Some things are designed to fail.
Right away you’re thinking of that car or gadget you own, that has a one-year warranty, and you’re recalling how, one or two days after the warranty ran out, the ass end of whatever it is you’re thinking about fell off.
While that’s funny (if you’re not the one who owns the thing) this isn’t what I wanted to talk about. You can, though. Down there in the comments.
I was thinking about how you can be your own worst enemy, and that sometimes, failure can be a good thing.
Ever since I was a youngster I’ve been more alive at night. I have no idea why this is, but I’ve grown to accept it. Some of the best ideas come at night, and some of the best passions present themselves in the late night/early morning hours. There’s just a clarity there, a shining sharp-edged knowledge that you can’t ignore or pretend isn’t there.
Lately, having come to terms with what I think might be an ADD issue, there has been acceptance of the fact that when my mind gets going – usually in the early morning hours – it’s pointless to stay in bed, tossing and turning. Sometimes it’s possible to fool myself: I’ll pretend that someone has come into the bedroom, someone I don’t want to talk to, and I’ll just lay there mimicking sleep. The mimicking part is what does it: time after time, the pretend-sleep has turned into real sleep. (Man, I’m so happy when that happens).
Lately though, it hasn’t been working.
And sometimes I stay up long past the time when I should be dozing off. Take this past weekend for example.
I knew full well that the limousine would be arriving at 7:15 a.m. Monday to take me to the airport. I knew this, yet made the choice to stay up very late on Saturday night. In fact, I didn’t hit the sack until 4:00 a.m. Sunday morning. (What? I was thinking, and writing and having a blast)
So of course I made a point of going to bed on Sunday night at 10:00, figuring I’d get up at 5:00 a.m., thus allowing a seven hour sleep.
10:00 came and went, and I hadn’t gotten around to crawling into bed. I forced myself to go to bed at 11:30. I thought “Ok so that’s five and a half hour’s sleep. Not so bad.” Something inside told me that wasn’t enough, so I set the alarm for 5:30. That should provide enough time to pack and be ready for the 7:00 a.m. ride.
Well, wouldn’t you know it? The bed was uncomfortable. I scrunched up and made sure the pillow was big enough and sitting just right under my neck.
Then I had to turn over, and do the same thing again.
“Wait” I though. “It’s too noisy in here. Damn it.” I forgot to wear my ear plugs. (Have to keep the window open because the apartment is too warm. This allows some fresh air in. The street noises all gang up and saunter in that same window and set up a party in my room.)
I threw the covers off, and went looking for the ear plugs. Ew. I had used those ones too often. Seemed like a good idea to get some new ones. So off I went into the kitchen and found a fresh pair.
“There” I thought. “Much better.” And once again I situated myself under the sheets.
I thought about the next day, about meeting my new boss, and what I would tell him. I wondered if he would understand some of the pressures our virtual team would face, and what I could do or say to help him understand. I played around with different approaches, imagined his reactions, thought about how others would factor in, and what new ideas they would bring. And….
“DAMN IT” I threw the covers off. It was hopeless. I wandered out to the living room and started to watch the last half of Desperate Housewives. (What? Are you kidding me? It’s got Teri Hatcher and Eva Longoria Parker – two of the hottest babes on TV these days. Not to mention Julie Benz, of Dexter fame, who recently joined the cast.)
I shut the TV off and went to my bedroom, a little sleepier than before. Then I got on the computer, made sure all the comments on my blogs were answered, then checked MySpace and Facebook to make sure everything was answered there too. And then checked out all the MySpace blogs to make sure I read and commented on them.
Finally, at 2:30 I fell back into bed.
Today I’m dragging. Clearly, normal human hours aren’t for me. A rock star’s schedule seems more fitting.
May have to do something about that.
Oh, and P.S. – if you have an ADD thing and you’ve had no sleep at all I can tell you that the very worst thing in the world is to get a seat on an airplane right next to a wide-awake guy with apparent ADD. He showed all the symptoms and none of the restraint: his leg wouldn’t stop jumping up and down and oh dear Lord he was LOUD. Like ALL THE TIME. He had no filter either – whatever he thought about came out his wide open mouth. So there was no sleep on the plane either.
I blame myself.