Prior to 2011 it never occurred to me that one day I would be severely time challenged, with my biggest sacrifice being the time I spent on me either alone recharging or working on personal goals.
For years I was a single, professional woman with no children whose only time constraints were imposed by my job. That all changed five years ago when I married and shortly after my wedding became the full time caregiver for my elderly mom.
It seemed my life changed in less than a blink of an eye. I still had the demanding job that consumed large portions of my day, but now rather than going home and vegging on the sofa with knitting needles in hand to clear my head, I now left work to take care of my mom and try to spend some quality time with my husband before my body shut down from exhaustion. Add writing a book to this overcrowded schedule, and it becomes clear that time is a most precious commodity.
Perhaps I’m built differently than those super humans that live off two hours of sleep a night and say sleep is overrated, but I need at least six hours of sleep per night to have any chance of coming close to my peak performance during the day.
I tried ‘sucking it up’ so to speak and cut corners on sleep, but trying to survive off of four or five hours of sleep proved disastrous for me, leaving my mind in a fog and my body physically worn and open to a series of painful, non-life threatening illnesses that plagued me for months. Only now am I’m starting to recover. Medication helped with symptoms, but it was only when I made sleep a priority did real recovery start.
As much as I didn’t want to give up writing in the wee hours of the morning, I had no choice. I fought tooth-and-nail to maintain my schedule of writing from 11:00 pm to 2:00 am, because that was usually the only uninterrupted time I could find to write. I had already pushed the release date of my first book back a couple of times, and I dreaded the thought of having to do so again. Finally reality set in. The malaise and pain that held my body hostage made it almost impossible to write, and when I managed to get some words on my computer screen, they were not that great. I discovered that thirty minutes of writing with a well rested mind produced more and better quality writing than hours of scribbling under the influence of a fatigued brain.
So where does that leave me now? I’m sleeping more and my body continues to recover. I’m also writing more consistently again. Am I writing enough to meet my end of October publish date? I’m not sure at this point, but I’m not throwing in the towel on that date yet. We will see what happens during the next few weeks. For now I’m just grateful to be recovering and to be writing again.