Updated: Feb 24
How many times have we been told this over the years? It has never been truer than today.
The mind is tricky and will often play havoc with you if you don’t give it the rest it deserves and needs. I can’t tell you how often things become more straightforward and less “heavy” after getting a good night’s sleep. Those issues, decisions, and events that plagued you throughout your day always seem to be less important after you have given your body its needed recoup time.
My father was always one to warn you against “burning the candle at both ends.” It was an intriguing saying and never more true than in your youth. You were always on the go and afraid of missing out on some event. Sleep always took a backseat as it always seemed less important. You never wanted to waste a minute here and there until it came to a crashing halt. The fact is, this type of lifestyle is not sustainable, and your body will eventually burn out, not unlike the candle. A candle, when lit at both ends, burns erratically and wastefully until it “burns out.”
I often have these types of discussions with my boss, who has always been a proponent for “sleeping on it.” He never makes snap decisions, allowing it to sink in overnight and revisits the subject in the morning. Sometimes his snap decisions are the way to go, and sometimes a decent amount of rest causes him to revise his line of thinking.
This is some of the best advice he ever passed on to me. Unfortunately, it is not something I follow 100% of the time. It hasn’t stopped me from going off half-cocked only to find out I should have taken my time before rushing to a conclusion. Even as recent as this week, I made some erratic decisions I looked back on and said to myself, “what was I thinking?”. It is just that — - I wasn’t thinking. The body and mind were on autopilot, and it was time for a reset. Everything was much clearer after I forced myself to sleep as required.
How many times have we slept and awoke to the next day with a newfound perspective on things? I equate this to restarting a glitchy computer. You have the option to either shut it down and then reboot, not unlike a good night’s sleep. The other option is to “restart the computer,” which I equate to a quick nap. In either case, you are quickly erasing the blackboard and starting with a fresh slate to hurdle your next task.
I can tell you I burn the candle more efficiently nowadays, but I still have awkward moments. I have lapses in decision-making, but a quick reset sets me back into a reasonable frame of mind. I find that after a good night’s rest, anything seems possible!