would be a priority.

And then a funny thing happened.

My gagging episodes in the middle of the night became less and less frequent until they disappeared all together. Then when the next spring rolled around, when my allergies would normally destroy my life for a couple months at a time, they weren't as bad as before. I spent more time with Chaunce since I was around the house all the time and he was still young enough (and demanding enough) to take advantage of my new found availability by encouraging me to take him for trips in the car to find new places to explore. It was on these trips that we found The Greenway, and later The Pedrick Greenway, and later still The Lake Bottom.

Life still isn't perfect. Clients sometimes don't pay me when I need them to. Occasionally, I have to crack open the lorazepam to help me not freak out over all the stuff on my plate at that particular moment. But overall, I'm more sane than I've been in a long time.

When I first started writing this entry, it was to comment about how my sleep schedule has fragmented of late, but I see now I've written a confessional of sorts about how I've gotten to where I am (in some respects) at this point in my life. So let me finish up so I can go to bed (it is late — or early, all depending...).

Over the last couple of weeks, I've been working late into the night and early into the morning. I sleep with the cellphone next to me so if clients call in the morning, I can be up and at'em when I need to. Lately it seems, I can't sleep more than a few hours without some type of interruption (phone call, Orkin man, dogs barking, etc.). So then I end up taking a nap for an hour or two in late afternoon or early evening. Then I'm awake and working again into the night.

This type of fragmentation has happened before, but it has never lasted this long. I'm not in any real discomfort and overall things are good. I've got lots of projects (some secret, some not) and I'm really enjoying working on stuff. Making things. Reducing incompletions. While this life might very well be hell for some people, I guess I'm pretty happy.

And that's good enough for now.

File Under: Chauncey; Greenway, The; Health, My; Life Happening
Music: Radiohead "Kid A"

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