A Little Change Can Go a Long Way

Last night, I got caught up reading a book. I was already up late because of D&D and remembering to update my blog, but deciding to read for a bit before going to sleep definitely kept me up for another two hours on top of all that. I’m running on about three and a half hours of sleep today. For now, I’m managing alright, despite having spent most of Saturday in a big-group social situation. Weddings are great, but they really wipe me out. Meeting tons of new people and being around that much energy takes a lot of effort for me. If it wasn’t for how wonderfully restful Sunday was (prior to staying up three extra hours, anyway), I’d be dead on my feet.

I don’t regret my decision. Matthew Colville is a wonderful author and I’m excited to review his two books, Priest and Thief. They’re an absolute joy to read so far and I find it incredibly frustrating (in the best way) that the third book is not yet visible on the horizon. The man has been incredibly busy lately, with his usual YouTube video series about running Dungeons and Dragons called “Running the Game” and working on the incredible Kickstarter he ran only a few months ago. Setting up an office and writing a D&D supplement take a lot of work and he’s managed to do them both without dropping any of his other plates, so I am willing to cut him some slack when it comes to working on his book series.

Staying up late can be a lot of fun. As long as I’m staying engaged and enjoying myself, I don’t mind doing it once every so often. It only becomes a problem if I start to make a habit of it and wind up leaning on caffeine to see me through the day. That’s never a healthy habit and it is an easy one for me to fall into since I feel the most awake and alert in the evening and night, no matter how little I’ve slept.

Thankfully, getting better sleep has been easier since I’ve gotten a “new” (owned by a friend, but still in way better condition than my previous mattress) mattress. It is some kind of foam and, while sitting on the edge causes it to sink alarmingly, it does a much better job of supporting my back than my old spring mattress did. My lower back pain is much diminished and might even totally disappear in time and all of my joints feel way better which is a benefit I didn’t expect. Six hours of sleep now feels like eight or more hours of sleep on a good night with my old mattress.

It was amazing to realize just how much my old crappy mattress contributed to the problems in my life. Low-quality sleep, aching joints and muscles, constant lower back pain, and little desire to actually go to sleep all added up to a certain degree of constant irritation or frustration that now seems so clearly tied to my old crappy mattress that I’d been putting off replacing for over a year. Almost a year and a half, actually. I probably would have continued to put it off if it wasn’t for the fact that one of my friends just happened to be moving and my girlfriend made a few comments about how my back pain was clearly tied to my creaky, dented, shitty mattress.

It is amazing how changing one relatively little thing I’d been ignoring for a long time made my life so much better. Even a return to “neutral” in terms of what sleeping did for me was a huge boon. Last week was super stressful and exhausting for a lot of reasons and in a lot of ways. If I’d been sleeping on my old crappy mattress, I’d probably be depressed, exhausted, and on the verge of tears/a panic attack at this point. Instead, I’m tired but ready to go play D&D again. I don’t need another evening of rest before I feel up for tackling another social situation.

That’s not to say I don’t want to rest. I would love to get to sleep early tonight and try for a lovely eight hours. I might actually wind up feeling properly rested if I could do that for a few nights in a row. I haven’t felt properly rested in a long time and it is now so easy to see why. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard to convince myself not to spend money on a new mattress. It was definitely worth what I spent and then some.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about what else might be a seemingly insignificant thing that could have a huge impact on the quality of my life. Working out more springs to mind, as does putting more effort into ensuring my diet is well-rounded instead of the “eat food and just make sure it includes fruit and veggies” thing I’m currently doing. Neither of those are really insignificant, though. They’d both take a fair amount of discipline and effort every day, but the potential benefits should outweigh the costs. Back when I was more active in regards to maintaining my physical health, I felt better than I have since I stopped. Combining that with the benefit of a non-shitty mattress could have an incredible positive impact on my life. Likely will have. Should have. I don’t really know and I won’t until I try it out.

I’m going to keep thinking of more things I can try as well. I’m still trying to fit all the puzzle pieces from the past two weeks of meditation together, so something else to focus on for a bit should help me wrangle everything into place. We’ll see. I feel like I say that a lot. It’s kind of exciting to know that there’s the potential for so much positive change, but also kind of scary. Thing could wind up being incredibly different and, while I one-hundred-percent support myself getting into better physical and mental health, I’m not sure I’m ready for all the changes that might entail. Thankfully, I’m not on a schedule.

Do you like supporting charities that are helping to make the world a better place? Check out the Geeks Doing Good event being put on by the Worldbuilders charity! Worldbuilders is a charity started by fantasy author Patrick Rothfuss that works with Heifer International to help eliminate poverty. Buy some cool stuff and help keep the charity running so they can continue to make a difference in the world!

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