Saturday, 27 August 2011

Supersonic workaholic

Since I became a working mum there's a curious alchemy that can happen in my brain. It's to do with a combination of sleep deprivation and work pressure. Sometimes it's pressure that I put myself under because I want to perform to a high standard, to do the very best I can.

When I'm averaging 5-6 hours of sleep a night and yet need to step up and deliver, it's as though my brain delivers a great rush of adrenalin. A hyped up high. I think at 100 mph, talk nearly as fast and burn through work at supersonic speed. I get frustrated at delays, impatient.

I feel almost superhuman. But as with all these things it comes at a cost - the risk of burn out.

This is how it feels:

Too Close to the Sun

And then I feel that this is the thing. The overriding thing. The state of being everything thing. The great granite monolith, the burgeoning sun. And sometimes it's a you and sometimes it's a that, but what it always is, is a blurring. It's the wave that crashes over the sea wall, the weed that chokes the native oak, the floodlight that overpowers the stars. It's a spreading inexorable crimson tide that fills me to the point of nauseation. It's a supersonic curse. I'm transfixed on a starlit point, all my appetites consumed. It's the words that I speak, the thoughts that I think. It's everything.

Singed wings, dripping wax. I smell burning and the skies recede. Too high, too far, too fast and fear grips.

Fear of falling.


Anonymous said...

Yes, this is SO true, and rather resembles my life right now. I have days where I'm treading a line between functioning exhaustion and being bone-tired. In those moments, the adrenaline flows and my brain is hyper-active. The ideas that flow during that period, and the amount that I can get done, are almost scary to behold. My clarity of mind is razor-sharp and keen, but the downside is that I'm never able to sleep because my brain is moving at such a rapid pace. I can only maintain that sort of pace for a few days, because the burn-out is absolutely terrible.

I love the snippet at the end as well. Absolutely beautiful.

Meg McNulty said...

@jamila - I'm glad I'm not the only one! I like to think it means we are super productive - after all being superhuman occasionally, is surely better than not at all?

David A Ludwig said...

Ah, I haven't had that sort of super-human moment since college, though I remember it being very exciting.
I love how you can weave Greek myth into your writing without ever having to drop any names though! I already knew who we were talking about from the title "Too Close to the Sun", had my knowledge confirmed by the writing and still got to enjoy the fact that not necessarily everyone who reads it would know.