So imagine never being able to sleep. Imagine days that endlessly roll into each other, the changes in time marked only by the colour of the sky and the sound of the streets. Imagine living forever… to me that’s what a life without sleep would feel like. A bit overwhelming, a bit ‘do I even want to experience that much living?’ I think there’s beauty in having less of something, in order to make the most of it…
As I write these musings, I am tired. And have been for the past couple of weeks. Marc often reminds us to sleep. To not burn those reserves of midnight oil. Burnouts take longer to recover from, so it’s not worth it, he says. But do I listen? No. Because in these recent weeks we’ve been given live, client, briefs to work on. I’m told by some alumni not to get too worked up over them, it’s still term one. Relax, go home. But do I listen? No. Because no one can stop my thrill and excitement over seeing real agency folk presenting in Town Halls.
For a moment, we get to put the practice briefs aside, where we created fantastical creatures and products to market. We get to clutch real briefs and create for concrete people and face, if we’re lucky to pass the sign-offs, client critique. So of course it’s all very fascinating. It’s tempting to work through the night, to want to push that bit further for cool work. Annoyingly, if someone says something’s hot and not to touch it, I do have to give it a little touch to know for sure. Similarly, I’ve had to give the sleep-deprivation-in-a-creative-field a whirl to know what it’s all about.
Sure, I’ve worked jobs before where it’s the norm to run on a tank at less than capacity. But they were all relatively left-brained jobs, tasks you could zone out to and push through until COP. I guess I never really agreed or enjoyed that style of work but after 8 years of conditioning, it’s in me to push long and hard to get results.
What is in fact a relief and joy to be discovering is that yes, better work does in fact come from being rested, with energy to be playful and bounce ideas around. Right now my brain is slow and it’s taken me a long time to string these sentences together. I couldn’t decide on what to write for ages. I procrastinated, I hid away in the side room from people. I ate too much lunch. I politely snatched the office girls’ last KitKat.
Christmas break is next Friday and it will be much needed. There’ll be no work to get overexcited about, I will be able to sleep. But more so, I’m looking forward to some contemplation. We are so fortunate at SCA to be taught so much good stuff, to have people doing extraordinary things visit us near daily for mentor chats at times I think the tiredness may be my brain about to explode. All I know for sure is that this is all a sign of some serious growth. Here’s to term 2! And prioritising sleep!