I’m trying not to harp too much on the whole new habits thing because this blog is already just a “ONE DIRECTION” poster away from being a tweenie bopper’s bedroom and too much navel gazing isn’t fun for anyone. On the other hand, this is cheap therapy and the worst thing that can happen is I will get only 2 likes on Facebook.
Actually I take that back, that is pretty horrible. I think I would have to sulk for hours. Quick, appeal to the masses!
I am proud of a few small victories:
- I wrote every night I planned to write
- I actually completed one chapter, 2500 words, of The Book
Of course, this is what I wrote Friday night:
I really really didn’t want to write tonight. This Week I am 1 for 5 for getting up early. So I am forcing myself to write this to keep a promise to myself.
Sometimes victory comes on a technicality.
One thing I didn’t really start to understand until I started keeping detailed notes was just how much of an impact the amount of sleep I’m getting has on my willpower. We live in such a cavalier culture when it comes to how little we sleep that I don’t appreciate the impact it has until I’m trying to do anything besides stagger through my life on autopilot clutching a cup of coffee and wishing desperately that I still smoked cigarettes.
Between the inherent sleeplessness of parenthood and the rhythm of modern life, we’re blase about the fact that many of us are getting, at best, 5 hours of sleep a night.
I have no willpower on 5 hours of sleep. None.
4 year old wants to draw on the walls with a sharpie? Go for it.
7 year old wants to pack a lunch consisting entirely of Aunt Jemima and Cheezits? Heck yeah why not.
Get up out of the recliner and go for a run? Are you freaking kidding me? There’s no coffee out there, not happening.
What worse, two of my favorite things– alcohol and coffee– make sleep worse. So I’m considering giving up coffee, which I think puts me in the certifiable grade A1 insane basket of broken eggs.
I bet Hemingway didn’t have to put up with this nonsense.
6 thoughts on “Celebrating the victories”
I hear you. I also have the modest goal to write every day and I do NOT do it. Unless you count my one sentence diary, which I do not. And the sleep deprivation of parenthood is absolutely merciless and brutal. Today I STALLED MY CAR by letting the clutch out while still in first gear and I have been driving standard transmissions for 20 years… it was just pure, drunken fatigue. Frightening.
I give you permission to count JUST ONE WORD. Seriously. Sometimes you might suprise yourself and manage two.
Between kids 1 – 3 I used to do a fair amount of driving for work and the amount of times I nodded off at the wheel only to wake up, adrenaline pumping… too many to count. More paid paternity leave please!
Hemingway wasn’t a very good dad 🙂 Or husband. The sleep thing will get better as your kids get older (I think, I’m not actually sure how old your kids are). My husband and I used to fight about who got more sleep. Now we both get enough and life is good- I love to sleep.
My youngest is 4, so I am past the point of him directly interefering with my sleep, fortunately. I think the real tension is between my night owl tendencies and a lifetime of habit there and my conscious desire to assert a new habit of getting up early. If I let the night owl win then the early bird doesn’t stand a chance the next day.
Good post. It’s like that James Clear article you talked about where at the end of the sleep experiment they concluded that there just isn’t any substitute for sleep.
And yes, whenever people find themselves feeling lazy or depressed, it’s usually just because they need a nap. The mind is the body and the body is the mind. So if the body is weak, the spirit will not be willing.
Speaking from the perspective of someone who sleeps on average 8-9 hours a night I can tell you that when I wake up in the morning my energy level is a 10. By bedtime my energy level is a 9. I never feel tired during the day and so it’s always easy to find the will power to do what’s “right”.
The key to it is just to make sleep a priority. I.e. people make time for the things that are important to them. For example, I don’t watch TV and I typically go days at a time without checking email or going on the Internet. That’s because I’d rather hit the gym, eat dinner, and then slide into bed for a nice, nine hour nap. All my favorite shows and Internetz can wait until the weekend when sleep has less competing priorities.
So choose quality over quantity. Strive to do less things in your life every day, say 5, but strive to do them better every day. And make sleep one of them. Time actually moves slower when you are well rested, and that amounts to you being a better husband, father, and human being every day, which is important because, yeahhhhhhhhh, your life isn’t really about you, nor is my life really about me, nor is the collective “our” life about the collective “us”.
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