Fatigue is catching up with me again. I am learning that when I get beyond a certain point of sleep deprivation, my mind becomes a blank. It doesn't always mean unhappiness, just lack of spark. Inspirations elude me. The world is flat. The page is bare.
I wonder if everyone, fundamentally, has a fixed capacity for productivity. You might go for a long stretch of intense work and high energy, but then you reach your limit and have to shut down for a while. Everyone just has different limits, and no matter how much you push your limits, you'll have to balance them out eventually with down time.
It might be directly related to the need for sleep - something akin to fuel efficiency, perhaps. But I"m not sure - not needing sleep may not necessarily translate to productivity.
I hear about, and know some people who need very little sleep. Four hours a night for some is enough. Maybe 6 for others. I think I'm pretty much an 8 hour person. That doesn't mean I can't go for a string of days averaging 5 or 6 hours a night. But then I hit the wall. I spend one "lost" day napping, catching up.
I hear it can be a curse to have a low sleep need. You are wide awake and on your own in the wee hours of the morning. You've had enough reading and TV and computer. Now what? It must get lonely, or boring, or frustrating. But others make use of all the time and become prolific writers, brilliant readers, or wildly successful CEO's (or maybe all three). I wonder about the hours per night sleep average of the most visibly successful people in the world.
I suppose one could see the blessing of either condition - needing it or not. For the non-sleeper, time to be still, sit and ponder, write, read, or get lots of work done can be an enormous blessing and lead to great things -- great productivity, big thoughts, fulfillment.
The ability to sleep is also a blessing. Having known those that wish for sleep, who are weary and can't make sleep come, I embrace my ability to sleep well most of the time, almost anywhere. What a delicious thing it is to get to that soft bed, be enfolded by its covers and let your busy mind drift unimpeded for a few hours. It is like taking a journey away from everything, but taking no picture along the way to remember it. Every waking is a returning back home. What a refreshing new perspective so often awaits us with the dawn of a new day.
Unless, perhaps, the dawn is a little too early.
No matter. Even when I'm tired I appreciate this hour of the day. I can always sleep later.
I wish I could speak duck.
The female mallard landed on the pond quacking incessantly, and continued for about 10 minutes. Usually the male arrives first on his own. I was worried that she was calling in distress, that something terrible might have happened to her mate. She was telling a story of woe.
20 minutes later, back outside with the dogs, I saw a pair of mallards fly off towards the Penobscot together. It appears that all is well.
What was she talking about?