I will not be mad at myself for not being able to sleep two nights ago.

Posted on 26.01.2012


I’m posting this here, since I’ve already posted something similar to the fitness blog, and I don’t need to be redundant. I haven’t posted about this too much over here, though, so I feel like I can unload this story on this blog today.

I got into bed last night at 7pm. Granted, I laid in bed and read for 2 more hours before falling asleep, but still. What I should have been doing last night at 7pm was wielding a very large Rokushakubo at budo with my training partners. What I should have done BEFORE budo was 15-20 minutes of jumping rope.

But alas, none of this happened. And why not? Well, because the night before (Tuesday night) I got hit with some random bout of insomnia, which mostly hasn’t happened so far this year, and it made me something of a zombie on Wednesday.

There wasn’t even a reason for the insomnia! I hadn’t drunk any caffeinated beverages the entire day, I did a solid workout that felt great, and I even went to YOGA CLASS in the evening. All signs should have pointed to ‘sleeping like a baby’, except they didn’t. I have no idea why.

I definitely felt my age yesterday. I felt lame, and boring, but I soldiered through it. I got 3 hours of sleep on Tuesday night, and I only had ONE class to teach on Wednesday morning. So my plan for Weds was to come home and take a nap, and then wake up, do the jump rope thing and then head to budo.

Except that didn’t happen. There was an AMAZING fog when I got home, and it was too good NOT to photograph. There was a spot on the road where I wanted to shoot that was VERY close to Ikea, and I’d been planning to hit Ikea on Friday in order to get some frames. But if I was already going in that direction, why not kill two birds with one stone, right?

So I got home at 9:30 am. I grabbed the prints I wanted to frame, and then I loaded my cameras with film and left again, around 10. I spent about 15 minutes photographing the fog and then rolled over to Ikea, who I’m convinced has better-looking and more inexpensive frames that the Hornbach (think: Home Depot) next door. I got 5 frames out of the 8-9 that I’d hoped for, went home, and was so excited that I framed all of the stuff right there, and now it all looks great. Except that while all of this was happening, I should have been taking a nap.

After that I still wasn’t tired, so I cleaned. I put all of the dishes away, cooked some lunch (for later), folded clothes. Still not tired. So I got online and answered emails, and then I planned my classes for today and tomorrow.

Still. Not. Tired.

At that point, it was 2pm. I decided that the best option, from here, was to just stay awake, to make sure that I was dead tired after budo. So I ate some carrots and sat on the couch, reading my latest book (which I will finish today and write about later). I read for about an hour when the nausea came on. I don’t know where it came from, except a few of the carrots had tasted a bit suspect (read: old) and I’d eaten them anyway. That was all I could imagine. I drank a lot of water, hoping to flush it out. It didn’t work.

By 5pm, I felt pretty terrible and couldn’t move from the couch. This was exactly when I’d planned to jump rope, giving me enough time to change into my street clothes afterwards in order to leave for budo by 6. None of that happened. I laid on the couch, going over my options. Take a whole day off and just go to bed NOW, or push through it?

Had it not been for the nausea, I would have gone to budo and worked through it. But I decided that should an accident occur, I didn’t want to have to clean it up, off of the spongy dojo floors. So I called out of budo and laid on the couch for another hour or so. Then I decided, as I was falling asleep sitting up while reading, that I should just get into bed now and make up for all of the sleep I’d lost the night before.

So I crawled into bed around 7 and laid there, but wasn’t tired. So I continued to read. I read for a full 2 hours, until about 9, and then it came on fast. I was sleep by 9:15. I only woke up once, around 1, to get a drink of water, and I slept again until the alarm went off this morning at 6. I hit snooze and re-set for 6:15. So I slept for about 9 hours last night, and could have probably slept longer, if it hadn’t been for class this morning.

Obviously, I needed that sleep. Obviously, I feel better this morning. To make up for yesterday, I’m planning to do the jump roping TODAY before my run, and that’ll make me feel better. But I’m not going to be mad at myself for needing yesterday off! It’s so amazing what a lack of sleep does to me these days.

In hindsight, I think it’s ALWAYS done this to me, and I’ve just really worked through a lot in the past because I felt like I had to. In college I wasn’t one to cut class unless I really needed to. Then again, sitting in class not speaking isn’t hard work compared to practicing fighting. The same goes for previous jobs: it was easy to show up being or feeling ill, since you could ultimately LOOK busy just about all day. But not with budo… that’s a full-body workout that could induce vomiting if you’re not feeling great.

So I needed a day off yesterday. I took it. I’m not mad at myself, and I’ll make it up today.

I think a lot of us take on too much, all the time. I know that when I lived back in the US, and in the first few months of being here, that I used to feel like I wasn’t getting anything accomplished, wasn’t being productive enough, unless my entire day was full. That’s not the case for me anymore. Not here. The Germans really understand the importance of the work-life balance, and the idea of that is growing on me. They definitely work to live over here, and not the other way around. It’s refreshing, and it’s helped me to realize that I CAN slow down, that I CAN take it easy, that the world won’t end if I don’t get something done today.

We should all allow ourselves to take a break every once in a while. We need it more than we know.