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Posts Tagged ‘fatigue’

Metro, boulot, dodo — ras-le-bol!

In animals, behavior, domestic life, life, love, travel, work on May 13, 2013 at 12:04 am

By Caitlin Kelly

The French say it so much better, as usual — subway/train, work, sleep. (Enough already!)

That’s what “normal” life too often devolves into, a steady and numbing routine that continues unbroken, sometimes for decades.

The past 10 days’ break have been a blessing indeed, with a deliciously indolent rhythm of eat/sleep/repeat. Shop, visit a museum, see friends, read for pleasure, sit in the sun on the dock and listen to gulls squawking. Just slooooooooooooow down to whatever pace is ours alone.

Both of the friends we stayed with, both long-married couples with empty nests, are people we’ve known for many years, welcoming and gracious hosts who fed us well and stayed up into the night talking. Both have cats and large, affectionate dogs who would come and nose us awake in the silent mornings.

The husbands get along beautifully and the women, like me, love to make stuff, whether sewing or art or calligraphy — one is a fellow writer and the other is a graphic designer who teaches and runs her own firm. She helped me make this amazing bag with fabric I bought years ago in Toronto and a vintage watch face I found in Richmond and attached with a button — with a $ sign! — she just happened to have in her stash of antique buttons.

It’s the perfect bag for a freelance writer: time, words, money.

cattibag

It was deeply refreshing to just not have to do anything. (That’s not entirely accurate, as two of my editors wanted more work on two stories I thought were fully tied off, but you ignore clients at your peril.)

This week back home in New York is a bit of the usual whirlwind — meeting a friend in from San Francisco Tuesday for a drink, an event at a local library for my book “Malled” on Wednesday, and Thursday night will join a group of New York Times staffers at a trivia contest — we won last year, so it’s time to defend our title against The Wall Street Journal, Fox News and a room filled with ferocious journalism competitors eager to prove who’s smartest.

It will be the usual blur of meetings, calls, emails, pitches, errands, follow-ups.

The silhouette of a large saguaro stands at su...

The silhouette of a large saguaro stands at sunset in Saguaro National Park on the east side of Tucson, Arizona. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But next Saturday we fly to Tucson, Arizona for two more weeks where Jose will be working long days teaching the New York Times Student Journalism Institute. I’ll be giving a lecture on freelancing, but the rest of my time there is pure rest and relaxation. I’m hoping to hike the Grand Canyon again — the last time was June 1994 — alone, as last time. I can’t wait to go horseback riding through one of my favorite parts of the country.

Our time off has let us feel human again, not just weary industrial cogs in machines moving far too quickly. We laughed a lot and slept deeply.

Have you been able to take a break recently?

Did it help?

Naptime! The Joy Of Zzzzzzs

In behavior, domestic life, Health, life on March 10, 2011 at 2:53 pm
My pillow

Are you one of those people who just can’t nap?

Who guzzle coffee and soda all day long in an ongoing and desperate attempt to stay lucid, functional and awake?

Take a nap!

Join me, figuratively speaking, in a lovely little snooze. Recline (gently and slowly) that train/car/airplane seat. Plump up those sofa pillows. Grab a cosy throw and crawl onto bed.

No, you’re not lazy, slothful, a slacker.  You’re whipped and your body needs to re-charge. You know, like those cords you carry everywhere for your laptop and cellphone…

You can do it!

I’ve been told, (which I do take as a compliment) I’m a terrific napper, having fully slept on the floors of airplanes and train stations, in chairs, even mid-meal once. My sweetie is also skilled at this, as is my Dad.

We’re all journos, photographers and film-makers, i.e. people whose works can be ferociously, full-on, 24/7 demanding (hello, 9/11) with sleep a distant memory. We’ve slept under desks. You learn to grab rest whenever and wherever you get the chance.

I’m also one of those people with two speeds: gogogogogogogogogogogo and fast asleep. I am not good at resting, relaxing, chilling out, staring idly into space. So naps are a very healthy choice for me.

And,  very likely, for you as well — Americans, now surgically attached to all forms of technology 24/7, are losing a lot of sleep as a result, a new study finds.

Here’s a site with a lot of helpful links for the truly worn out.

How about you?

Do you take naps?

Do they help?

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