Why I won’t work past 11pm

A friend asked on Facebook: “Which is more important? Wealth or health?”

I was frank and told him that if he ignored the latter, he’d be in no position to chase the former. But in our current economic situation, I see even more employers squeezing their employees dry and leaving them useless husks. What do you do with husks? You throw them away.

We enslave ourselves to our employers, groveling, scraping and ruining our health to bring in the paycheck. But when you fall ill from countless nights of late work, from long bouts of stress, from poor food and little sleep, will you call on your employer…or will you call on God?

To quote George Monbiot, “You know you have only one life. You know it is a precious, extraordinary, unrepeatable thing: the product of billions of years of serendipity and evolution. So why waste it by handing it over to the living dead?”

I’m making a very conscious effort to be in bed by 12am, 1am at the latest. Some may say that I’m being idealistic or impractical. I tell them “Are you going to pay for my doctor’s bill or hold yourself responsible for the MC I’m going to need?” When I was younger, I could burn the midnight oil and stay up until 5am, sleeping for two hours before heading off to work. I can’t do that anymore. And I won’t. Whatever needs getting done, will get done, in the day, when I am sane, alert and propped up by a lot of coffee.

So when other people try to guilt me about the poor souls working late nights and being ‘productive’, I snap at them and say “Go to any old folks home and ask them about their rheumatism, their arthritis, their aches and pains. None of them will tell you they wished they slept less when they were younger.”

Sleep is not for the weak. It is for those who realise that, one day, they will be.

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