I fell asleep at 6:30 last night in between the girls with my body teetering on top of the crack that separates their pushed together full-sized beds. I knew it was going to happen. There would be no time for television or Internet surfing, Skyping my sister or talking with my husband. There was nothing more important or necessary than sleep.
Sleep gets a bad wrap. I’ve heard it said, “You don’t need to sleep, you can sleep when you’re dead!” Once, I had a heated conversation about a friend who did, “Nothing but sleep,” when really she was just an exhausted mom whose time in peaceful slumber was her only opportunity to give back to herself.
Why are folks so hard on something so important? I’m no sleep expert, but I know that it rejuvenates the body and the mind.
It makes sense that people who are struggling with difficulties in their life want to sleep, to escape from realities that might be too hard to manage. What’s wrong with that? If it’s something they need, isn’t it better than acting out, than being cruel out of exhaustion, frustration or anger?
And when we sleep, we dream, giving our subconscious the time and space to work stuff out.
I had a dream last night about an old boyfriend. He was sweetness and light until his friends showed up and then decided to ditch me to go sky diving. Whether or not he had a parachute remained to be seen, though I sort of hoped he didn’t. He didn’t kiss me goodbye as he walked out the door and I promptly went to his room to collect my bits of clothes that had been left there. My wedding dress was hanging in the closet, which I tossed over my arm as I made my escape. I hurried to my car where I met my sister cousin and our third musketeer, Kirtsen. We piled in and drove to a shoe store where we tried on beach flip flops and agreed that it was a good thing for me to leave. It was up in the air whether or not I’d go back.
It may seem to some like I dreamed a whole lot of nonsense, but it actually sums up a lot about me; my never-ending confusion about relationships, about men, my wedding dress representing where I am now, my friends whom I miss, shopping (quite possibly my actual first love), and my need for new flip flops (they stretch out you know).
This morning as I began to wake with four pokey feet pressed underneath me for warmth, I felt better than I have in days. The exhaustion of last night has been replaced with new energy for a new day.
I am going to need it. There are eight miles to run. The girls need to be driven to pre-school. I will shower and try to look half decent before returning to pick them up. We have a birthday party tonight, a cake to decorate and dinner to be bought and prepared. There will be laundry to wash (there is always laundry to wash), though folding will not be happening with everything else on the agenda (that’s what the laundry bed is for). At some point, little bodies will need to be bathed and a playroom that looks like a cyclone hit it hard must be tidied. The poor playroom; always last on the list.
The most important element is that there will be a smile on my face while I do it all today, which was missing yesterday. I tried to mask the exhaustion with sugar and near constant grazing when what I really needed was a good long rest.
Sleep equals rest, which equals energy, that equals a happier mom and ultimately a happy everyone else.
Hear hear to that!