Reframing My Tiredness

Obligatory preface: this is me and my take on a topic that impacts everyone differently. We all have different ways of living life and handling our bodies. This is what works for me and my life philosophy- you do you! I just wish I had had this insight a long time ago, so if it helps bring someone perspective, cool. 

I think I've been tired for at least nine years- probably since the last trimester of my pregnancy. I was tired before that, too, but I could squeeze in weekend sleep-in sessions pretty easily, so it felt doable. But once I had my son it was all over- he was a horrible sleeper for the first two years of his life (don't come at me with your sleep training lecture, I tried and it didn't work for us) and then was just habitually a super duper early riser. Once we started using one of those color-coded alarm clocks we got the dog who also likes to greet the sun. Pairing the early wake ups with my high activity level during the day (combining my constant need to win the gold medal for productivity and working out) just perpetually zaps my energy. 

So, yeah, super tired. All the time.

But the last few months I've decided to reframe this tiredness (I actually started this post last September and it has been sitting in my drafts since then). Sure, I'm tired of being tired, but more than anything I was tired of being mad about being tired. So, I decided to look at why I'm tired, what I can do about it (if possible... I can't quit working or being a parent!). Based on this I was able to shift my perspective, at least part of the time! 

First, I get up early- 5 during the week, 7ish on the weekends, if we aren't going somewhere (earlier when it's hot out, though, so I can walk the dog before the sun is up). The only thing that can really be done is going to bed earlier than I already do, which would then take away from the very little precious alone time I have at night. Not doing so is a choice I make. 

Secondly, I take care of the kid, dog, and house pretty much all the time. My husband works long hours, some of which are in LA, which means on those days he commutes he's gone well over twelve hours. There are some other things at play here that I won't go into, since they're what our family calls "house business," but at the end of the day having a home, kid, and pet, while knowing my husband's job habits and use of time is a choice I made. 

Next, I work an exhausting job- teaching all day will take it out of anyone! It's also often enjoyable, rewarding, and challenging and I love the schedule and time off. I think I've been burnt out for years, but I refuse to let that interfere with my performance,  what I give to my students, and quality of life outside of work.  No one made me choose this profession, it's a choice I made. 

I am extremely active in terms of exercise- I walk my hilly neighborhood for almost an hour, total, a day and get in some other sort of workout six or so days a week. Sure, it's great for my health and sanity, but it takes away time from my life and also sucks away more energy. And yup,  it's still a choice I make.

Lastly, I like being on the go and partaking in projects and hobbies. It gives me a lot of enjoyment to fill my calendar with social dates, hikes, excursions with my son, and travel. This means when I am home I have to kick it into high gear to take care of my house, do any work I need to do, and be a good mom/pet owner. Being a busy little bee is, again, you guessed it, a choice I make.

So, that's the secret to reframing my tired: I made/make specific choices to have the life I have and it's a life I really truly appreciate and love, most of the time. Am I in love with it when I am spinning like a tornado taking the trash out, helping with math homework, and prying god-knows-what out of my dog's mouth, all at the same time? No. Do I occasionally and silently lament about patriarchy, societal expectations of women, and the state of education in our country? Of course!  But, I check myself often and remind myself that being tired is the price I am willing to pay to be able to have and do what I want. And I do take the occasional Sunday afternoon naps and spend plenty of time parked on the couch reading. Summers are spent afternoons poolside and I have a pedicure schedule tonight. I do pause, on occasion, but this is my one life. We all want to spend it differently, but I know when I am eighty I don't want to look back and realize I spent a lot of time being unhappy and not having anything to show for my time. I want to go and do and experience, and if it requires a baseline level of tired, so be it. I am claiming responsibility.

*I know that everyone tolerates being tired differently, and when I do reach a certain threshold I become really anxious- I'm not a robot that can just go indefinitely. I know when that point is and can feel the warning signs, so I just adjust life as much as I can

**I also know that there is a certain level of privilege that comes with this conversation. There are people who work multiple jobs, are single parents, etc… who don't have the luxury of packing their weekends with fun activities to counteract the fatigue that the every-day brings. I grew up in that household! That is why I definitely acknowledge that I do have some flexibility in how I manage my time and am grateful for the fact I have been able to create the structure to do so.


  1. Just here to say I relate, and I applaud you for doing what is meaningful for you. <3

  2. You'll never be tired in eternal
    Seventh-Heaven unless you wanna.
    Gotta wanna looky (we'll Bkids2 -
    ain't God our Father?
    How old's He, dear?
    Yeah. Thot so. Old):
    ☆ ☆
    God! Bless!! You!!!