By Mana Williams Eade 15 Minutes
So today I slept in. Missed my morning class, missed a non-important hand-in session, which sucks. Missed the five milk-bathed weet bix that were on the menu for breakfast, such a travesty. But even after this whole ordeal, I could still describe how I feel in three words. “I don’t care.” In today’s wee blog lets chat about how important it is to take time out for yourself when everything all gets a bit panicky and gross. When you’ve got a mountain load of work in front of you and only a coffee mug of motivation. When you can’t be bothered because you haven’t given your brain the food that it deserves.
Who came up with this thing called sleep?
Sleep is for the weak, apparently. We all need roughly 6-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep per day to function correctly. That’s what we’ve been told by our teachers, that’s what our parents said our whole childhood, that’s what the professors at Harvard University said so it must be true right?
They all keep saying that this small sleep period, based on scientific evidence, proves that our bodies need REM sleep in order for our circadian rhythm to be healthy and let our body function properly. Such as sending the right chemicals to the brain, make sure our immune system is well balanced, basically reset our day. All of this information tells us one thing. That we only have half of our day to do shit.
So what’s your argument Mana?
What if relaxing our brains improved our sleep quality and occupied less sleep time? No, I don’t mean pills or coffee, I mean real tangible fulfilment in doing something you really enjoy and are able to find a balance and manipulate so that you don’t have to sleep as much each day.
I’m referring to “YOU-TIME”.
The time of your day where you put aside the few notifications that are important but actually when put down on a piece of paper and perspectivised could actually be solved in 20 minutes or an hour later rather than right now.
I hate the idea that something is due and I haven’t done it, out of the fear of failure and the fear of shame. These are real emotions for me. When somebody tells me that there was something due mid-lecture that I didn’t know about, panic is a relaxed way of putting it.
When I woke up this morning it was a process of thinking why it really mattered if I missed breakfast if my assignment couldn’t be done in twenty minutes time, why I was so super stressed and only seconds into my new day.
All of these cocktail-party professors force these daily living schedules onto us so hard that they crush the shit out of how people live their lives. You can’t do this, you can’t eat that. Everywhere! It’s like we subscribed to wives tales just because the wife has a PHD.
The marketplace even takes grasp of this stuff. Promote the use of the word “organic” or “homemade” and “gourmet” then up the price of something by 30%. It’s all a big scandal and I won’t be able to expose it in one 1500 word essay styled blog piece.
While many things are true, that we should sleep, that we should eat food, that we should allow our bodies these natural resets. It shouldn’t be pressured down on us to live our lives orientated to one grumpy guy’s expectation. Power is something that we give to other people, right?
So it shouldn’t be too much to ask then to have that power back. It shouldn’t be too hard to say you took time out for yourself when people ask why you didn’t do something. When you think of the shame, it’s always in your head that maybe if I didn’t sleep enough last night then that is why I wasn’t on-time. That it was because I had poor routine skills that it wasn’t handed in.
My argument is that there are so many people out there driven by the fear of failing. The idea of shaming themselves in public or at school or within their social circles. My point is that taking time out for yourself is so much more important than anything else.
Above fig. WHATMANASEES Instagram
Imagine if you failed everything. Imagine if you slept in because you wanted that extra hours sleep, or even two hours sleep because you knew in yourself that your body wasn’t ready for it physically, and you weren’t ready for it mentally. That you missed your 50% course contribution assignment hand-in without late exceptions, that you were an hour late picking up your grandparents from the airport, that you missed having breakfast with your loved one before she flew away to a different city in the morning.
Imagine if all that shit happened. You failed your core-course, your girlfriend is upset with you for the next month while she’s in a different country and your parents won’t look at you whilst around the dinner table because you left nana and grandpop in the rain at gate three, Wellington International Airport.
What sort of shame would bear on your shoulders? Would you wake up that morning, look at your cell phone and have a mental breakdown? Because I know I would. It’d suck majorly. I’d probably compose myself and act like it’s all okay when deep down inside it’d be killing me the vision of my grandmother looking around for me in the rain, cold, searching for my car to roll up. Or my girlfriend, waiting at the coffee shop, trying to get me over the phone. Or the invisible clock on the hand-in box via the University server ticking over 9:01 am.
In my head, i’d be dying to know how to change it all, how to make myself feel better about stuffing up so massively. So much so that I’d probably down on myself for a while. So much so that it’s probably going to change the way I talk to my friends, my best mates. That I’d probably call them out for doing really small things wrong, that I’d probably stress even more when the next occasion arose where I was late again.
What does it all mean?
It means that in my opinion, nobody likes to feel shame. Nobody likes to feel the guilt associated with stuffing up. It affects the way we engage with the ones we love because we make the assumption that even under the most extreme circumstances we assume they’ll never be able to forgive us for what we did, but they will… People recover…
One of the strongest human characteristics next to blaming someone is forgiving them for it. Forgiving you for taking time out for yourself. We get it, things are tough. As long as I take ownerships for my lateness, take ownership for the mistakes I’ve made, email the course coordinator and tell them I was a bit late in completing my assignment, that I was up all night writing my blogs, doing what I love and so I slept in and couldn’t make it in time. Under the most extreme cases, these justifications won’t result in the loss of your life. Nobodies going to die. The truth is everybody likes to sleep in. But it’s time taken out for you to do what you want to do and not living to a socially barricaded way that matters most.
That’s another thought from my day. This is my 50th daily blog, which is halfway to one hundred! Happy days mate. There’s so much more coming and I’m really excited to share them with you! I’ve thought about applying to Salient Magazine to become a writer, which is Victoria University of Wellington’s local magazine, which is an outfit run by students just posting political and other interesting pieces. Will keep that in mind and will think on it over these next few weeks.
And as always!
Thanks for checking in…