I want my sleep back!

March 13, 2012 in Best Of, Fantasy, Novel, On Writing, Parenting by pacejmiller

It’s amazing how little sleep you can function on when you have no choice.

As a new father, I’ve repeatedly astounded myself by sleeping less than I’ve ever slept in my life, even worse than when I was working my tail off as a lawyer. The problem is not just the lack of sleep — it’s the continuous breaks in the sleep when you actually do get the chance for some shut-eye that really kills you.

I used to be a relatively deep sleeper, but now I wake up over the sound of a pube hitting the ground. You can’t sleep when the baby is crying or making noises, and you can’t sleep well when they are completely silent because you wonder if something has gone horribly wrong.  It’s f&%ed.

That said, I am getting used to it. Kind of. I had my first five-hour sleeping spree last night in months, followed by an uninterrupted two-hour nap. I am hoping my little boy has finally turned a corner (I probably just jinxed myself there), but I’ll have to wait and see tonight if it’s just a once off miracle.

I long for the day I can get a full night’s sleep again.  I hear maybe from six months onwards, babies will be able to sleep through the night.  Looking back, I deeply regret the times I took sleep for granted.  Ahh…sweet, sweet, beautiful sleep. How I miss thee!

Life has slowly entered a routine around here. Well, kind of.  I go work in the morning, stay there for nine hours, come home, have dinner, try and finish off my freelance work, maybe watch some TV or a movie, play some Words With Friends or Scramble With Friends, exercise a little, feed the little one and put him to sleep, before I collapse in exhaustion myself.

Not that I’m complaining. Despite the general exhaustion and sleep deprivation I have never been happier.  It’s such a wonderful thing watching my little boy grow everyday — he has already doubled his birth weight and has gone from a skinny alien into a fatty with a couple of chins.  I love watching his big wandering eyes, seemingly curious at every little thing in this new world around him.  I love how he cracks a little smile when I steal a kiss on his chubby cheeks.  I love the look of satisfaction on his face when he finally gets that hard-fought burp, fart or poop out.  I even adore (love is too strong a word) the way he sobs and cries.

In fact, it’s one of the rare, perhaps unprecedented times in my life where I actually know how special things are right now.

The best part about my current situation that I no longer hate my job.  I wouldn’t say the work, working conditions are pay are ideal, but it feels good not waking up to a tsunami of overwhelming dread every morning just because you have to go to work.  Amazingly, I enjoy what I do and almost look forward to it.

It’s only been a month, so I probably just jinxed myself again, but it’s been the first time I’ve ever actually thought about work outside of work hours because I want to, and not out of fear. I want to write good articles and I want to come up with better ways to write and improve my writing. I also enjoy reading my articles after they’ve been published, particular so I can see the changes our copywriters have made so I can learn to be a better writer.

The working hours are good, the work itself is varied and most of the time it’s interesting. Occasionally I still get the dud article but I take it on the chin and think of it as a learning opportunity. On the downside I thought I’d have a lot more spare time during work hours to do other stuff, such as doing my own writing.  But not only does it feel wrong, I actually don’t have that much time — maybe five minutes or ten minutes here or there, which is never enough to get into the writing mood.

Right now the only thing preventing me from getting back on the novel-writing wagon is this freelance job I’ve been doing. After three months of crawling through this turd, I can finally say I am in the home stretch.  I’m just about in the colon.  My guess is one or two more weeks, and then I’m done.  It’s a good thing to have on my CV, being able to say I edited an entire book and all, but it’s just too hard and the pay is too low.  Besides, I’d much rather work on my novels again.  I’ve been in touch with my friend back in Oz and maybe we will get my masters project back on track.  I still believe it has potential.

As for my fantasy novel, I’ve been dreaming about it a lot lately. I guess it’s always like that — the scenes are written in your head much easier than they are written on the page.  Having kind of ‘figured it out’ at last, I know I’ll have to rewrite most of the damn thing, but I look forward to the challenge. Thanks to Game of Thones for getting me back into fantasy.

That’s the life update. I have about 40 posts in wait, and I promise I’ll eventually get to them. The only problem is that new post ideas are popping up quicker than I am writing them. Oh well, it’s time for the night feed. Sweet dreams (fingers crossed).