Part Three of the “Five Things I Need to Change Around Here” Series

Note: forgive me for my absence this week, I’ve been mad at work on my other beloved project of late: Small Hands, Big Hearts. I’d love if you would care to pop over and take a peek! 

Part Three: Shut-Eye

I used to (up until this very minute) subscribe to the “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead” theory of getting stuff done.

I say ‘used to’, and ‘up until this very minute’ namely because this very contradiction pretty much sums up the state of things right now: that is:

a) Right ‘up until this very minute’, I stay up WAAAAY too late each night getting my work done; only…

b) I ‘used to’ not feel bad about it.

If I could survive well on just a few hours sleep, you know, function properly, be happy as little Snow White, fa-la-laing while little Disney birds sat on my pastey fingers, then I could keep it going indefinitely. And without guilt.

But…at the ripe old age of 32, it’s catching up with me.

It may be all well and good to sleep when I’m dead, but I fear now that if I keep compromising my sleep while I’m alive, my body might just take me up on the dare…



Or rather, a solid sleep routine.

Which will then, feed into my new morning routine.

Which will help me calm and slow the heck down…

Wow, these really are connecting now, aren’t they? Maybe I should rethink the whole ‘this ain’t gonna be a lifehacking blog’ thang…

The real struggle is post-gig; it doesn’t matter how low key the gig is, post-performance I inevitably cannot sleep for many hours. It’s the adrenalin, the analysis, the pats on the back, the slaps on the forehead, the new material I want to work on…it’s like being high as a kite and then trying to go have a nanna nap.

Not happening.

When I was at Adelaide Fringe it was perfect – my wonderful host Julie was such a gem and was all “just sleep all day if you want to!” which meant that even while my nights ended late (some of them being technically ‘mornings’ I suppose…), I was able to compensate for it. Note, however, that I didn’t have kids with me. During festivals when we are all together, it’s a different story.

Mummy gets cranky. Very cranky. 

(I said that last bit in an Arnold Schwarzenegger/Sylvester Stallone hybrid accent, in case you were wondering.)

I need a strategy. For the high and low seasons of this mummy/performing combo.


Any suggestions?

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One Comment

  1. Franipantz
    May 20, 2011

    Fact is, life is full of problems we need to find solutions for – keep swimming or sink in apathy.
    The way I see it Jen, you’re exploring solutions for problems that exist for you in life, as they do for all of us (and that is AWESOME in a blog btw cos it helps us all think more deeply about these things). Looking after ourselves physically as a way of helping ourselves find solutions to emotional and intellectual questions we have is pretty sound I think. Ultimately our health rules all. We can’t enjoy being ‘wealthy’, in any sense of the word, if we don’t have a good balance within ourselves physically.
    Good sleep, good eating, hydration and exercise are fundamental to physical well being. Without one of those things we’re going to all short somewhat. Something has to give. Maybe I worked too long in a health industry…but I know that what I learned has helped me immeasurably. Perhaps this should be entered into a blog of my own some day but I’m so busy working on that balance for myself that I find it difficult to have the time to extend it.
    But I love you Jen and know full well the energy and talent you have to extend to the world so I think it’s worth telling now. Fact is – you can have it all!
    Whatever you do can only be enhanced by looking after yourself and sleep is definitely a big key. I know you can do and have everything you’ve ever wanted doing it as you have been but I know you’d probably enjoy it all a whole lot more if you gave yourself the joy of sleep and subconscious dreams. Subconscious dreams can only fuel the fire within. Feeling rested, confident and self-assured mean you can own the world you want to own and have the ability to recognise that you do actually own it.
    So in answer to – “Any suggestions?” in terms of surviving the blitz and bliss of comedic success and parenthood – I can only suggest – Sleep when you can. If you can’t due to circumstances then let yourself be creative and let yourself recover for a couple of days after. Just give yourself time to work it out and work through the buzz to keep yourself grounded. There is nothing more addictive (without unnatural or semi-toxic chemicals such as caffeine) than being successful. Believe you’re a success, whatever you do, even and maybe especially in failure, as lessons learnt can be utilized in perfecting one’s art. Life is an art. We are naturally drawn to and respect those people who can pull it off without seeming affected. I can almost guarantee those people have lots of sleep. The rest crash and burn.
    You have always had my admiration and respect for your ongoing determination and strength of purpose. I’ve always thought you were amazing in an AWE kind of way. WOW – Jen really knows what she wants and what she wants to do. That’s a gift!! That’s why I’ve always been right there on the ready to be there if you ever had any reason to need me for anything, just to be a part of it meant I was going to have the most amazing fun ever! Maybe I AM your number 1 fan Jen? I’m never really sure what I want to do with my life or how I want it to be. But if I don’t get enough sleep I get really upset about most things. Then there’s the pmt, the living in another country from my family and friends (especially after losing my sister), being engaged to someone that works opposite hours to me, and not knowing what the future holds or when. But if I get enough sleep I can handle it all so much better and I don’t feel as though I’m falling apart. I can make it all work somehow.
    Without good sleep we might be amazing but will be aware enough to realise how great it all is? How great we are?
    Roll with the punches. Don’t worry if ‘the routine’ gets out of whack sometimes. Have faith that rest will only build you up for the big times yet ahead. Try not to over think or analyse events. Let the subconscious during sleep do that for you. It happens very naturally. Make notes so ideas can stop swimming around in your head.
    You’re already amazing Jen. Just imagine what power you’ll hold with sleep under your belt.

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