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Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday, but no five questions

Well, the originator of the weekly "five questions" has had a family emergency this week, so perhaps I will have to come up with my own random questions.  But for now, I want to blog on something that's been on my mind.

I heard a fantastic speaker yesterday at the ASWA (American Society of Women Accountants) meeting...Susan Stephenson, who is the president and co-founder of Independent Bank here in Memphis.  So down to earth, and such a successful "working mother" who has raised three children while pursuing her career with a passion that is enviable.  I was totally with her until the end of her talk, when she finally explained the "secret" of being a successful working mother...you have to sacrifice your sleep.  There just aren't enough hours in the day to do everything you need to do to be a good mom, a good wife, AND a successful businesswoman, so you just have to give up sleeping.

This is not the first successful woman I've heard this from.  I've heard variations on this story, from Martha Stewart who reportedly only sleeps 3 hrs a night, to Biggest Loser participants who get up at 4AM to work out for two hours every day before going to work, for years.  Do you know how thin I could be and how uber-organized my house could be and how successful I could be in my career and how much volunteer work I could do, if only I could get by with 4-5 hours of sleep each night?  Maybe it's a "mind over matter" issue, but it's just not in me.  When I don't get enough sleep (and I'm talking AT LEAST 7.5 hours, preferably 9!), I'm grouchy, I'm angry about whatever it is that caused me to have too little sleep, my eyes literally will not stay open, and I just feel worthless.  And people, it's a major health issue!  There are all kinds of studies out there (studies linking obesity to too little sleep, equating driving while sleep-deprived to driving while intoxicated, etc) that show how important it is to get enough sleep.  So if I'm not going to sacrifice my sleep, what AM I going to sacrifice?  What do YOU sacrifice?  And why is our society structured in such a way that we have to sacrifice ANYTHING?  Deep thoughts...

4 comments:

Edi McIlwain said...

I totally agree. Why do we have to sacrafice anything. I actually do sacrafice sleeping to get it all done. Not healthy, but it's what I do... and not because I want to. I feel like working I'm sacraficing time with my kids to have 'THINGS'. I could go on and on, but I won't. Happy Friday!

Lesley said...

I have to have sleep, too. But we generally only get about 7.5 hours because Chris has to get up so early.

But, you know, thanks for mentioning all that stuff I could be doing because I totally don't feel guilty at all...

Jessica said...

I think it is just as bad for those of us who don't work outside the home. People are CONSTANTLY assuming I have time to do stuff with/for them. I feel like people think I am lazy for saying "no" all the time.
And Matt and I sacrifice a good bit of our social life- we are very choosy about what we commit to.

I do not sacrifice sleep. Ever :). I need sleep.

The key for me is just to lower my expectations. My house isn't going to be perfect. charlotte can't take every class or go to every event or birthday party.

Sleep is essential to life. I feel like it is non-negotiable. We can only do what we have time to do. If I can't fit it in and still get sleep- I just say no. Sometimes that means no late night parties or the dishes have to wait until tomorrow. Our lives won't be this hectic forever- and I'm sure we will miss it once things calm down:)

babydoc1030 said...

As someone who feels like I spent almost a decade of my life in a sleep deprived coma, I absolutely cherish my uninterrupted nights of sleep. What do I give up? A clean house. It's just not gonna happen until my children are old enough to dust, vacuum, and scrub toilets on their own.