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[posted on Xanga]Sleep Distribution

(This is my second attempt at this. I wrote a lengthy and inspired entry about an hour ago, and Xanga lost it. I will attempt to recapture that spirit, but it is bound to lack something.)

There is only so much procrastination one can do if one wishes to complete a project by the appointed time. My desire to maintain some modicum of professional integrity made postponement of the aforementioned website project's deadline an impossibility, so the time had come for me to bite the bullet and start working.

The hardest part of any project, to me, often is just getting started. I cannot tap in at will to that creative impulse necessary for designing a site. I suppose that my procrastination serves a purpose, for as I am searching for ways to delay the inevitable, my subconscious is milling about, preoccupied with how to approach my task. Only when inspiration springs up and whacks me upside the head can I accomplish any serious, quality work.

So on Saturday evening I started toying with several possibilities. Eventually, out of the dense fog of my mind, a vision began to coalesce.

That's when my friend Dan e-mailed. He, too, was at work on a Saturday night. He wanted to go see the late showing of Spider Man. I declined at first, but I admit it did not take much arm twisting to pry me away from my work. (Can I pass up such a tempting offer to procrastinate further?)

I returned to work around 1 a.m. and worked until I had devised a solid roadmap and had laid down some of the groundwork for my project, about 4 a.m.

By the time I was in bed and ready to sleep, it was 6 a.m. I knew that, in order to finish the website in time for my 9:30 Monday morning meeting, I had to skimp on sleep at some point. I decided it was better to do so on Sunday morning than on Sunday night. After all, I needed to be alert and thinking clearly for my meeting, not fighting off yawns or nodding off. I would sacrifice sleep that morning in order to get a full night's rest that night. I set my alarm for 11 a.m.

I woke up feeling blissfully rested. This did not surprise me, as I've noticed that often if I awake at the right point in the REM cycle I will feel renewed, even if the amount of sleep has been minimal. Since my alarm wasn't sounding, I figured the time to be about 10 a.m. I rolled over and looked at the clock...

4 p.m.!!!

I jumped out of bed, wolfed down a bowl of cereal, took a quick shower, threw on the first clean rags I found, and headed off to work just in time to get stuck in Celtics post-game traffic. What is normally a 20-minute commute took an hour! By the time I got to the office, I had only an hour and a half in which to work before I had to leave for evening mass.

When I returned from mass, my mom called. I explained my predicament to her. I did not need to hear her tell me that my "body sometimes needs the repose" and that she was glad I was able to recharge. I usually average 5-6 hours of sleep a night. The last couple of weeks I have been doing better than average, getting 6-7 hours a night. By my body's standards, I was not lacking for sleep. But now I certainly would be on Monday morning, unless by some minor miracle I finished the website in record time.

Yeah, right. I finished a little after 4 a.m. I was in bed by 5, but I had to set my alarm for 7:30.

So, which is better? 5 hours of sleep on Saturday and 7 hours on Sunday? Or 10 hours on Saturday and 2 hours on the Sunday before a Monday morning meeting with important clients? You don't have to answer that.

Surprisingly, when I woke up I felt rested. In that infinitessimal moment when self-consciousness sets in I was consumed with panic, until I registered that my alarm did, indeed, trigger my wakefulness.

Quickly, I made myself presentable, pointed my truck in the right direction, and headed to the appointed rendezvous. I got a third of the way there when my cell phone buzzed. My clients had to reschedule the meeting!

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