Time Magazine Sleepy Picture Gallery
My gorgeous boy sent me this link to a photo gallery of sleepy pictures from Time magazine. The first picture is definitely the cutest, but they're all pretty sweet.
Time Magazine Sleepy Picture Gallery
So... One more week left of school. It's been an interesting year. So what have I learned?
- I can't work full time. Not until something becomes available that elongates my time spent in deep sleep.
- Working part time means I will perpetually feel like I am slightly out of the loop.
- A long commute, to an otherwise perfect job, is not a possibility. It makes me unsafe on the roads and stresses me out.
- Part time music jobs in Sydney are immensely hard to come by.
- I'm a pretty good teacher. Of all the things I can do, and I enjoy, I think teaching is what I do best.
- I've really enjoyed the welfare side of things in this job and I think, if it were ever possible, my ideal job would involve a certain amount of time spent with students at the ends of the spectrum - kids who struggle at school, and kids who need to be academically challenged.
- I looooooooove pavlova mix. Once it's baked it's pretty good too, but oh my God... Pavlova mix is the bomb.
- Living with someone who supports me, loves me and helps me with all my ailments has made an immense difference.
- When I retire, I'm going to get right into gardening. Even the little bits and pieces I've done with the plants on our patio, and the herbs, has been so much OCD fun. Can't wait to have an enormous garden I can go around perfecting.
- I love playing in orchestras. I am just made for classical music performance.
- My cat will never fail to amuse me.
- There is no such thing as too much Law and Order.
- Naps are the bomb.
- As much as I enjoy being alone, I have missed being with people this year. My job and my sleep have sort of taken over a lot, and it's meant that I haven't seen my friends as much as I would have liked to. It hasn't helped that 3 of my best friends have buggered off to other states, and I moved an hour away from the other one. Hopefully a less demanding schedule next year will mean I have more time to see the people I love.
So close to the end of the year. I think I'm still reeling from that Monday of horror last week - I've had very little energy, been really tired all week so far and really lacking in enthusiasm for my teaching. This has resulted in me running on adrenalin quite a bit at school, and has also left me a little bit irritable because I'm finding it hard to focus, hard to mentally process stuff so I'm always asking people to repeat what they say and I have a perpetual feeling of 'crabby old man', where I just want everyone to get out of my way and BE QUIET!!
Still very unsure about employment prospects for next year... sent in an application for a job that could potentially work out to 2 days a week, but very meagre income. I'm a little burnt out at the moment, but I'm also really worrying about what I'm going to be like working next year. I guess because I've had this one job all this year I've lost a bit of perspective on what it's like to be here, there and everywhere. I just haven't found the right balance yet. Vet nursing was great, but is was physically exhausting and had crappy pay (and difficult bosses). Peripatetic teaching was great, but inconsistent and I didn't have enough of it to make any substantial living from my earnings. Classroom teaching this year has been awesome, but so tiring and so much commitment. Casual teaching is great, but inconsistent, unreliable and I find it mildly terrifying going into brand new schools, brand new classes and standing in front of unfamiliar kids every day and hoping to God that they don't commence rioting 2 minutes into the lesson.
Thinking about working and my options has me asking myself a lot of questions. Is it really, ultimately, going to be the case where I will never be able to find a job that will suit my condition as best as possible? Am I always going to struggle with it, be constantly compromising my health for my job and vice versa? Is this what it means to have a disability, to have a condition or illness that prevents a person from leading a totally normal and fulfilling life? Should I be looking into my rights as a 'disabled' person? Am I really disabled?
That's the question that I wrestle with the most. I feel like my musings on this topic may be interpreted by some people as me being negative towards people with disabilities, so let me say first up that that is certainly not my intention. Perhaps the way I perceive 'people with disabilities' does not match up with the way I perceive myself. I certainly don't have a mental or intellectual disability - I am very capable of intellectual processing on a high level and I am emotionally stable. I don't have a physical disability - all my limbs are in excellent working order and all parts of my body function well enough for me to be able to attempt just about any physical task (except maybe open heart surgery, probably wouldn't want to risk that). Yet I know that I cannot work full time. I'm barely managing part time, although there are other factors contributing to my current position that exacerbate the situation. Several times this year I have had to make decisions to compromise my health and well-being for the sake of my job and the expectations of my employers. Yet I am excellent at my job. I'm happy to admit it when I am unable to do something, but if I'm being honest, I'm a pretty good teacher and have done really well this year.
So what am I? Able, yet unable? Is it fair that I have had to make these decisions this year that have compromised my health, quite genuinely to the point where I have definitely been a dangerous driver and, to a lesser extent, a fairly ordinary teacher? Do 'normal' people make these decisions too, on such a regular basis? Am I just in the same position as, say, someone with a shoulder problem - sometimes it hurts but they just have to suck it up and push through the day? It's so unclear.
So... this Monday I think I came the closest ever to dying on the road while driving.
It's been a very long time since I have been that completely exhausted. It was an absurd day, even for a normal person, let alone a narco. I was up at 5am, in order to be at school for a rehearsal at 7.30am. I was incredibly tired on the drive in the morning, which didn't bode well. I had a full day at school - no breaks, really intense teaching, had to be consistently alert. By period 5 I was already rubbish... I was irritable and basically moving around the room just to keep myself awake. After school there was a full staff meeting, which I thought I might sneak a sleep in... but no, I sat at the table which the principal eventually sat down at, so I had to volunteer to take notes during the meeting just so I would stay awake.
Leaving school at 5pm, the drive back to Sydney was hideous. I was so ready to sleep the whole way. But I couldn't go home... I had an orchestral rehearsal starting at 7.30pm, so I drove straight from school to rehearsal, eating a crappy dinner on the way. I had a restless nap in the car for 40 minutes before going into the hall and realising that I was having difficulty walking straight and keeping my eyes focused. To my credit, I played pretty friggen well, but every time we stopped playing I would close my eyes; if I had only short phrases to play I would memorise them and play with my eyes closed. As it was getting closer to the break I decided to tell the conductor that I would have to leave... I couldn't imagine how I would be able to cope with the rest of the rehearsal, and then have to risk the drive home at 10pm. When I talked to the conductor I started to cry - tired and emotional much?? He didn't know quite what to do with me.
I have never been so fearful of falling asleep at the wheel as I was driving home that night. I think that me having a bit of a cry actually helped to clear my eyes and wake me up a bit because I didn't have to stop on the way home, but I was so conscious of my alert state. I felt so irresponsible, yet so trapped by my commitments. More and more I'm starting to realise that making the choice to stay home and sleep is a damned if you do, damned if you don't kind of choice. In this case, I guess I chose to value my commitments over my health, and luckily managed to do so without suffering dire consequences. But it sucked all the same. And by the middle of the day I could tell I was already totally rubbish. It's not a good way to exist.
If anything, Monday gave me clear evidence that full time work is just not an option for me right now. Just one day like that this week has been enough to mess me up for the rest of the week, I can't imagine what I would be like if I had to be as switched on as that 5 days a week. A talk with my specialist on Tuesday also made me feel immensely guilty for not officially acknowledging my condition on my license renewal... now I have to have a test that proves I have the ability to stay awake while driving. My fear is... what if I fail? Can I never drive again?
Aaarggghh the ongoing narcoleptic dramas.
louisfemme is a bird nerd who lives in Sydney, Australia.