Last night, I went to an interesting panel discussion on magazine writing with Texas Monthly’s Michael Hall, novelist Sarah Bird, music critic Chuck Eddy, and People Magazine’s Alicia Dennis, but I could not for the life of me keep my eyes open. I left when the Q&A started, which is not like me, especially considering the quality of the panel, but I had to. I went straight home and by ten, I was out. Though I haven’t been sleeping well, I slept solidly until eight this morning. After ten hours of sleep, I’m feeling like myself again!
This sets me up for a good weekend. I will swim tonight. Tomorrow, I’m doing the Real Ale Ride. Sunday I’ll do a track workout. I’m looking forward to trying to beat my 4:14 record on 800 meter repeats.
There was a time forever ago when I could function well on three, four or five hours of sleep. In boarding school, I remember pulling an all-nighter when I wasn’t happy with a paper I’d written for a class I took called Personhood and Belief. It was no big deal. During college, I remember sleeping little during the week and catching up on weekends and never giving my shortage of sleep a second thought. Even in my twenties, I could go out mid-week a couple of nights in a row and be just fine at work. In my thirties, I felt my ability to function on little sleep fade a bit. Two or three late nights one after the other would do me in. Now, at nearly forty, one night was all it took to turn me into a worthless zombie. I’m definitely getting older.
Rather than be bummed by it all, I’ve decided to milk the whole needing sleep thing. I love to sleep. My bed is one of my favorite places in the world, and I don’t spend nearly enough time in it. Twenty years ago, if I’d said, “Sorry, that’s too late for me because I need my sleep,” I would have been lying. Today, I can say that. And I will. I consider that power a perk of old age.