To my civilian friends: I’m sorry.
I’m sorry you have to worry about my brother & sister law enforcement officers and me.
I’m sorry the murder of two more of this nation’s finest has you scared and fearful for the future.
I’m sorry that your friends, family, or spouse has to return to duty without the national support for the singular profession authorized to protect & serve you.
I’m sorry that others whose agendas benefit from the desecration of the American symbol of order and civility have voices resonating louder than yours.
I’m not sorry that despite the fact one of us will die every 58 hours, the other 800,000 of us will never fail to report for duty.
I’m not sorry that despite celebrities and athletes dishonoring the profession standing ready to protect, we will be there every time they call.
I’m not sorry that despite a minuscule percentage of our total number of officers do bad things, that the rest of us serve with sacrificial honor.
I’m also not sorry for the profession I, along with almost one million others have chosen.
Mostly, I’m sorry I had to write this apology to my civilian friends.
To my band of brothers & sisters – watch each other’s 6 like never before.
God Bless the Blue.
To my civilian friends: I’m sorry.
NOTE: I’ve often said that sleep is for the weak. Actually, I’ve been quoted and sometimes criticized for saying it. In my life, doing without it is a necessity for accomplishing the personal goals I’ve set. While not for everyone, the following article discusses how fatigue and creativity compliment each other. Believe it? Read on.
Wednesday, famed sportswriter Bill Simmons released a podcast where he interviewed Lorne Michaels, the man who created and still runs Saturday Night Live. In the interview, Michaels said something particularly interesting about the creative process.
Simmons asked him about the grueling nature of SNL, where Michaels and his staff have been putting on a live hour of television each week for the past 40 years. Specifically, Simmons asked if that sort of schedule was too difficult, if there would be a benefit to cutting back.
Michaels’ answer: no.
“There’s a mantra that I have, which is fatigue is your friend,” Michaels said. “There’s a point at which, in anything artistic, at least from my perspective, the critical faculty can overwhelm the creative faculty… When you’re tired, you just write it, and all sorts of different kinds of work comes out.”
Michaels, who developed talent like Will Ferrell, Chris Farley, Eddie Murphy and hundreds of others, went on to say that when creative types are tired, they lose their filter. And then, “someone takes a chance that they would never, if they were cautious or they were smart, would have ever attempted.”
“And those kinds of things are what you remember now as hits,” he continued.
“That’s so funny you talk about that because that’s how I usually write my column,” Simmons told Michaels. “I either do it early in the morning or late at night because I don’t want to be fully awake. As weird as that sounds, I take more chances when I’m groggy.”
Does this phenomenon make any sense? Well, believe it or not, science says yes.
What The Science Says
There have been several scientific studies into the exact issue Simmons and Michaels talked about. And while there are some splits in the findings, the majority say that, indeed, sleep deprivation can actually increase creativity.
One study by Mareike Wieth at Albion College probed into this issue by giving people problems to answer at their non-optimal time of the day; i.e. times when they were tired (morning people were given problems in the evening and evening people were given problems in the morning).
What Wieth found was that people answered math questions better when they were well-rested. However, for problems that required more creative thinking, the people who were more tired did better.
“The findings indicate that tasks involving creativity might benefit from a non-optimal time of day,” Wieth wrote in her study.
Additionally, Italian researcher Marcello Massimini found that the brain becomes more sensitive throughout the day, as it continues to form new synapses for as long as you stay awake. When you finally sleep, those synapses are pruned down.
Therefore, it makes sense that basic math problems become more difficult to solve when you’re tired, because you are, quite literally, more scatterbrained. But it also means that the longer you stay awake, the more unique connections begin to form in your brain – a recipe for creative thinking.
By no means should you adopt a lifestyle of little-to-no sleep. Chronic sleep deprivation leads to higher blood pressure, obesity and an increased chance of stroke, among other things.
Engineers or scientists wouldn’t benefit from sleep deprivation either, as it essentially inhibits logical thinking. But, for the creative type who needs to get something out, an all-nighter might just do the trick.
Want To Be More Creative? Don’t Sleep
FITx50 \ week 19
This is my favorite Christmas picture for several reasons. For purposes of this post, the expressions illustrate the yin and yang of fitness and dieting. Santa’s look is how I feel after I blow my diet.
The sly grinning kiddo is how I feel once I’ve logged in the exercise and managed to avoid the sweets. I also think its funny because the photographer failed to notice the “horned” candles behind Santa’s head.
This week, I can say my FITx50 focus sided with the kiddo’s expression of satisfaction gained through exercise and moderation in diet.
Still moderate temps have allowed for evening jogs, which lead to very light eating at night. Heading into a hectic weekend that includes my city’s Christmas parade, it’ll be a challenge to exercise.
Momentum Gym’s child care services and Saturday’s community workout session will make finding the time much easier. Squeezing into gym time is much better than squeezing into pants.
See you next week,