“… I haven’t slept a wink. I’m so tired; my mind is on the blink. I wonder should I get up and fix myself a drink? No, no, no! I’m so tired… I’m feeling so upset. Although I’m so tired, I’ll have another cigarette. And curse Sir Walter Raleigh — he was such a stupid git. I’m so tired…” Lyrics excerpted from- “I’m So Tired”, written and sung by John Lennon, from the Beatles 1968 double album “The Beatles“ (also known as “the White Album”).
There is an uncharted, psychological, or perhaps physiological, change that occurs sometime within the mid 30’s to early 40’s of the human lifecycle. It is identifiable by a vocally expressed phenomenon. And as we grow older this turn of phrase works its way deeper into our vocabulary. Until it becomes the automatic, go-to reply to another person’s inquiry of —“How’re you doing?” To which we begin our response with: “Kinda tired…”
Why is it, with the passage of years as we grow older, do we become “kinda tired”? It seems that we’re always “kinda” tired! Never full-on tired though, just- “kinda”. Is this included implication of “kinda” an unconsciously added act of defiance and denial? Something along the lines of, ‘I’ll be tired when I’m old and sleep when I’m dead mentality’? Is “kinda” just kinda a preemptive phase to this? Or a fruitless verbal attempt to forestall the inevitable?
When you kinda think about being “kinda tired” as we grow older it kinda doesn’t make sense. (For the love of holy gawd can we stop with the kinda thing???) Yeah, we can, okay so… For most folks, with each passing year, bedtime comes a little earlier, till a bedtime point is reached that aligns with that of a toddler.
Toddlers are amazing creatures, with their diverse sleeping methods. Some can pull up their blankie, snuggle down and are out like a light the moment their little head hits the pillow. Others… the covers are halfway on the floor, next to a scattered plethora of stuffies. The pillow case is off, along with half the child’s bedclothes. And there they lie, upside down, sprawled out in every direction and looking as though they were gunned down by the sandman. But no matter how they go out, they go down early.
How odd is it then, that as we continue to grow up, we begin to mimic and return to this earlier bedtime of our youth? Usual opting for the ‘get down and get still’ version, willingly surrendering to the sandman long before any shots are fired. The only variance is that whereas a kid can sleep well into the morning, an early bedtime for an adult means an early rise time.
Those early twilight hours, stolen away and cloaked in semi-darkness, seem to be the only ones where “kinda” isn’t even acknowledged. Wide awake, well rested and ready to face the day… well you would be… if you’d actually slept. Because even though we can go to bed the same time as the kiddiepoos, as adults sleep can get complicated.
Sometimes that growingly familiar “kinda tired” isn’t what drives us to bed early. Sometimes it’s seemingly the only venue for escape. For those who are chronically worrisome or clinically melancholic, sleep may not be the solution, but the answer in the form of a temporary reprieve.
How many of you have slipped off to bed early to evade events of the day? Struggled to find sleep? Then wake an hour later to find worrisome woe lingering on the bedside table? You toss, turn, and stare at the ceiling. You get up, wander the house, sit at the table, lie on the sofa, and turn on the TV. Maybe… if you concentrate, think the whole thing through… one… more… time. This is every insomniac, via stress’s folly.
You won’t find a solution. You’ll be more than “kinda tired” when you face it again tomorrow.
This cycle will continue, until sleep is achieved via passing out from exhaustion, then you wake and start all over again. No matter how many restless nights you suffer through, you won’t find sleep nor solution. But you can find acceptance. Accept that there’s nothing you can do now, so rest while you’re able, so you’re only “kinda tired” when there’s something you can.
I welcome almost all questions and comments via FOCUS, or E-mail me at [email protected]. Hope to hear from ya, until then try and stay focused! See ya.