Help! Do you ever have days where you don't want to write or revise but you know you should? What do you do to get through them?
Okay, so this is a thing that happens. Maybe not to everyone, but it happens to me, and when it does it is almost always for one of two reasons. Each of these reasons has a slightly different solution (there is also a third reason, which we may get into in a minute, but it’s more of a crisis than a reason, so mileage may vary).
Reason number one is, I’m easily distracted and full of thoughts and kind of lazy. So if I’m being that, there is only one solution and it is “Brenna, sit down in front of that screen and make a book, it is your JOB.” It usually works—boredom maxes out after about five minutes of staring at my document file and I start working. And there are some secondary tricks too: I work in coffee shops a lot because I like the background noise. I have big headphones that feel good squeezing my head and fill me with a sense of wellbeing. I find a song and listen to it on repeat. I always drink or eat the same thing. I wear a sweater that I like. (I fall into habits very easily and have learned to use this quality to trick myself into working.)
Reason number two, though. Reason two is that sometimes my brain is empty. I’ve been working too much too fast and not refilling my thoughts and now all the fuel is gone and I’m just grinding metal. Sometimes that means I need to not work and do something mindless, like wash dishes or vacuum or repot houseplants or drive or go outside and dig a hole and then fill it back up. Or sometimes it means I need to not work and go read a book or watch a movie or go to a museum and see things other people made when they were expansive and excited and not out of thoughts. And then, once my brain has had enough food and enough rest, I’m ready again.
Both of these reasons for not writing are totally normal (for me) (for you?) but it’s important to be able to tell the difference, because one is solved by powering through, and one is not. Which brings us to the third crisis reason.
Sometimes, I am on a brutal deadline. Sometimes it’s non-negotiable. Sometimes I have pulled two all-nighters in a row and am staring down the barrel of a third, and I know I’d want to work if I could just have a second where I’m NOT working, but that is only a beautiful dream. This is a problem. You know those people who only ever seem to operate at 100% when under extreme duress? *raises hand* A weird thing happens where I don’t WANT to work anymore, but the overdrive switch has flipped in my brain, and it will do the work until the job is done, whether I want to or not. And trust me, I DON’T. It is like being dragged through a drippy alligatory swamp by a robot—you’re just like “please, robot, stop moving my legs! This was the actual hardest thing for me to figure out a solution for, because:
1) Deadlines are a part of my job, and sometimes they are quite tight, and the work still has to get done anyway.
2) As much as I absolutely hate it, there is another part of me that likes it.
But I know more now than I used to. Back when I was 23 and completely unwise and taking a course overload in grad school while interning and also working 30 hours a week, I was just like “this is how we live a life!” That is not true. Can you hear me in the back? THAT IS NOT TRUE.
But sometimes you still have to do stuff and there’s a lot of it and you also have very little time to do it in. So let me tell you a deadline secret, it is very important: the answer to Brenna’s acute deadline crisis is, drink water, eat almonds, divide each 24-hour cycle into two discrete sections, allowing for one 3-hour sleep cycle and one 4 to 5-hour one. This is because if you are me, you start to feel like you are not allowed to sleep. This is a lie. And in fact, if you don’t sleep, I promise your work won’t be as good. At very best, it will be pretty weird. Also, drink less coffee. You think you need it, but you don’t.
I realize the answer to this question escalated quickly. Probably just focus on points 1 and 2—telling the difference between when your brain is empty and when it’s just dragging its feet. Unless you are a person who is currently living my 23-year-old life. In which case, you are not just allowed to sleep. Dude, you HAVE TO.
About myself: I am a book lover, a cyclist, a baker, a coffee
enthusiast, and gardener. There are a great many things I enjoy doing,
but there’s nothing I love more than trying new things and interacting
with new people. I think the idea of having a penpal is wonderful as I
love to learn about people.
☯ The “Yin Yang” (Taijitu) is a well-known Chinese symbol. Sometimes it’s called Tai-Chi symbol from I-Ching the “Book of Changes”. The I-Ching is the well spring of all Chinese philosophy. This unique and elegant form flows from the observation by the ancients of the change and flow of the natural phenomena of our universe.
People can more easily grasp the concepts of harmony, change and dual nature of the observed universe within the framework of the cosmic unity by talking about the sun (Yang), moon (Yin) as symbolic of the male and female, positive and negative, active and passive nature of being. We see the harmony and balance of the cosmos and it flows directly from the ratios upon which the universe is built.
The ancients, seeking to understand the harmony of the cosmos first observed the night sky recording the positions of the constellation known as 北斗 “Beidou” in China or “The Big Dipper” in the West and watching the shadow of the Sun from a standard Chinese measuring post, an 8-foot pole, they determined the four directions. The direction of sunrise is the East; the direction of sunset is the West; the direction of the shortest shadow is the South and the direction of the longest shadow is the North. At night, the direction of the Polaris star is the North. They noticed the seasonal changes.
