At the moment, I’m tired. A good tired, actually. A tired that comes from a densely packed four-day adventure with a lot of high school kids.
Not all tired is good tired. There’s the tired that comes from hearing about yet another tragedy on the news. There’s the tired that comes from having an ailing loved one. There’s the tired that results from work frustrations. Or from working too many hours over too long a time. Or from working under too much pressure. Or from deep worry. You feel stressed. You can feel your heart beating, but you haven’t exercised – you just don’t feel quite right. You want to sleep, but you don’t sleep well. There’s no shortage of bad tired causes, and the bad kind of tired takes its toll on a person, both psychologically and physically.
For some of these bad tireds, a good tired can help. You know that feeling after a long day of hiking? You went many miles, breathing the fresh air, marvelling at the views, listening to the sounds of the forest, carrying a backpack. You get back to your tent or your motel room or your house, and you sit down to eat something. Your legs are a little sore. As you sit for a few minutes, you realize that you simply must go to bed. And you sleep magnificently. A day of skiing does this, too. Or a day of canoeing. And it can provide significant relief from some of the worried or stressed or frustrated tireds.
The good kind of tired can also come from too little sleep because of a brief period of recreation. For example, chaperoning a high school band trip to New York City. A long overnight bus ride (sleeping done in really uncomfortable short spurts), counting kids, a whirlwind tour of a world-class city – walking from one sight to another, counting kids, carrying instruments, counting kids, sharing in the awe of a herd of teenagers seeing Times Square lit up at night, following them from hat store to candy store to the toy store (yes, there’s still plenty at FAO Schwartz too keep teens entertained), counting kids, playing the latest versions of hackey sack, counting kids, setting up for concerts, seeing concerts, counting kids, tucking kids into hotel rooms late at night, getting up early to have breakfast with them each day, checking their rooms to see what they forgot to pack, counting kids, reminding them to bring their jackets on the cold days, giving your jacket to the kid that didn’t bring his, counting kids through Central Park, carrying more instruments, a long overnight bus ride home, unloading suitcases, checking the bus for forgotten socks, jackets, shoes, music folders, money, drinks, a string of Christmas lights (really, not making that up)……
A really good tired refreshes. It renews. It relieves. And I’m ready for my head to hit my pillow for that magnificent sleep tonight!