Aug 04, 2015


Sleepless in the Suburbs, Chasing Dreams

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My head is pounding with a headache.  Last night, again, I went to sleep at 2AM, working on a project while watching House Hunters episodes on the HGTV network.

For those of you who don’t already know, I must confess:  I have a mild addiction to House Hunters.

Some people meditate to feel centered, some people do yoga;

others like to take long walks to relax the mind.

I watch House Hunters (shamefully, sometimes for hours).

 I wonder if it has something to do with growing up in an apartment in the city, and developing exciting ideas about living in a nice house with un segundo piso and a fireplace.  If that’s the case, all fantasies about living in a big house with a second floor are out the window.  Having lived in a house for the past 9 years — I know better now.  The truth?  I miss my building super (“el super”), the smelly trash compactor right outside my apartment door, and…well, I don’t miss anything else, but you get the point.

Having a house requires a lot of work, and when you have four children, ranging in ages from 2 to 17, it is IMPOSSIBLE to keep up with all their sneakers, book bags, crayons, baseball gears and all their stuff. Oh, yeah, and my husband’s stuff too, who loves to park his work bag right in the middle of the living room, and leaves his jacket, tie and shoes throughout the kitchen. But when you have a wonderful husband like I do, those things go almost unnoticed.  I did say almost…

The sleep issue has been going on for a while.  It all started with blogging and being online.  Night time was the most logical time to write posts and articles, after the kids were sound asleep (which is a process that takes 45 minutes, on a good night).  It was also the only time to sit down without the eternal interruption of little bodies calling mami! and asking me a million questions.  Life between 9:30PM and 2AM is beautiful, peaceful, pleasant and gorgeous.  This is when my husband and I can sit side by side, and have our wonderfully stimulating conversations on current events, life, the kids and the Kardashian sisters.

At night, I get wonderfully alert.  My creativity blossoms and I become as innovative as Steve Jobs (did I mention earlier that I love to exaggerate?  It comes from my Dominican mami).

So there is no surprise that I hardly sleep.  I end up replying to emails at 3 in the morning, and often get replies that go like this: ‘

“mujer…go to sleep…what are you doing up at 3AM?!”

The nerve.  Mind your own business, I think to myself — because I’m minding my own business.  Yes, I’m trying to run a successful business here, people (New Latina, in case you’re wondering).  And when you’re passionate about something, and have another 15,579 other things to do in life, you just gotta do what you gotta do.

El sacrificio (sacrifice) is something I learned very well from my Dominican immigrant parents.  When I look at my life, in comparison to my parents’ lives, I realize how blessed I am.  Of course, my life is stressful in its own right, but I have so much more (help, resources, opportunities) than they ever did.  This reminder keeps me going and keeps me grounded.

If you’re not sleeping enough these days because you’re chasing your life’s dreams, don’t listen to the nay sayers.  Get up in the morning and drink a cup of café Bustelo and embrace your new day.  And if you’re lucky like me, squeeze in a nap here and there.  If you feel too tired to cook — order pizza.  If the laundry hasn’t been done, have your kids do it (if they’re smart enough to figure out how to download sophisticated gaming software, they can surely learn how to insert clothes in the washer machine and add detergent).

Go chase your dreams, do what you gotta do.


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Angélica Pérez-Litwin

Angélica Pérez-Litwin

Dr. Perez-Litwin is the Founder & CEO of ELLA Leadership Institute, a multi-platform professional development organization designed to advance the careers and leadership of women. She's the creative force behind the LATINAS THINK BIG™ national tour, sponsored and live-streamed by Google.

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  1. Isabel Garcia says:

    Angelica, I love your post!! When you are running a business and are passionate about what you do, you will do what it takes to make it successful. My parents always remind me how much I work, but I tell them that’s what it takes to reach our dreams. Excellent post, Angelica!!

  2. Eileen Carter-Campos says:

    Thank you for making me feel normal. I can relate very well :)

  3. Loved this post. Sometimes it feels like we are just working 24/7 but like you said, if we want something…

  4. The best antidote to sleepless nights is the reward you get when you click “shut down.”

  5. Angelica, it is amazing all you do and I can sooo relate! My husband might think I’m a nut being up so late most nights, but being a mom isn’t a job that you can punch out of at 5pm and that peace after their bedtime is a golden opportunity for creating and checking things off of the list that you would never have time for otherwise. It is hard, tiring work, but like you said…all worth it for the chance at achieving success in doing what you love! You have achieved amazing things and one day soon, I’m sure you’ll look back on this post with relief that you’ve reached your goals.

  6. “And when you’re passionate about something, and have another 15,579 other things to do in life, you just gotta do what you gotta do.” – I love you!

    Wishes of obsessive work and wonderful spurts of blissful rest!


  7. Tara Trinity Tara Trinity says:

    ay!! Love this. My therapist and i go at it all of the time because he says that i need more sleep. he’s definitely right. but at night the wheels turn and my son is asleep. i have more time to myself than any other time. it’s nice to know i’m not alone.

  8. raising hand, “mujer…go to sleep…what are you doing up at 3AM?!” That’s me emiling you three in the morning, funny we are both up, lol. I admire your dedication and hard work. We sacrifice for our passin, thank god for coffee!!


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