When the Dipper points to the East, it’s spring; when the Dipper points to the South, it’s summer; when the Dipper points to the West, it’s fall; when the Dipper points to the North, it’s winter. When observing the cycle of the Sun, ancient Chinese simply used the measuring pole and posted at right angles to the ground and recorded positions of the shadow. Then they found the length of a year is around 365.25 days. They even divided the year’s cycle into 24 segments including the Vernal Equinox, Autumnal Equinox, Summer Solstice and Winter Solstice, using the sunrise and Dipper positions.
Brilliant in its simplicity. The astronomers then inscribed six concentric circles, marked the 24-Segment points, divided the circles into 24 sectors and recorded the length of shadow every day. The shortest shadow is found on the day of Summer Solstice. The longest shadow is found on the day of Winter Solstice. After connecting each lines and dimming Yin Part from Summer Solstice to Winter Solstice the Sun chart looks like familiar figure above. ☯
after twenty seven years of doing my damn rp account that i’m still not pleased with i am ready to start doing some starters / responding to some. so, if you lovely rpers mind, please like this REVERSE STARTER CALL so i could go through your opens!!favor, peace, & blessings.
STUDY MONDAY #6: Surviving School with a Sleep Disorder
The majority of autistic people have a sleep disorder, and a lot of otherwise neurodivergent people have sleep issues as well. Functioning with a sleep disorder is difficult by default, but it’s even worse when you have a strict school/college/uni schedule to follow. And often it feels like nothing helps and everything is terrible. I know, I’ve had sleep problems all my life (delayed sleep phase disorder).
However it *is* possible to find solutions and live better. It may take a lot of time and effort, but in most cases there’s at least something that helps. Here are my tips for dealing with sleep issues. Keep in mind that you will probably need to combine some or all of these to get a good result, and that it might not work from day one. Just be stubborn and try it anyway: eventually something might work.
1. Keep a stable sleep schedule
That means going to bed at the same time every day, and waking up at the same time every day. It might be tempting to sleep more or stay up late on weekends, but don’t do it. It confuses your internal clocks and makes it more difficult to wake up on weekdays. If you’re a teenager, you should be getting at least 8 hours of sleep a day. If you’re an adult, as little as 6 hours might be enough, depending on the person.
2. Get rid of sources of discomfort
Sometimes the littlest of things can disrupt your sleep or keep you awake: too much light or noise, uncomfortable mattress, not enough fresh air in your room, and so on. Fix those problems first. Remember that it will be easier to fall asleep if the room is cool, not warm, and you have a lot of blankets (cool temperature calms you, and pressure helps you sleep). Use a weighted blanket, earplugs, sleeping mask, memory foam mattress/pillow, window blinds, etc as needed. It might sound trivial but believe me, it makes a difference.
3. Pay attention to what you eat and drink
It’s blatantly obvious that caffeine makes it harder to fall sleep, however it doesn’t mean you have to stop using it altogether. Just remember a simple formula: caffeine takes around six hours to leave your body, so don’t eat or drink anything that contains it six hours before bed. That includes tea and dark chocolate! You can switch to herbal teas instead (personally I love mint tea).
It is also a good idea to not eat anything an hour before bed, or if you can’t, pick foods that are easy to digest. Complex carbs like pasta, bread, fruits and vegetables aren’t a good choice. Neither is anything with fiber. Proteins and simple sugars take less time to be digested. Examples: milk, yogurt, eggs, peanut butter, fruit juice, cheese.
4. Reduce exposure to blue light
Blue light that comes from device screens can disrupt melatonin production and make it harder to fall asleep. For some people the effect is fairly small, for some it’s pretty big. You can get apps for reducing blue light emission, like Twilight for android, or even change it through settings. If you can’t, just don’t use electronic devices to read/watch anything an hour before going to bed. Read a paper book, or listen to an audiobook/podcast, or just use the time to relax.
5. Use medication
Medication has side-effects and has to be prescribed by doctors, so it should be the last thing you try. However there is no shame in needing meds. I rely on my sleep meds, experience no side-effects and a whole lot of benefits. You just need to be careful with it.
Which meds will work for you depends on why you have problems with sleep. If it’s because of anxiety, anti-anxiety meds can help. If you have a delayed sleep phase or a non-24 sleep cycle, melatonin might be the best option. Sometimes vitamin or mineral deficiencies cause sleep problems, which can also be fixed. Sometimes sleep supplements are enough and you don’t need any prescription meds. As long as you will find a good specialist, you should be able to find a solution.
