It’s 5:48 a.m. and I’m at the end of the second night of untrammeled sleep in as many nights. I can’t sleep past 6 a.m. to save my life. For the last year, sleep has been something that has always been difficult for me. I have very little trouble getting to sleep—it’s the staying asleep that gives me fits. There have been many nights that I have awoken at 2 a.m., 3:30, 4:19, and just gotten up. I don’t know if this is a form of insomnia, and for the most part, I don’t really care. I’m rarely tired.
But most Sunday afternoons I make a reservation for a good nap. It’s usually around two, and inevitably a golf tournament will be on or the rain will be peppering my roof to encourage my heavy eyes. Sometimes these naps remind me of when I was young, when I would have an unspoken contest with a friend of mine to see who could sleep the latest on a lazy summer day. I took great pride in being the last to wake up, when my resting ran through the tape of midday.
But not anymore.
I do not want to spend my life sleeping through it. There’s too much to do, too much to be done.
Do you ever feel like you just don’t have enough time to do what you want to do?
Yeah, me too.
I wonder if I’m going to be able to get done what I want to get done before the sands of the hourglass dissipate my life. In October, I’ll be 35 and I wonder just how many years I have left. And then I think about the many years that I “slept through”—the unproductive years that I wasted—but those days are over now, over and done with into the piling abyss that gobbles up days like kudzu. We cannot go back and buy more time. We cannot barter for a “do-over” and retroactively make those days precious and productive again.
I realize this, now.
So I hope to use my days as little productive units in and of themselves. I hope that I will do my best to glean the most out of the 18 or so hours that I’m awake. My time has become precious to me again.
I’ll admit, I want to write books one day, and I hope God will allow me the time to write them.
That is why today is so important. Today is the most important day of your life.
Since my dad died, I literally have taken every day one day at a time. I rarely think about tomorrow; I concentrate only on today. And it has helped me.
Today is the most treasurable gift we have. Today is a day to start again, to try again, to laugh again. Today is another blank canvas, an unsoiled journal to write the story of our life upon. The pages are limited, but the pen available. When our ink runs out, we find another pen.
What we write with that pen matters. Sometimes our daily journals have nothing in them. Mine too.
I hope that today will not be spent with me sleeping through it. This does not necessarily mean literal sleep; this means a numb wandering through its minutes and hours with no real purpose or meaning. This means not making today count.
And how do we make today count? By using our time to produce, to create, to share, to help. By firming up relationships and working on the foundation of our house.
This should not come at the expense of our rest. Life is a balancing act between rest and work. Too much of either is unhealthy—I have seen that too often in my life.
So today, I pray for a good day. I start again, wondering what might befall me when I lurch out into the hum of the world that doesn’t ask for my permission to begin.
There is a sign atop a doorway at a gas station on Highway 5 between Centreville and Marion. It reads “Free Beer Tomorrow.” Clever and comical as it may be, we often erect similar signs in our lives—“Helping People Tomorrow,” “Finishing My Work Tomorrow,” “Working on My Marriage Tomorrow.” And we know that if we leave that sign up, our work will never get done.
God help us to do things today.
It’s 6:38 a.m. and today is all I have to show for it.