I have been very drowsy lately. At first, I thought this was just another symptom brought on my Diet Coke withdrawal. But then I realized that it’s been about 2 months since I gave it up. I don’t even think drug addicts take two months to withdraw. Then, because I am a licensed hypochondriac, I immediately attributed this to the as-yet-unidentified disease that is eating away my insides.
I informed my husband that a doctor’s visit might be in order.
“Maybe you should first try to get more than 5 hours of sleep a night,” my husband dryly recommended.
“I get more than -” I started to argue.
But then I decided to count. O.K. I get 5 1/2. That’s almost 8. I mean, if you count by 2’s and round up, you’re nearly there when you get to 6.
I am 43 years old. I am apparently in that odd window of decades when 5 1/2 hours of sleep is not enough. It worked fine during my twenties. And it will apparently be plenty when I am in my 80’s. But at 43, in arguably the most active decade of my life, I am supposed to slow down more.
At 11:30 at night, I am not ready for bed. I am busy playing Sudoku on my iPad and laughing with my friends on Friends. I have to make myself turn off the lights and set the alarm. It takes a half hour to shut my brain down and fall asleep.
At 5:30 in the morning, I am not ready to get up. I have to make myself turn off the alarm and turn on the lights. I am not laughing. And if there were any Friends around at that time of day, they would be so horrified at my monstrous morning personality that they would run screaming off the set of my life.
Except Dimples, who I overheard the other morning grumpily informing her father that she is “not a morning person”.
She gets it. We compete with each other every morning to see who can sustain the longest glare.
I stupidly chose a profession, teaching, which requires me to be on the spot and cheerful at 7:30 in the morning. If I could go back to talk to my 20 year old self, I would walk in during one of her particularly vicious hangovers and make her repeat the directions for a complex task – such as writing your name at the top of your paper – 20 times, interrupting her to ask if I can go to the bathroom or did she know that it’s my cousin’s aunt’s boyfriends’ birthday next Friday, and then tell my stupid self that this is how it feels to be a teacher when you are not a morning person.
She will ignore me. Stupid I-can-change-the-world-on-6-hours-of-sleep -even-4-if-I-have-to 20 year old Idiot.
See how irritable I am? I really think it’s the disease talking.