Friday, January 23, 2009

Sleep: The Taxes of Life

Part of this blog was created as a solution to a problem. A problem that I have created for myself, and have had to deal with for many years. Many of the entries on this blog are born of this problem. 

It is my aversion to sleep.

I hate sleep. Absolutely hate it. Sleep is the taxes of life.

Lemme ‘splain...

Just as the government takes about a third of my income before I see nickel one, so sleep takes a third of my life. Doing NOTHING!!! We each have only a limited amount of time on this planet, (And certain lifestyles have predetermined that amount to be considerably shorter than others!) But, regardless of one’s health, diet, or fitness regimes, (or lack thereof,) all of us have that finite amount of time to make the most of what we have; career, family, hobbies, love, whatever. However, right off the top of this, you surrender a third of your life! If you live to be sixty, you’ve been asleep for twenty friggin’ years!

What’s worse, sleep makes the next day come more quickly. And I have so very few positive early morning experiences that this is not an attraction for me. Another day at work vs. more time at home doing whatever I choose to do? Hmmm, decisions, decision.

For a brief spell, not long back, the wife was into meditation. I was my usual supportive self, (no, seriously!), but when she asked what I thought about it, all my pent-up truths, uh, opinions, came flooding out! "IT'S FRIGGIN' RIDICULOUS!!!" I explained, supportively. Naps, meditating, sensory deprivation, these are all over and above the ‘nothing’ factor! Its like tipping the FDIC! Or “investing” in the IRS! Stupid. Does it make you live longer? Bullshit! Prove it! And what percentage of this alleged longer life do you have to spend sleeping! The here and now is here! And its now, too, (almost forgot that part!) Because if your life tanks like the market did, there’s no recouping the loss. Rest in Peace, my ass!

If I didn’t have to sleep at night, every night of my life I could accomplish so much: I could learn a foreign language, practice on a musical instrument, write a new CD review, watch a movie, clean up around the house, (okay, maybe THAT is a bit of a stretch,) or just spend some quality time with the missus or some other family member/loved one. Heck! I could even work a part-time job or go to school for a further degree or something different like a trade. 

Or do nothing but make the morning come faster. 

Racing forward to greet each new day is not only the way people get old and die more quickly, but the way the “right now” ends... To go do ‘nothing’ for eight hours.

I am reminded of a couple of appropriate quotes on the subject. Edgar Allen Poe once described sleep as “those little slices of death. How I loath them.” And although I agree with his sentiment, I do so for reasons that are better encapsulated by the words of that more modern philosopher, Benny Hill: “Live every day as if it were your last, because sooner or later, you’ll be right.”

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