Thursday, April 25, 2013

Ok, I'll Stop Fighting

I still rejoice in my new found eye sight tho there are some repercussions that I'm dealing with which have been challenging in their own right. I feel like a spoiled, petulant child for writing about it - especially since I've been blessed with new lenses to end my temporary blurry blindness.

I've basically been sleep deprived for the last three months with pockets of sleep drunkenness (ie: crashing and sleeping for 10+ hours straight). I've been fighting this battle on two fronts: trying to sleep earlier (yes, yes, I'm a night owl) and waking up earlier (so that I don't feel like a total slug). While I've been enjoying my life with some great weekend workshops, teaching, practicing and completing projects that I've left alone because of bad eyes, the lack of sleep has been taking its toll: eyes always puffy, lethargic, lack luster, weight gain, etc.

The effects of  a drug that I took while recovering from cataract surgery have lingered a bit. Its almost impossible for me to fall asleep before 4am. Yes, yes, I do all my activities at night: teach dance, dance, hang out with friends, etc. so I do know about the whole "it takes time to wind down". I usually end my activities by 1:00am and the 2 - 3 hour winding down bit is borderline ridiculous. I've tried boring television, boring reading, meditation, hot milk, herbal teas, magnesium, melatonin, benadryl (ugh, I hate waking up feeling like lead) and none of them have really been helping. Each night has seemed like a two hour battle and then I set my alarm to wake up at a "decent" hour (aka before noon) to assuage my need to be productive during the day.

The results have been that I am tired and constantly needing a nap. My energy levels are down to red and despite the fact that I still go dancing almost every night, I'm motivated to do less and less. 

I'm not sure why, but last night something clicked. It finally occurred to me to stop fighting. I had nothing planned for the next day (today) until the late afternoon so why not just sleep whenever I sleep and get up whenever I get up and see what happens. 

I slept for 8 hours straight. 

[insert angelic chorus rejoicing in song]

I ate "breakfast" at 3:00 pm and feel well rested and ready to go. Its a beautiful day out so after I complete this article, I'm going to sit in the sun before I head out to teach and practice mambo. 

A part of me is saying "DUH!" I'm wondering why it took me this long to realize that its more important for me to get enough sleep and not when or how long I sleep. I'm lucky enough that I don't have to worry about getting up to go somewhere, I'm still living my fun-employed life, and since the days are getting longer and the sun is out longer, who cares if I wake up at 10:00am or 1:00pm? 

Here's another toast to not fighting. I think the Borg had it right: resistance is futile. There are things worth fighting for and one shouldn't just "give up" when challenges arise but for a lot of things in life, when there's resistance, it usually means having to let go of something to move forward. 

It occurs to me that this is also why I find following in dance so refreshing. I still have to use my brain to tell me what to do when I feel a lead but there's a very visceral sense that I've developed over time as a follow. Its a sense that allows me to maintain just the right amount of tension so that I do not feel resistance in the arms of my dance partner and we flow through the dance as the music guides us. 

I digress a bit. I'll talk more about that later. For now, no more fighting, I'm looking forward to being well rested.