Long night, little sleep

For some reason, I had trouble sleeping last night. A lot of trouble. I went to bed around 9:30 (because I could sleep in until 5:30 this morning since I’m working out this afternoon instead of this morning). I was pretty tired when I turned out the light but I couldn’t fall asleep. At first, it was “information overload” that was keeping me awake. This happens to me sometimes, when I’ve been reading a lot, snippets of that reading will go through my head when I try to sleep, and it’s like listening to the words repeated through the static of an old radio. You really can’t make them out, but there’s enough there to keep you awake. I would doze off, but wake up so frequently that by the time 5:20 rolled around, I felt like I hadn’t gotten much sleep. I decided to sleep in until around 9 AM and head into work late. I got up to send email to my team letting them know I’d be in later this morning.

Three things prevented me from doing this.

1. I had an email message from my boss, which called me out for not taking something seriously that I should have taken seriously. It had to do with our corporate “Institutional Principles” policy and the fact that we all had to watch a short on-line video about those principles. I happen to have the principles memorized and I even wrote a white paper on them for how to better execute those principles within our department several years back. So I never watched the video. But as my boss correctly pointed out, this was a poor excuse and in fact, it showed (for me) an uncharacteristic digression from these principles. He was right and I was wrong. I let the world know it when I am right, but I also try to do the same thing when I am wrong, so I sent off an apology. Naturally, however, that email helped to wake me up.

2. The project manager for one of the projects I am working on had sent an email to the team reminding them that the system we are developing would not be available between 7 AM and 11 AM this morning because I would be working on it. If I came in late, that window would shrink, so I figured I needed to go into work right away, rather than try and get a few more hours sleep.

3. On the positive side, I saw mabfan‘s post on the Age of Science Fiction Age, in which he refers people to my comments on the magazine. This was the final straw. I was already up, I had reasons to go straight into work, and after reading Michael’s post, I was motivated to go into work because I knew I’d have 35 minutes on the train to get through at least one more story in SF AGE.

And so, here I am. While I could have used a few more hours of sleep, I’m in the office and ready to get started. Thank you, Tom, for pointing out a mistake I made, and allowing me to correct it. Thank you Donny, for reminding me of a commitment that I made, and allowing me to keep it. And thank you Michael, for giving me some encouragement after an otherwise rough night and early morning.