When I got up at 4:30 a.m. today, I couldn’t wait to get out of bed. I come out, not like a woman of 59 years of age, but as a woman in a hurry. I don’t linger or snuggle back in for a few extra minutes. I don’t luxuriously stretch to acquaint my previously sleeping muscles with the transition of prone to upright. I throw back the covers and spring from the bed in some sort of panic
My first real cogent thought when I wake is: “Oh, God, I’m late!” I am, of course, not late. I am never late for anything. I occasionally cut it close, but the vast majority of the time, I am early. I am sometimes so early I have to kill time before arrival to the next meeting or event!
Have you ever taken a survey with this question? “How do you spend your leisure time?” I bet you answered with something like: “Travel” or “With Family” Perhaps you were a little more specific and answered with one of your favorite activities. Do you spend your leisure time reading, biking, gardening, or engaging in some other pleasant activity that you enjoy?
My response to that question is: “Leisure time? What the heck is that?”
In 1979, I read a book titled Sleep Less, Live More. The book is still available, so it must be interesting premise for a number of people to continue to request a book after 32 years. After such a long time, I really don’t remember much about the book, except for this refrain: “If you live to age 90 and you sleep 8 hours per night, you will have slept 30 years!”
Now, I don’t know if the book actually states that phrase that way, but that is the distillation of thought I carry.
People often ask me how I do so much, stay so busy and participate in so many activities. I owe it all to Everett B. Mattlin. I was astounded to think we sleep one third of our lives! Thirty years? Just think of it! Thirty precious years of life are essentially wasted. I know we must sleep. Our bodies need time to recover and renew from all the abuse we hand them every day, but must we really spend one third of our lives in a non-productive state? Isn’t that what eternity is for?
What about when we get really old? Aren’t those years going to be not so productive? I vote to move those 30 years to the end of life. Oh, but wait a darn minute! That means my last thirty will begin next year.
So, if you hear less from me next year, you’ll know one of two things happened: Either I’ve begun my thirty year sleep, or I’ve decided I could be more productive if I didn’t spend time sitting, either.
You can try a free down load of Everett Mattlin’s book from Internet Archive. I have not tested this, so please be sure your computer is secure before downloading.