Mario Villalobos

Tired, but Earning My Rest

It’s harder getting up in the mornings because I’m sleeping later and still waking up at five. I’m drinking more coffee than normal, but it’s simply making things worse, causing me to crash in the afternoon, which then makes writing and working out very difficult. I somehow manage to use my willpower to push through, but I can feel my reserves running on low. Last month, I scheduled an 8:30 PM bedtime, along with tasks filling up every minute of my week. I’ve not adhered to this schedule very well. Before starting this entry, I went and tweaked my schedule so I get to my blog entry first thing after dinner, write in my two journals after, and finish up my night with some reading. I particularly enjoy the reading right before bedtime part because it’ll give my eyes a rest from the blue light emanating from all my digital devices, which I hope will help me fall asleep faster. I need all the energy I can get because I’m working harder than ever.

Last week, I started to write another 300 words every day in the afternoon, and I’ve been successful at it for nine straight days. That means I’ve doubled my usual output, moving up the date I expected to finish my novel from late July to the middle of May. This new habit was easy to implement and sustain because of my experience building and nurturing habits. My trigger to start was getting home from work or sometime after four in the afternoon. Before I begin writing, I’ve been blending a smoothie for me to drink during the session, which mimics my morning coffee. This little act has helped me more than I thought it would because I’ve developed this tic where I need to drink something in between breaks in the writing. Even when the cup is empty, I find myself whipping my neck back and holding the cup to my mouth, trying to taste that last drop sitting at the bottom of the cup. It’s ridiculous, and it might be a superstitious ritual, but it helps.

If we look back at the previous 197 days of my life, we might see the progression from one habit to another habit to another habit. If I remember correctly, the very first habit I tried to build was writing 300 words in the morning. I remember sitting by my desk at five in the morning, my apartment engulfed in darkness, and staring at my laptop screen with the blank page of my word processor waiting for me to write something. I remember sitting there for 45 minutes before I started writing something. I remember trying to work out again but failing because of how sore I felt the next day. Eventually, I started Day 1 of Insanity: the Asylum Volume 1 on October 1st, and I really haven’t looked back since. Since September, I’ve read sixteen books. That’s almost three books a month, which is more than I read the previous year. I’ve meditated for 178 days straight, and I really believe that has helped me to focus and relax. Other than this blog, I’ve started and kept three other journals, and along with the additional 300 words every afternoon, I’m writing more than I’ve ever written in my life.

All this is why I’m tired, but I believe I’m earning my rest. How many people can say that?