• Eric Dahl

Lack of Sleep, Caffeine and Car Napping

The title for today’s Blog may sound like an Indie Rock Song or a Woody Allen movie, but it’s not. When you are chasing your dreams, it requires sacrifice. Sometimes that is sacrificing sleep, meals, gym time, relaxation moments, jam sessions, family time, phone calls and did I mention sleep? But let’s be honest with each other to feed, provide a home and take care of all the other things our family and pets require takes money. Unless you are one of the blessed few, and if so please tell me your secret or let me sample the secret sauce, dreams do not start out paying the bills. Not only do dreams not pay the bills, but besides requiring more time and work they may also necessitate outside expenses you hadn’t planned for. My dream chasing has forced me to buy some more interview appropriate clothing and buy more computer hard drives to back up materials. This past weekend I met with a friend of mine to discuss future opportunities. It is flattering, funny or sad that a lot of my friends and family have been telling me lately that I’m on the cusp of something. They mean it in a positive way and the definition of Cusp: a point of transition between two different states or a pointed end where two curves meet. As we chase and pursue our dreams, no matter how big or small, we are all hoping for that transitional moment where we can take them to the next level. Essentially where the dream, although it feeds our heart/souls/minds, also begins to feed itself and hopefully be more lucrative to a greater degree. I see and hear a lot of songwriters here in Nashville and for some the dream is to have a major artist record their songs and for others it is for them to be that performer and make it big. I caught part of Dan Rather’s AXS TV interview with Greg Allman the other night. Greg told Dan that he had written 200 songs and thrown them all away until they finally got better. That is a sacrifice of time, energy and musical talent that Allman invested in the songs for his band, but look where that eventually led him and The Allman Brothers! I think his sacrifice was well worth the end result and I’m sure Greg had many sleepless nights or all-nighters writing these songs. Like many of you I work a real full-time job that takes a lot out of hours and requires my best creative, lots of meetings, reports, plans, strategic goals, media plans, paying invoices, managing a staff and then more meetings. I love what I do and the people and company I work for and with, but I also have other creative aspirations outside of my career. Therefore, after I arrive home, see my family, have dinner, watch a little TV together, carry out some garbage and then they go to bed. At that point, I start prepping for my next interviews, look ahead on guests lists, start writing articles and chase my dreams. Which means I’m usually getting less than 8 hours of sleep per night (probably closer to 6 or less). Which then requires increased amounts of coffee (high caffeine versions not decaf which is dirty water or light roast). If this is still not sufficient, since I usually eat my lunch at my desk while working anyway, then I will drive to a nearby park and get a 15-20-minute nap in it. This worked for Leonardo da Vinci, and I’m sure the hell no da Vinci, but I have found even just closing my eyes for a short period of time recharges me and lets me re-focus on the tasks at hand. Any dream worth chasing or working toward should be worthy of some sacrifice, within reason. Not like my workouts at the gym, I have witnessed some reasonable progress in the dream division. As you are pursuing your own dreams try to keep your life in balance and if push comes to shove try a little more coffee or a car nap – works for me!

Not an ideal car for Car Napping, but I do dream of having a Two-seater sports car!