So, since November my contribution to the greater dialogue has been hit or miss, at best. I've spent countless hours pounding my head against the wall trying to figure out why. Why can't I be a better contributor? What happened to the energy? Where did the passion go? Why am I not spending 6-8 hours a day posting on DTN?
As time went by, I realized the problem was beyond my control. I needed help. I needed to find out why I couldn't contribute. I needed to bring in an expert. I needed science. Yes, science would set me free.
I called my buddy Keith. He's not really a "scientist" per se, but he does watch the Discovery channel and TLC a lot and he's really into ghost hunting. He knows a lot of stuff. He's also put some really cool videos on YouTube and he won our fantasy football league two years in a row, so he's practically a genius. I needed to get his advice. I needed to find out why I'd lost my blogging energy.
Fortunately, Keith agreed to help.
We spent an intense couple of hours digging for the root cause. With a lot of beer and Keith's Jedi skills, we uncovered a few issues. My dad was mean, somebody stole my hat, my kids laugh at the way I dance and I still really like Vanilla Ice as an artist and a poet. Blah, blah, blah, blah, who cares? Who cares about any of that? Sure, it felt great to get all that out in the open, but it didn't help. I still didn't have my passion back. What the hell? Can we do some shock therapy or something? I gotta get back. I gotta get back to thinking about football and stuff.
Keith asked if he could study up on some things and he'd call me in the morning. He promised me he would have a solution.
I waited by my iPhone all day. Finally, Keith called. He said he wanted to try something. All he had to do was sit by my bed at night and watch me sleep and chart my movements. We'd then sync those movements up with the various stages of sleep and document the time. Then I would need to write down what was happening during the various stages. Finally, we would take that chart and compare it against any information we could find on the Google.
A dude sits on a chair next to my bed with his clip board and a cup of coffee while my wife, my 2 year old, my newborn and I try to get some sleep. It has to be the perfect plan! It's so simple!
The chart below is what we came up with last night. The peaks are periods of anxiousness or irrational thought. The valleys are periods of deep sleep and relaxation. This morning I documented the dreams, thoughts and memories I had during the course of the night and matched them with the chart. I think you'll agree, I've got major issues:
As you can see, I spend a lot of energy every night worrying about Mayans, and the end of the world, and getting on "Chopped" and gangsters. I also find a little time to think about my kid's futures and wonder about strange noises. But, unfortunately, very little sleep is spent on Tech football. Sure, I dreamed about Graham Harrell autographing a cactus for me, but other than that, nada. No time during the night spent on schemes, or future bowl games, or tailgating.
Unfortunately, Keith said there isn't really a quick fix. Five win seasons will lead to many more nights like this. Up and down, up and down, up and down. Counting sheep and drinking NyQuil to kill the noises with a fear of the Sopranos jumping through my window is the future for me with five win seasons.
No more five win seasons! I can't always take solace in the fact that our football team has a hill to run up. I can't always rely on the fact that someday I'll be able to find a shit pile of gold to pay for my kid's college education and my retirement. And I damn sure can't keep counting sheep. I need to sleep. I need to sleep Tommy. I'm so sleepy.
And I need to get that weirdo outta my room.