And that’s all the tips I have! At least these are the ones that (in my experience) work. Hope it helps, and if you have your own advice for dealing with sleep problems, be sure to share them in replies!
You have people in this country now who really want to divide our people. They want to divide Blacks, from Hispanics, from Whites, from Asians. That’s what the Willie Horton ads are all about. They’re saying “Hey, if the Blacks get a job, all White people are going to lose their jobs.” And I think that type of divisiveness, and that type of politics is awful and not what this country is supposed to be about. What we have got to do is bring our people together and not have Blacks against Whites- but create an economy where all our people will have decent jobs, decent health care- national health care system - decent educational opportunity. Let us not let the bigots and the racists divide us together. Because when they divide us together, then the rich will get richer. When we all stand together Black and White and demand decent help for our senior citizens- White or Black- and our children - White or Black or Hispanic- that’s when we’re gonna win.
Bernie Sanders, responding to a caller in the aftermath of the 1992 Rodney King riots in Los Angeles.
Hello! I love your Flash metas, very interesting reads. I have a theory myself. I believe that speedsters don't need the usual 8 hours of sleep since their brains would move quicker through the sleep cycle since everything in their bodies move quicker anyway. I'd guess they'd need around 5-4 hours of sleep. What do you think? Also, do you have any ideas or such about how Caitlin has been recently? (Unless if you haven't watched the latest episodes..) Thanks!
First off: thank you! I’m glad you enjoy them; I love writing them.
Second: I love speedster theory, and yours captures the heart of why it’s so fun! There is no single answer; there are multiple working hypotheses. Speedsters might need less sleep because their bodies can perform the requisite sleep-maintenance in less time, or they might need more sleep because they process more information in a given twenty-four-hour period than an ordinary human being. (Sleep is, after all, a period where we process the information that we learn during the day; speedsters may live the equivalent of a year in a single twenty-four hour period, depending on how much they slow down time). Or, because there is a magical component to the Speed Force, they may not need to sleep at all, a scenario where Speed Force takes care of the physical and mental maintenance while conscious.
Canonically, we can rule out the last option: we’ve seen Barry snoozing past the alarm. (However, we can’t rule out insomnia, so “no sleep” may apply on a day-to-day scale, with the occasional weekly intermission). Whether he needs more or less sleep is hard to judge strictly canonically because we don’t know when Flash finally goes off the clock. He might get six-to-eight hours; he might get three-to-four. He might be the ultimate power napper, snagging a few minutes here and there throughout the ‘day.’ (Giraffes, after all, only sleep for about an hour in a twenty-four hour period, usually by sleeping a few minutes a time. Thus, it’s proven that an animal can survive on very, very little sleep.)
I’ve developed a “restless speedster” hypothesis which would jive well with your “less sleep” hypothesis. My theory is that speedsters are restless because they have a skewed “internal clock” (circadian rhythm). Circadian rhythms are sunlight dependent; they dictate when chemicals are released to induce sleep or wakefulness. During the day, we’re biologically programmed to be awake; at night, we’re biologically programmed to be asleep. However, what constitutes a day to a speedster when you can fit whole years into a twenty-four hour span?
It’s important to realize that to a speedster, everything happens in real time. What we see as a blur of instantaneous action is, to a speedster, “real time.” They don’t speed up; the rest of the world slows down. It’s rather tedious, when you think about it: for every task Barry does, he performs it at the same pace you or I would. The only difference is that he can bring the rest of the world to a near standstill, causing it to move so glacially that it appears to come to a halt. That’s how he accomplishes his work. The faster he goes, the slower the rest of the world moves, and so the more work he can achieve in a “shorter” interval.
For Barry or any speedster, five hours of work will always be five hours of work, but to the rest of the world, it may be accomplished in five minutes, five seconds, or five hundredths-of-a-second, all depending on how fast the speedster goes. Therefore, accomplishing a year’s work in a single twenty-four hour period is still a year of time passing for the speedster while the rest of the world moves so slowly that across that Speed year, it only moves a single day. Thus, one Earth day would pass in 365 Speed days.
The daylight portion of the twenty-four-hour interval would last approximately 182.5 Speed days, and the night portion would be a chilling 182.5 Speed days. Imagine spending an entire year utterly alone, and when you finally slow down, your loved ones and everything else around you has only aged a day.
I’ve been meaning to explore this dangerous side of Speed Force for a while – the type where you can become trapped in “slow motion,” where the rest of the world won’t move, even though the reality is that you’re moving so quickly it can’t catch up. It’ll definitely be ficced by 2017.
