Tuesday 17 August 2004

What was I thinking?

Recording Things Happen To Us with Squander Pilots took about three years. During that time, being the producer and having a day job, I got very little sleep, regularly getting just three hours a night, and sometimes just going without. And I was OK with that: might have been a tad dopey now and then, but I generally felt OK.

Once the album was finished, I got down to the important business of catching up on sleep, relaxing, and just enjoying the novelty of coming home from work every evening without having yet more work ahead of me. It was great.

Anyway, so I've nearly finished this research work I'm doing, which was given to me in a very last-minute sort of a way and has a bit of a tight deadline, and I've had four hours' sleep since Sunday. I'm having serious trouble thinking in straight lines and stringing sentences together, my left temple is beginning to throb, and I find myself wondering, if this is what I'm like after just two days, how on Earth I survived like this for three whole bloody years. Am I getting too old for this shit? Should I take up gardening? Or macrame?

Urk. I've got that special sleep-deprivation taste in my mouth.

1 comment:

Gary said...

You're not old, you're just less able to run on adrenaline, adrenaline and adrenaline. A few years back I was able to hold down a day job and then work as a writer in the evenings, before being the scourge of Internet message boards and instant messaging software until 3, 4am; I'd get up at 7 and repeat the process all over again. I didn't realise at the time that I was barely functioning as a human being, and I'd rather not reflect on the damage I did to myself during that period. Although constant RSI tends to act as a reminder...

I'm surprised you've noticed this so early: in my case I never realise how much I need a break until I actually have one (which is less often than I'd like, or can afford). I was always one of those people who had perfect health until ten seconds after I left work for a holiday; I'd immediately succumb to Martian Death Flu, which wouldn't lift until ten seconds before I got back to the office. I'm still like that now: give me a deadline and I'm superman (health-wise, anyway); give me a day without work and I'll be as sick as a particularly poorly dog until someone gives me another impossible deadline.