After enjoying a deep, ten-hour sleep the night before, I awoke yesterday morning at 10:30am. I proceeded to take a shower and prepare myself for what has become my typical day as of late. Sitting down at the table, I turned my laptop on and began going over a mental list of things that needed to be done. However, before I even managed to log into my gmail account, something peculiar occurred. I inexplicably rose from my chair, walked over to my bed and collapsed onto the mattress.
For a few minutes, I just lay there staring at the ceiling, but eventually, and despite having just woken up from such a great sleep, I caved in and closed my eyes.
And then….I woke up at 7:15pm.
At that point, thinking that I surely had enough rest, I tried to stand up, but I failed, several times in a row, due to some slight dizziness and a complete lack of motivation to even walk. So I remained in bed for three more hours, unable to do anything but lay still.
Finally, a bit after 10:00pm, I managed to successfully rise to my feet, drink some iced tea and begin my day.
Am I ill? I don’t think so.
I’m quite sure that I was simply exhausted.
SPENDING ALL DAY WITH MY LAPTOP
Even though I’ve been living in Mexico for most of the past year, I have not spent my time here traveling around or exploring as much as I normally do. The idea of living here was to find a place where I could concentrate on my work for a while, work which involves maintaining a couple of streams of online income and attempting to create one or two more streams as well.
As a result, my daily schedule, especially during the past four weeks since my return to Mexico after a visit to the US, has involved little more than quality time with my laptop.
Working 12-16 hours per day has been the norm. Earning an online income is clearly not the result of waving a magic wand, and even after two years, I’m repeatedly shocked by how much constant effort, focus and learning is required. Nothing is ever finished, there is always more work to be done. And as soon as I think I can take a break, it’s time to write a blog post, which happens to be the activity that I love the most but which I have been able to spend the least amount of time on as of late. Couple that with the increasing number of other blogs that I love to read and sometimes I wonder how I’m even managing to find four hours to sleep each night!
Over these past four weeks, I’ve barely exercised, barely stepped foot on the beach, barely done much of anything that hasn’t been work-related. I work at home in the mornings, then I move to an air-conditioned cafe to avoid the mid-day heat and I return to my apartment once the cooler night time air arrives. I then repeat the process over and over again, seven days a week.
SHOULD I BE WORRIED?
Yet, I continue this pattern, day in and day out…
To an extent, this method has worked well as I’ve accomplished an incredible amount over the past month – building websites, writing ebooks and generally improving my streams of income. With much of this work out of the way, I’ll be able to start concentrating more on Wandering Earl as well as my next adventure.
As a result, when I woke up yesterday morning and realized that my seemingly never-ending list of ‘work to be done’ has actually started to shrink, my mind and body decided it was finally time for me to rest. The final gate was opened and the intense exhaustion was allowed to drown the rest of me, forcing me to do nothing but lie down in bed and shut down.
WHY LIVE THIS WAY?
If any of you have ever wanted something so badly that you would sacrifice certain aspects of your life in order to achieve that one goal, you’ll understand. I live and breath travel, to the point where just hearing a foreign language or using a foreign currency is enough to bring a smile to my face. For me, the highest of highs comes from opening my door and walking out into a street so culturally different from where I grew up that my senses are instantly heightened and my mind is mesmerized, as if I were a child discovering the world for the first time.
At the same time, there’s no way I’m going to keep doing this for an extended period of time. I have a lot of work right now but at some point, there will be a dip, I’ll re-organize some things and I’ll end up with a more sane working/living routine. And then I’ll get back into a healthier lifestyle where I’ll be more efficient with my work.
After all, being a digital nomad and having travel as part of my work should keep me more motivated to do things right than if I was back home in an office. It’s why some companies take extended tropical retreats, inviting their entire workforce to spend time and work on a different tropical island every year. How can one not be extra motivated and efficient when work is mixed with travel?
And that’s why, if such an intense month of work every now and then can help me extend my global adventure, even for an extra week or two, if it can help me continue traveling and learning and exploring this world first-hand, than I’m willing to carry on for now. I might have exhausted myself to the point of near collapse today, but I do so in order that tomorrow I will be able to return to India, to explore the Middle East, to continue doing what I want more than anything during my short time on this planet.
Photo: Orphan Jones
Does this sound crazy or does it make a little sense? Do you make certain sacrifices in order to have an opportunity to pursue your goals in life?