Day 7,046 – Sleep is Overrated

sleepI ran across this quote recently, and it made me think about my first all-nighter:

Sometimes, exhausted / with toil and endeavour, / I wish I could sleep / for ever and ever; / but then this reflection / my longing allays: / I shall be doing it / one of these days. -Piet Hein, poet and scientist (1905-1996)

I had a good group of friends during my high school years. They weren’t all from the school I went to, but we got together quite a bit. The time I remember the most was the summer after our first year of college.

One of the gang rented a cabin in a state park in Ohio just before everyone headed back to school. My classes didn’t start until September, so I offered to take one of my friends to school in Connecticut following the camping trip. As the summer progressed, we even found an opportunity to add in a trip to visit my uncle in Boston and my sister in Newport, Rhode Island, during the preliminaries for the America’s Cup.

So in early August we packed up the family station wagon and headed out. We started at the camping trip and it was probably the first time I remember being up all night and wondering where the time went. We played touch football for hours, had a great cookout, and then in the evening several of the people there brought out their guitars and we had a great night of stories, music, and friendship. This was the community that helped me grow up during high school, and it was in the late night moments of that night that I realized how much they had impacted my life. I also knew that we might never get together quite like this again, and I just enjoyed every moment as long as I could.

The rest of the trip was great and memorable for so many details. Seeing my east coast family, getting onto the dock as the 12 meter yachts were heading out for the preliminary races, and just enjoying being young and healthy with no real pressures in life.

These days it frequently feels like there aren’t enough hours in a day to do everything I want to do. And I frequently neglect a little sleep in favor of one more chapter of my current read, or one more selection from my Google Reader bookmarks.

I sleep enough to enjoy my waking hours. I’m lucky that way – sufficient rest. And when the kids are home at Christmas then maybe I’ll stay up even a little bit later.

My lesson from this: Know your limits, and sleep enough, but don’t wish you could stay in bed, because someday you won’t be getting up!

2 Responses to Day 7,046 – Sleep is Overrated
  1. Pat DuffyNo Gravatar
    September 9, 2011 | 9:49 am

    Ah yes – Lake Hope. What an appropriate name! Then on to Cornell (first exposure to a fraternity), Rockport (we got lost while driving in a fog and ended up in a graveyard), Newport (America’s cup and Naragansett beer) and Fairfield. I recounted this trip many times over the years and will always cherish the memory.


    timNo Gravatar Reply:

    Wow, how could I have forgotten Cornell?
    Thanks for stopping by my little philosophical corner of the web Pat. You just made my day and enriched an old memory.


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