My mind has turned to mush. I forget where I put things; I forget to do things; things get mixed up, and some things go and stay missing.
Am I losing my mind?
Is it Alzheimer’s?
My immune system is also down and I have a low-level cold (at this point). And I’ve been getting to bed too late (or too early if you figure the time after midnight in a.m.). So, it’s sleep deprivation. Because I have not been carousing all over town until the wee hours of the morning, that’s not it. The root cause of all this is doing too much – a lot of that I blame on being the only person here who has to do and/or organize everything. Can’t do anything about that now (no time and no money) but there is something I can and will do.
TAKE BACK MY SLEEP TIME.
Studies show that sleep deprivation affects both physical health and mental health, particularly cognitive performance. Your short-term memory and even your long-term memory can take a nosedive and your decision-making abilities can go out the window. According to a study, Sleep Deprivation: Impact on Cognitive Performance by Paula Alhola and Paivi Polo-Kantola (Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, 2007), not getting sufficient zzz’s regularly can impair lots more, including your mood. See http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC265629 for the long list of sleep deprivation effects and the references to corresponding studies. It’s enough to make you want to crawl under the covers and never come out.
I’m not going that far but some things got to go or at least slow down. Consider last week where (among other things) I did/had to deal with the following:
- My handyman finally showing up – on a work day. It interfered with my work time and because he was one and a quarter hour late, not everything got done. I forgive myself for being really grumpy then. He deserved it (if you remember from previous posts he had cancelled a Saturday appointment).
- Juggling client work and meetings (in person) and via email and phone with new clients (not complaining here. I need and like the work. I’m taking it in the context of what else was happening).
- Trying to do end-of-season garden cleanup plus protect vulnerable plants from cold weather/frost with our yo-yo weather (that is the nature of gardening, but again I’m taking it in context with everything else).
- Doing readings from my book, including out-of-town (this I like doing), attending all day workshops on Saturday (my East End Writers’ Group sponsored it so I had to be there even though I felt sick).
- Plus the regular daily stuff – cooking and cleaning up (although I cook extra on weekends and leave what little “big” cleaning jobs I do until weekends).
- Etc., etc., etc.
That’s only part of it. Not getting done was phoning friends as promised, more clearing out of my office (I did do some so I have room for new client files). This week started out with a malfunctioning CD/DVD drive in my desktop computer so my computer tech was just here this morning. The drive wasn’t dead yet but something in it was loose so it was headed to the DVD/CD drive cemetery. My techie replaced it and then I found out his rates went up – but he gave me a discount because I didn’t know and he wasn’t here for a full hour. So, I gave him a post-dated cheque because like most freelancers I’m waiting for another cheque to come in. I also have a whopping house insurance premium (over $1,000 for the next year) due the beginning of next week.
Seems no matter what you do you can’t crawl out from under it.
Except for my sleep deprivation. I’m determined to get at least my required seven and a quarter hours of sleep each night. So, I have to get strict and maybe even a little nasty. My plan?
Put myself first.
Say “no” to many things including some social and business events, particularly where it involves me helping someone else. I’m doing too much of that (mainly in the business end) and spreading myself too thin.
Delete more email – some without first reading the email – just go by the subject and the sender. I don’t mean obvious spam. I’m doing some of this but I will up it.
Stick more to my daily schedule – I do daily schedules but don’t always follow them – now it will be to-the-letter barring extreme unforeseen circumstances. This means clients will have to get in line to get their work done if they want it done properly.
Don’t beat myself if I don’t have time to return friends’ and business phone calls and emails. I will get to it – when I have time.
Don’t get sidetracked by other things – especially those that don’t really interest me and/or aren’t pertinent.
Pace myself in what I do.
Take breaks and leisure time.
And get enough sleep.
Excuse me while I go to the next item on today’s “to do” list.
Sharon A. Crawford
Only Child Writes