In advertising, the only time you work 9-5 is if it’s a twenty hour day.
I don’t drink coffee. I’ve never touched a Red Bull, Rockstar, or 5-hour. Once, in college, I tried half a Mountain Dew at 4am. I wound up running laps around campus for 20 minutes before passing out. In no way did this help me finish my figure drawing homework.
I have my own method for working through fatigue. It’s to work through fatigue. Just don’t think about it. Just keep going. Focus on the task ahead, not on how you feel. Keep on keeping on.
In other words, I treat marathon work sessions the way most people treat marathons. Find a rhythm. Keep moving. Don’t think about it.
After a decade of operating this way, it’s second nature. I rarely notice how tired I am, or the dull ache behind my eyes, or how even my skin hurts.
Unless someone reminds me.
“You look kinda tired.” That single sentence breaks the zen-like trance I’m reaching for. It brings the reality of the past 24 hours, the past weeks, the past months crashing down around me. I’m suddenly reminded that I would very much like nothing more than to pass out. This is, to put it mildly, inconvenient.
My life is currently akin to unicycling down the steep side of a volcano while juggling chainsaws and balancing a jenga tower on my head. It shouldn’t even be possible to begin with but it’s working so for heaven’s sake don’t say anything. It’s like pitching a perfect game. Don’t jinx that shit.
“Aren’t you tired?” people ask me. And suddenly I’ve left the unicycle 20 yards behind, I’m missing all the chainsaws and possibly a limb, there’s not a jenga block to be seen, and here comes the lava.
Of course I’m tired. I’m exhausted. Aren’t you? Isn’t everyone? But I’ve got it under control if you would just, for the love of all that’s holy and the Adobe Creative Suite, not mention it.
Now hand me that chainsaw. I’ve got to get back on this unicycle before the jenga tower falls off my head again.