The Sleep Factor

The cogs are slipping.

I read that expression in a Stephen King book once before, about how somebody was starting to lose his or her mind, and King said that the cogs of reality were wearing down and starting to slip.  It was a neat expression (and visual image) that stuck with me.  I always sort of thought it was cool.

Until now.

Now that my own cogs are starting to slip, it’s not so cool anymore.  See, I’m not sleeping very well.  This happens to me sometimes. It seems like every couple of years my internal clock starts slipping its cogs (See? Neat expression!) and I start having insomnia.

I read once that some enormous percentage of the population suffers from insomnia.  So, in reality, it isn’t that big of a deal.

Unless it’s me.

Or you live with me.

See, not sleeping starts to do things to me after a while.  My usually sunshine-y personality dims. (Hey, it’s my blog, okay?  I can make any claim I want.) I start to have a rather dark view of life in general.  I grouch, even though I know I’m doing it and I hate it and I try not to do it. In short, I start to feel a little crazy.

Not this kind of crazy,


but more like this kind of crazy:


While people are talking to me, I’m having uncharitable thoughts toward them.  I’m not even going to talk about the people I have to encounter out in public.

I also start to lose my motivation.  House needs dusting?  Who cares.  Laundry piling up? Oh well.  Dinner needs cooked? Big deal.  I guess my give-a-damn runs on sleep, and it’s all out.  People seem especially whiny to me.  (How ironic, since this whole entire post is basically one, big, protracted whine-fest.) I have to squash the voice in my head that is screaming I don’t care!” when people are telling me terrible things about their lives.

I also think my decision-making is hampered.  My son could come in and ask for my permission to take the van out the road for a spin, and I’d be like, “Sure, that seems like a good idea.”  Or it might be the opposite, like he might ask for my permission to, oh, I don’t know, eat, and I’d be like “Why? Why do you need to that?  Do you need to do it right now?

So you see.

So, if I grouch at you (worse than usual) or seem unresponsive, I’m sorry.  Right now I need to go.

I’m craving fava beans.


Nap, Interrupted

     I am not a morning person. To say that is similar to saying something like Hitler was not a nice guy, or the sun is warm. However, to put into words how I actually feel about mornings seems a bit dramatic. For example, I could say, I hate mornings with the firey passion of ten thousand white hot suns. Like I said, dramatic, right? Still….

     This fact is not a secret. However, one thing that remains a mystery to me personally is how I ended up surrounded by morning people. Not only did I marry a morning person, I then proceeded to conceive and subsequently give birth to two more morning people. To be fair, they are aware of my particular hatred of the a.m. hours, and usually they do pretty well at avoiding unnecessary contact with me. They have a fairly comprehensive grasp of the appropriate morning etiquette here in Janiceland. They don’t ask questions that require more than a one-word answer (preferrably yes or no, or even a grunt if possible), they avoid making direct eye contact with me, and they can usually entertain themselves for an hour or so until my brain finally concedes and decides to join my body in the land of the living.

     This is not to say that I can’t be productive in the morning. Quite the opposite. I do lots of stuff in the mornings–I get my daughter up and running, I get Mindy up, I do whatever housework requires immediate attention–but these are all mundane things that my body can do without the aid of a fully functioning brain. I get up at 6:00 every morning. I wake up around 9:00.

     So anyway, here I am, surrounded by morning people, trying to figure out how I can work a nap into my day. I do this EVERY DAY. I think it may be a little sad that one of the first things I think when I hear the alarm go off is, “I wonder if I’ll be able to nap today?”  As it turns out, the answer is no. I’ll get everything done that I think needs to be done. Everyone fed, lessons done, lunch served, kitchen cleaned, etc., etc., and then I’ll mosey into the living room to sit in the recliner. I sit for say, five minutes, then whoops! I just thought of something else. Or the phone rings. Or someone needs me to do something. This pattern is so predictable, I’m not sure why I even bother. Maybe it’s to amuse myself, I don’t know, or maybe I’m a hopeless optimist. Yeah, that’s probably it (cue heavy sarcasm.)

     Maybe one day I will get to take a nap. I guess it boils down to hope. There’s nothing I can do about having to get up in the mornings, but maybe there is hope that one day I will get to take a nap. Just a short one, nothing too fancy. I’ll probably feel like crap when I wake up.

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