Since I was young my mother taught me that sleep is only secondary. (Please just bear with me) I believed her then but now I don't.
In all of my four decades of existence, sleep has always been short for me. Believe it or not, that is my truth.
The most I could sleep is three to four hours.
I'm the youngest of five, three elder brothers and a sister. I sleep beside my parents while my siblings sleep on their own. This is Philippines, hello! Don't judge me. :))
As the youngest sibling, you always have a special place in your parents bedroom. One where you get to have the bigger share of the bed.
My parents were both workaholics. My Ma, a teacher and dressmaker. My Pa, in the Police and part-time farmer(not really but goes to our farms). They were always busy and oftentimes immersed in works. My father rarely came home, as is usual for policemen assigned in other towns(there were few buses or jeepneys and lower salaries and costly fares), to save on money. My mother slept late or early dawn to sew gowns and dresses after a hard-days work as a teacher.
I am close to both of them but mostly to my mother.
After my Ma's done with her dress making, we'd talk til' dawn. Sleep often eluded us. She'd get ready for work at 5 then(even without sleep she'd be ready at this time), me, just slept at 3 and had to wake at 6 to prepare for school as well. This is our routine in my elementary days.
High school was slightly different as I already have a room of my own. I developed a habit of reading. I'd read til' dawn and wake up at 6. Four to five hours of sleep.
College was the same thing, I was hooked with books. Romance, adventure, fantasy and whatever fiction books I can get my hands on. (don't worry, I did graduate on time).
When I got married, it has gotten worse, sleep time consisted of interval naps. Two to three hours of sleep, sometimes an hour. I'm not on drugs, trust me. I don't even drink coffee then.
It's like I was in constant hype and just a nap would revive me right away.
I took my mother's advise too literally. I got her bad habit of sleep deprivation too. Tired was just a word for me. Sick, sleepless, whatever condition I may had, I never had a moment to lie down long or rest for that matter. All days are the same to me. Mind you, I have a daughter in the autism spectrum and it's like taking care of five children in one plus my other children still under 18.
My life was so busy that I kept awake to try to finish everything in a day and 24-hours just wasn't enough. I never felt so tired in my life. All those years of washing clothes (hand-washing, mind you), night shift work, sending my kids to school carrying a baby and fetching them again, and doing house chores, caught up on me. (I'm not complaining, just stating facts. hahah! even if it sounds like I am). Motherhood's a sacrifice, yes but not to that extent, I guess.
Let me tell an honest truth, it might be worth all the sacrifices but at age 40 I felt like I'm 60 years old with all body pains included. It is delusional to think that one is superhuman and is invulnerable. Rest is a must.
A colleague of mine, back when I was still working in an office(was young and single), he gave me these wise words, "stop trying so hard to finish your work in a day or the work will finish you". I never really understood what he said until now. It's like fitting so many things in one box which for sure will break eventually.
My saving grace was when I gave birth to my last child. That was the only time I can truly say I rested. It's like my baby was my sleeping pills. (I never took sleeping pills for some reason I can't mention) God sent me a cure for my sleep deprived life in a form of a baby. I realized that I have been neglecting myself. My Ma's advise shouldn't be taken literally. And I slowly took care of myself.
We'd take rides - my husband and I would go on a round south tour. Dates had become a habit - eating out and enjoying beautiful scenes along the way. Sleeping - Saturdays and Sundays are sleep like a log days. These are things I slowly learned and had begun to make a habit of.
So to you my friends, please do not deprive yourselves of sleep. Take a rest, go out(I never had time to go out then), enjoy life and take some time off from responsibilities if you can(don't leave your children unattended of course. have someone, a family or a friend to watch over your kids). Have a date night with your hubby or wife, go on a ride, have a vacation or go on long walks. Life should be lived with rests in between.
So long for now! See you in a bit!