Coming back to our conversation here, all of that time – 365 Speed days – would mean that instead of a circadian rhythm of 12 hours (clarification: a day-cycle of 12 hours, a night-cycle of 12 hours, so a 24-hour cycle), your circadian rhythm would have to stretch to 182.5 days, or 4380 hours. Imagine insomnia that lasts half a year.
So even when a speedster “catches up” to Earth time and syncs up, there’s the concern that a speedster would literally have gone insane from lack of sleep in that interval. The obvious solution: don’t ever get caught up in that cycle. Don’t run too fast, don’t run too long. Even stretching a single day to last the equivalent of four or five, a week, a month, could be torturous. Speedsters can’t sleep while they’re running; so, a day that lasts a month is a month without sleep.
It’s a fascinating discussion and it’s what’s led to my idea that speedsters are frequently at odds with sleep, only catching it when their circadian rhythm is restored (or they’re grievously injured, in which case it’s less “sleep” than “unconsciousness”). Thus: insomniacs. But speedsters who don’t move too fast, who stay within the realm of a twenty-four-hour day, are fine. Speeding up here and there only adds a few more minutes, maybe hours, to the day. It depends on how long you run, in addition to how fast. Running supersonically for seconds may only add a few minutes in that interval. Even adding on the equivalent of an extra day – forty-eight hours lived in a twenty-four-hour interval – is no different than a college kid staying up for two days. It’ll suck, but you’ll live.
But, in terms of bodily processes, I’d say your hypothesis is absolutely plausible. And with the magic component of Speed Force, it’s equally possible that it has its own circadian rhythm, preventing insanity from ensuing after, say, 182.5 Speed days without sleep.
Re: Caitlin, I’d say she’s been pretty stressed lately and the isolation from her friends (aka her second family) has been exacerbating that stress. I’m genuinely hoping she gets a break soon and finds peace with STAR labs (and especially Cisco and Barry) before this whole metahuman transition eats her alive. I don’t think she’ll ever become truly evil, but it could be a rough road for her. We’ll just have to wait and see!
Hello! Recently I've begun having trouble with time? Like, I won't realize how much time has passed when I'm doing something, I won't feel tired at my usual sleep-time, I'll forget what day it is, etc. Could that be an autism thing?
Yep! This is related to executive dysfunction which can make it difficult to tell how much time has passed. Executive dysfunction can also affect memory which can make it so you forget what day it is.
Further, many autistic people have sleep cycles that don’t line up with a traditional sleep schedule. Many of us have delayed sleep cycles or non-24 hour sleep cycles. For instance, if allowed to sleep naturally, I would sleep from 2-10am which makes having to get up at 5:00am everyday pretty rough.
Everyone's threshold for news and current events is different.
I applaud anyone who can receive, process, and absorb the current news cycle 24/7, but I don’t know any of those people personally. Everyone I know has to take a few moments for themselves to post cat memes or a Buzzfeed quiz or a makeup tutorial, and some people take more moments than others.
If you know that you can’t process 24/7, take a step back before you criticize someone for not being as engaged as you are because maybe they need more moments than you do. Personally, I’ve been on this battle with depression for the past few months and mentally I can’t afford to be checked in with the world all the time. Yes, that’s a privilege I acknowledge because I’m not in danger of being deported, I’m not a woman in danger of losing rights to my own bodily autonomy, I’m not dependent upon the government for income, etc. Still, it’s up to each individual to decide for themselves what and how much they can handle. It’s not for the rest of us to put an arbitrary percentage on the amount of coverage and engagement we must accept from those around us.
It’s better that we allow each other to take breaks to decompress periodically than completely burn out and give up on the entire process. It’s a very long game and this is week two. Conserve your strength if you need to.
Kid finds out that when puberty begins for them they get super powers.
Problem is, the super power they have changes from day to day.
Not a 24 hour cycle, more a “when you wake up after sleeping” type deal.
So every time they wake up they have a new power, which they have no idea what it is until they use it and have very little control or mastery over the skill.
Monday, wake up with Hydrokinesis. Accidentally “wet the bed” with water powers. Parent comes in, sees bed is wet, kid is embarrassed.
Next day, Tuesday, wake up with Pheromone Manipulation. Now dorky un-popular kid magically has become the most admired person in school only to lose it on…
Wednesday! Wakes up with giant bird wings (eg - Archangel) and has to wear a large trench-coat to cover them up, making the kid look incredibly suspicious to everyone which makes all the progress of “being cool” they made the day before completely disappear.
There is a potential for repeat powers, which would probably be a blessing or a curse depending on the power.
Once the character reached the end of puberty, they would be allowed to choose one of the powers they had used to be their only ability throughout the rest of their life…or choose to have no powers and go back to living a normal life like they did before it all started.