In the late 1980s and early 1990s, people did a study about sleep, actually the lack of it. You see, they took these mice and put them on this treadmill, ultimately depriving them of sleep for days and days on end. The mice walked, and walked, and walked for what seemed like an eternity for them. Of course, they were taken care of, fed, kept in a “comfortable” environment, they were just forced to stay awake. After what it seemed like an eternity for mice (11-32 days) they had all died thinner, weaker, full of unhealed lesions. Even though they had everything else, without rest they died.
Now, this is an extreme example, no one in their right mind would try to keep themselves up for that long (unless they were trying to break a world record) but I think this example is a good one. Through this sleep deprivation happened all at once, how many of us have pushed back this rest, both mind and body. I do this all the time, little by little chipping away at the amount of sleep and resources I have until by the time the weekend comes I have to throw myself into it just to feel normal again.
That’s what yesterday was. A deep breath. My body and mind telling me to stop and wait. To just be and rest for a little while.
We’re all better when we have time to take a break. I do my best work when I can put 100% of myself into something I love. So for now, let me just catch a breath.
Earlier this week the road was closed as I was headed to school. Normally these types of moments would call for freaking out, getting frustrated, and with me patiently waiting for the traffic to push on. I felt really good though, at that moment, serene to the point where I couldn’t really explain it. A Los Angeles morning covered in magnificent clouds kept me feeling like I was exactly where I should have been. Instead of sitting in stop and go traffic I hit the streets, curved my way across a city I had never seen. Drove down roads I had never been. A small adventure all before 8am. I ended up getting to school when I needed to, but it left me with this feeling. Serenity, peace, and above all else a sense of happiness.
It’s hard to put my finger on it, exactly what it is I needed that morning to make me feel that so at ease. I know that it gave me a sense of clarity about exactly what I should be doing with my life. I like staring at clouds, ones high in the sky that look like ancient civilizations that are returning to ruin. I like a quiet morning where everything seems to be still and sleeping. I like a thousand things, some I don’t even realize, but it’s these small things that break up this crazy life I lead. It’s these small things that really show me that it doesn’t take much to be happy.
I know it sounds a bit strange because it is, why would these things really change my outlook on life, especially in the stress-filled existence I have recently been privy to. The answer is, I don’t know. Sometimes it’s something that just makes sense to us at the moment. A thing that is so beautiful we are forced to stop and look. We all have these things, that fill us with awe and make us realize that the world is both incredibly large and infinitely small.
I wish I could ride on clouds, climbing the mountains of white serenity. I wish we could all just take a moment to imagine what it would be like play upon the bluffs of the great clouds above. For now, I’ll just appreciate them from the window of my car and dream about the adventure I have yet to come.