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Why you should not burn the candle at both ends

You should not burn the candle at both ends. A candle is made to burn one end at a time. This allows for the tractor to get out of the barn without blowing out one of the burning candle ends.



Why you should not burn the candle at both ends.

Reason #1 Why you should not burn the candle at both ends.

Wait a minute, before I tell you why you should not burn the candle at both ends, I have to ask why there was a candle in the barn in the first place?Having a lit candle near straw could be really dangerous.

What does it mean to burn the candle at both ends?   It means that you are working  early in the morning and working late at night. The candle is your life. A candle should work during the day and sleep at night. If you work all day and get little rest your candle will not last long.

“My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends—
It gives a lovely light!”
― Edna St. Vincent Millay, A Few Figs from Thistles

Reason #2 Why you should not burn the candle at both ends.

If you are tired from working all day and night you might start dreaming while you are typing and you might write about a barn and a tractor and a candle and then forget what you really wanted to say. You might actually be typing while you are asleep.

Reason #3 Why you should not burn the candle at both ends.

Your candle won’t last as long if you burn it at both ends. Your body needs a good nights sleep. If you stay up really late and wake up really early, you will walk around like a zombie the next day and only have energy to clean the seven litter boxes. You will not have any energy to be creative with out a good nights sleep.


How do you burn your candle? Do you work all day with little rest?
Please let me know in the comments. I would love to chat. But, really right now, I just want to take a nap.

Click on the candle picture  below to comment, or just scroll to the bottom of the post.

About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • EmFairley

    I’d been burning the candle at both ends for far too long. I generally work 6 days a week, but in addition, my just ended vacation was my first in years. It was long over due and while I’ll likely fall back into working 6 day weeks, I’ll be much more mindful of taking some timeout to recharge and it definitely won’t be as long before my next vacation

  • Clare

    I need sleep. I always sleep between 7-8 hours a night. I find I am more efficient and effective. In the end I think I get more done when I take the time to sleep. The research overwhelmingly supports the need for sleep – I am married to a sleep researcher… maybe that is why we prioritize it. Give it go!

    • Hello Clare,
      Oh wow, married to a sleep researcher. Now that is so cool. It would be hard to stay up really late because you could become a test case for his research.
      Today the candle will only burn at one end.
      I promise.
      Now to take a nap.

  • Berdeane Bodley

    I think maybe I would be better to not comment on this one, (I almost used the “should” word) O big fat no no. Anyway, here is my take on burning the candle at both ends. Our bodies need the night time sleep to rejuvinate the system so it can work at top level the next day. This was God’s plan …………….

    • Hi Mom,
      You are so right Berdeane. We do need our sleep. The only thing you are not right about is —. Can’t think of anything. Hmmm. Apparently mother does always know what is best.
      Hugs to you,

  • Lynoth

    I have a major mental illness and have to be very careful not to burn the candle at both ends, or I will trigger an episode. But sometimes it’s so hard, when the world tells me I’m not doing enough no matter how fast I run. I hope you get your nap today, and that you will be gentle with yourself next time!

    • Hello Lynoth,
      Why does that old world always get on our case, telling us we are not enough?
      Thank you for sharing what happens if you burn the candle at both ends. I would hate for you to have an episode.
      I hope today you are enjoying your own pace with your life. No matter how fast we run the grass will still grow and need to be cut.
      Hugs to you.
      Thank you for the encouragement to be gentle with myself. I wish you the same gentleness.

  • Amy Rudd

    I heartily agree with your thinking…I have been doing too much of the both ends thing the past few weeks. It has exhausted me. Now, spring break is here! Thank goodness!

    • Hi Amy,
      Thank goodness for spring break! I hope you get a chance to rest and only light one end of the candle.

  • bjdonaldson

    I definitely will try not to burn the candle at both ends!

    • Good choice.
      I am still doing it. It seems the only time I write for the challenge is late at night.
      Oh dear.