A Typical Night
It’s often difficult to go right to bed at night. I know that may seem odd to you but to others of you I think you know exactly what I’m talking about. There is something about going to bed that just “turns the page” in life. “Lights out” seems like an end and going to bed adds finality to a day that doesn’t show all the treasures and rewards you want to see in life.
For those like me, you get this. Life is not a process. It’s not a journey. It’s a destination. It’s an end game. Sleep is very much a disruption: a final end to something not completed. I sympathize with Edgar Allan Poe who said “Sleep, those little slices of death — how I loathe them.” I get that. On most days I feel the same way: like sleep is a final end to something not yet completed.
My Life’s Goals
Sadly this runs contrary to what I want to accomplish in life. Actually, this may be the reason I have such a hard time with going to sleep.
There are a lot of things I want to do in life. I want to visit all 50 states (I’m currently at 47). I want to travel abroad (I took my first trip off the continent last year). I want to excel at the guitar and grow as a blogger and writer. And, more than anything, I want to be a terrific dad.
Unfortunately all of these things take time. They take planning. They take effort. They take simply doing what needs to be done. And I want to do them all.
So I have goals. I have written down the things I want to accomplish. And when I go to sleep I can’t be doing any of them.
Unfortunately, life dictates that I take nightly siestas. Sleep deprivation impairs our abilities. Sleep is necessary to perform at my best.
Which stings. I want to accomplish something, even if it’s just blowing off steam or taking a break, to get closer to my goals. I want to do something to improve myself and move myself toward making the world a better place.
And I can’t. Bedtime is a close to a day. It’s the end of a chapter. It’s the blinds closing on the sunshine on the day. It’s saying “Pencils down! Heads up!”. It’s the slamming of the book that is today.
Making a Difference
But here’s the rub: if I want to make the world a better place – if I want to improve not only myself, but the world around me, I need to get my rest. I need to sleep for at least 7 hours if not 8 or 9. I need to get my rest and be ready to tackle the next day.
That’s how it works. Life is not built as a way to get everything done in one fell swoop. It is a marathon. It’s a life long project of learning and growing and expanding. It’s not about what I can get done today. It’s about what I can get done in a life time.
And that can be a lot. It can make a huge difference in the world that I live in. If I can just find a way to go to bed tonight.