I’m one of those people who doesn’t function very well when they’re tired. When I’m exhausted I get cold very easily, I’m very moody, and I’m very liable to cry. I’ve had a pretty wearing past few days. I’ve had interviews on consecutive days in different places, so it’s involved a lot of travelling, a lot of waiting around for train connections, and a lot of time spent traipsing around carrying my bag with nowhere really to go.
The bag is a good example to illustrate my point. My bag was a pretty small sports bag type holdall. To give an idea of size, the main compartment is only just big enough to fit a standard A4 size ring binder folder, and then there are compartments at each end. Fits into overhead baggage racks without any difficulty. The bag contained my suit and flat shoes, 1 change of clothes (skirt and t-shirt), underwear for 3 days, my washkit, a book, an A4 folder with interview prep and document photocopies, and my phone charger. So not a big amount of luggage, and not a heavy bag. For well-rested me, carrying that size of bag around is a minor nuisance. For exhausted me, it becomes nightmarish: suddenly people in crowds are incapable of avoiding you; gates, barriers and turnstiles are no longer wide enough to negotiate; finding somewhere to eat or have a cuppa becomes dependent on finding somewhere quiet and with enough space to sit your bag beside the table – ideally before you collect your food, because carrying trays or drinks with a bag on your shoulder is hard if your tired and clumsy; and even going to the toilet requires either finding someone happy to watch your bag, or executing some advanced yoga and contortion skills to fit yourself and said bag into small cubicle.
So, I’m very aware that I am not good when I’m tired; and in my state of tiredness I am conscious that life is only as bad as it seems because my perception is skewed and molehills appear as mountains. Knowing that doesn’t actually make me feel any better at the time, whereas once I’ve had a good sleep and chance to unwind I will feel a lot better. (Provided I don’t wake up to discover my washing machine has packed in, as was the case yesterday.) So, while for me it’s tiredness that has this effect, for others in my family hunger is their nemesis. I don’t particularly enjoy being hungry, but it does not have the same effect on me as exhaustion. That said, when I arrived home at 10pm on Friday night, tired, travel weary, wet (of course it was raining when I arrived back in Glasgow) and hungry (I hadn’t had dinner and of course they’d run out of sandwiches on the train) I put on my pyjamas and had a fancy M&S microwave dinner. And I instantly felt a lot better. And it reminded of the following quote from my ‘Winnie the Pooh’s Little Book of Wisdom’ book: “When you get a sinking feeling, don’t worry, it’s probably because you’re hungry.”
He is indeed most wisdomous, that Pooh bear.