If there ever was a con about having been in the Navy for seven years, it’s that I really didn’t have a set sleep schedule. At sea, working hours can vary greatly, add in the fact that you had to stand watch and there was really no set time to sleep. When I was attached with the Marines, the same rules applied, if it was a field operation, sleep was a luxury, if it happened then great, but after a certain point and time, you would acclimate. Couple this with anxiety and I have trouble staying asleep for longer than a few hours. I’ve tried everything, sleep aids, exercise, and staying off my phone before bed. Yet, my insomnia persists. But here’s the funny thing, it has helped me gather ideas for my writing.
On the weekends, I’ll stay up with my pug and she’ll keep me company with her various snorts and demands for food. I’ll watch TV or play videogames in an attempt to tire myself out so that I can eventually meander upstairs to fall asleep. It annoys the hell out of my wife, but she’s a heavy sleeper and I’m pretty good at being quiet. But when I’m awake, I can plan out what to write about throughout the week. I came up with the Lost Legacy series because I have a fondness for games of the past. There are so many that have been forgotten by time that it is rather a shame. Learning about why they’ve been forgotten is never as simple as a lack of sales, there’s always other factors involved. I also like to look at the various TV shows that never get any love. I’ll be writing about Fargo next, one of my favorite series of the past few years. I stand by the fact that FX is one of the best producers of television behind HBO. If you’ve never seen The Americans, Justified, The Shield, or It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, then you’re missing out on great television.
Being on social media can have its benefits. One being the discovery of new sites that greatly differ from the usual sites I frequent. I found a site known as Obilisk, which has thoughtful takes on videogames and other forms of media. If videogames are your fancy, I suggest you check them out, you’ll see more than just previews and reviews. Another benefit is seeing just how creative people are with promoting their content. I mentioned in a previous post that social media is a tool, that if used properly can greatly enhance a businesses visibility. It’s fascinating to see how the different businesses work to promote themselves or their partners. On Twitter you will always see numerous retweets of an article to maximize its visibility in the hopes of bringing in a broader audience.
Saying that I’ve gotten used to having insomnia is a lie. You don’t ever get used to being exhausted in the morning. Surprisingly, it hasn’t affected my productivity at work, but it does take a long time for me to get going. Coffee and energy drinks don’t work and haven’t worked since my first few years in the Navy. I tend to drink them out of habit. I have however, worked to use my insomnia to my benefit. Being able to research new topics in Supply Chain Management has been beneficial in my studies. Also, using Khan Academy has helped me re-learn new statistical processes. So it hasn’t been all bad. I do find myself being far more productive while staying up. But dammit do I miss having a good nights rest.
For years, I hated having insomnia. Trying to find effective ways to fall asleep or stay asleep would result in failure and frustration. I look like I’m generally displeased at work, but honestly, I’m just tired. That won’t ever go away, but the funny thing about insomnia is that it has helped far more than it hurt.
Maybe I’m just weird.