When I was in college, there was this professor that I admired much.
She was a brilliant professor, liked by her colleagues and admired by her students like me. She knew the lessons by heart that she didn’t bring anything with her in class. She would ask us to open this so and so pages and then, she will discuss what was in there. She was able to answer the questions we asked from her and she mastered the art of asking questions that made us think hard.
Aside from teaching, which I learned she was only doing part time, she had a Psychology Clinic somewhere in the city. She also wrote reference books and articles published in Psychology journals. She surely was one accomplished person.
But one day, I noticed dark smudges under her eyes and I joked that maybe she stayed the whole night making a very difficult exam for us. She answered me with another joke, or so I thought. She said that she had only one wish, and that was to get up in the morning fully awake and no longer sleepy.
I asked her, seriously, what time she woke up in the morning and she said 4 o’clock every single morning of her life. I asked her why she had to wake up that early and she answered there was always something very important to do. Quite pushy, I asked her what about weekends and she said that was the time she had to go home in the province to visit her mother.
But surely she had a choice, surely she could afford to sleep as much as she liked but she sincerely said no, she hadn’t. Then I knew I had to let it go.. But I also have to learn from it to not subject myself to such pressure that will deprive me of one of the best things a person can get.. sound and adequate sleep.