On Being Tired

“True enjoyment comes from activity of the mind and exercise of the body; the two are ever united.”

-Wilhelm von Humboldt

Photo credit: David Pecka

I’m tired. It’s been a long week, which is why I haven’t posted in a minute, but this isn’t singular to this week. It was just a run-of-the-mill busy work week. I can say that now that it’s Saturday and this week is behind me. I probably wouldn’t have agreed with that statement any other day of the week. In any case, I’m tired which is pretty typical. Sometimes when I’m really crabby and self-pitying, I try to think back to the last anxiety-free, solid night’s sleep I got and wonder if it was when I was a child. That’s neither true nor helpful but that’s sometimes what it feels like. Even getting up on a weekend with no plans to go anywhere seems strenuous and like I should maybe have a nap to gear up for some light reading and Netflix watching. I can’t remember the last time I felt energized enough to take on a new project or get up to exercise on the regular. Starting this blog counts I suppose so that’s Me-1, 2019-43. Now, I’m not completely despondent. There are things I want to do, things I know I should do, and things I know will make me feel better if I do. I just don’t have the motivation or energy to do them.

And before you go and tell me I just need to get more sleep, I get plenty. Eight hours minimum, nine PM to 5 AM, always on a schedule.I have a good mattress, I’ve tried seventy-three different pillows to get the right one, I don’t eat within an hour of going to bed, nor do I use any electronics that emit the blue light that stimulates your brain and keeps you awake. I’ve tried herbal tea, calm-scented lotions whatever that means, journaling, breathing exercises, stretching, you name it. I’ll stand on my head if you tell me draining all your blood to your brain will stop the endless loop of to-do lists, worries, and embarrassing moments from middle school.

I see people with energy and I wonder how they do it sometimes. I walked into work one day behind a fellow probably twice my age, which isn’t old and feeble by any stretch but also isn’t necessarily what comes to mind when you think ‘spry.’ He emerged from the bathrooms with the showers, clearly having just worked out and then showered and changed at the office. He greeted me cheerfully and then literally bounded up the stairs to his office. I, meanwhile, had just come inside bundled in a knee-length parka, winter boots, two scarves (one for fashion and another for actual warmth), and a hat with my hood up because I was too lazy to blow dry my hair before work (sorry, Ma). This guy had the nerve to tell me that I looked very warm as I legit trudged to my own office. What sketchy non-FDA-approved black-market supplement does one have to take to have that much energy? That’s just not normal. I know that exercising creates a positive feedback loop that energizes you more, but I have been struggling to get back into that pattern. The less you exercise, the harder it is to start, and the less motivated you are in general. Drives me nuts.

But it’s not just me. Everyone is tired it seems, including my cat, who has slept so much already today that I’ve forgotten what color his eyes are. Here he is lounging wherever he damn well pleases.

From my co-worker whose boyfriend works a 12-hour rotating shift schedule to my husband’s friends who work as a nurse and an engineer/volunteer at the fire department and who just had their second child less than a month ago. Speaking of new parents, I’ll leave you with one more thought on being tired before I go take a nap. You parents of young children out there, listen up for a second. I know you are tired. But the number of times I’ve been informed that I can’t possibly be as tired or as miserable as someone else because I don’t have any children and I can’t possibly know what it is like, however, really rumples my stiltskin. As a currently childless adult, I have no idea what that specifically is like, true. At the same time, you do not have a monopoly on sleepless nights. You are not martyrs, you did this to yourselves and are actually pretty proud of yourselves about it, so nobody really feels sorry for you. We’re all kept up by our own metaphorical screaming infant. But you can’t say that, because that is offensive and frankly, they would never believe you, which in and of itself…

You know what, never mind. I’m too tired to be mad. Nighty-night.

Quietly Seething

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