I am older now. I have started recognizing an increased vulnerability to exhaustion after for example scavenging for fire wood in our barn demolition rubble…the repeated bending and pulling, staggering alone under the weight of heavy water sodden boards some of which are coated in questionable muck….It makes an old person tired.
So I was quite surprised to find in Susun Weed’s New Menopausal Years the Wise Woman Way, the advice to “not get enough sleep” when depression hovers. Weed states that sleeping too much can feed a depressive tendency, and that it can be quite a help to actually get too little sleep upon occasion. After I read that, I felt licensed to give it a try.
One of the constant facts in my life is that there are too few hours in the day. Ever since I can remember, the day ended too soon. When I was twelve, I had more planned to do each day than could possibly happen and I anxiously waited for the school day to end so I could get down to my to-do list of art projects, letter-writing, reading, and just thinking; and that has continued to be my modus operandi.
So last night, first, I worked on some story board drawings with my twenty year old son in Florida. He periodically engages my somewhat remedial help. (I am happy to report actually that in the end, my 3 hours of drawing were not good enough as his own story-boarding has obviously improved as that is what he is in school learning to do!) Then, my sixteen year old son wanted some small vector drawings for a web-site he was building, so I again cosied up to the computer now with my thirteen year old son who turns out to be a precocious student of the Adobe Illustrator program. Together we worked for about two more hours making a net, a spinning coin, and auction tickets. It was suddenly 3:20 AM. Yes, 3:20 AM. I was now tired. I went to bed as quickly as I could, but not before remembering that we had to order cello strings. (see what I mean? the day is never long enough…) which of course we did right then at 3:25 AM.
I woke at 8AM to give my twenty year old in Florida a wake-up call that I had promised. And then, I saw that it wasn’t raining and my curiosity about whether the sap had frozen last night got strong enough along with my recollection that one sap bucket had been over flowing the evening before…and I got up.
It is now 10 PM or so. I am tired, but at no time today did I feel overwhelmed with exhaustion. Just a little worn feeling around my eyes I would say. That’s all. I rebuilt the maple fire and tended it for 2 hours, gathered more wood in the demolition heap, taught 2 classes in a row, drove about 40 miles, was kind and loving to my family, and now am almost ready for bed. Though, as there are never enough hours in the day, it is occurring to my 13 year old and I that we might want to work on one of the Illustrator drawings from last night just a little bit more.