Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Luxury of Sleep

I remember sleeping. I remember sleeping all day. I was always a person who could sleep the day away with no guilt. I love sleeping. Everything about it is yummy to my soul. I love pajamas and night gowns. I love sheets and quilts and bedding of all sorts. I love sheer curtains swaying next to open windows; even in the winter, I try to keep them cracked.

I haven't had a good nights sleep in over fifteen years. Really. It isn't that I don't get any sleep. Sometimes, every once in a while, I am even allowed the indulgence of sleeping in. But that is not the kind of sleep I am talking about. I am talking about the 'go to bed when you are tired and then sleep, undisturbed until you wake up and then you can decide if you want to go back to sleep or not' kind of sleep. You remember it, I know you do.

And so today, with my eyes burning and my body leaning on the counter waiting, just waiting for enough coffee to pour out of the damn machine so that I could steal a cup, make a nice mess, and sip until my mind began to work... I thought about those lost days of sleep., and I started to feel a little jealous and sorry for myself.

Who gets to sleep? It isn't only parents that are robbed. I know we get some kind of lousy end.. but we also get to snuggle up to those sweet smelling, angelic, chubby goodness bundles (a luxury in its own right). So who, in society, gets to luxuriate in sleep?

Forgive me a moment of proletariat pontification, but it is the Rich. Yep. Them again. Think about it. When those that have great wealth, income, and power are tired... they get to sleep. Don't argue with me here. I know that many of them work very hard at what they do. Those movie stars get up early for talk shows and those "old money" folk have all those boards to sit on... but I am not talking about never being tired. We all get tired. I am talking about the simple option of sleeping. The luxury of being able to say "Hmmm, I am tired, I think I will go to sleep." And then DOING IT. How I hate them.

Don't get me wrong. I am one of the few people I know that doesn't really want a whole lot to change in my life. If I were to get very, very wealthy all of a sudden... I wouldn't move. I love my house and my neighborhood. I wouldn't quit working. I might quit my 9--5 job, but I would always write and I would always teach. How could I stop? I wouldn't want different children or a different husband. The thought of changing any of that makes me want to vomit. I wouldn't even want to change my body or face.... yet.

But good lord how I am jealous of the luxury of sleep. Even when my husband and I sleep overnight somewhere, away from the three wee beauties we adore, I sleep with my hands clenched, ready to wake at a moments notice, and I am up and out the door by checkout time because... well because that is how we roll, Bill and I. My husbands theory is that we will sleep when we are dead, so why waste time? You can tell I don't get much empathy from him when I complain about lack of sleep.

I guess the point is that I wish I could have a little more time to myself, to make my own decisions about being lazy, or simply sleeping. I miss dreaming. I used to have technicolor dreams that were elaborate in their scope and story. I wonder if they will come back once I get to go to sleep again.

But for now it is what it is. A comedy of errors. I fall asleep and the baby wakes up, the baby falls asleep and I fall back to sleep and then the middle one is in my bed asking for safe harbor from the night. I get her settled and am right about to fall asleep when my husband gets up, unable to sleep, and takes a sleeping pill that will help him sleep through the rest of the night. The rest of that night (which he is sleeping through) consists of falling off to sleep only to be awakened by the cat crying and wanting to explore the midnight hours, to the fifteen year old's text messaging going off and to hushed conversations I am not supposed to hear. And then the kicking and the crying and the tossing and turning and finally the alarm.

And then the coffee. And it wouldn't be so bad if I knew that at 5:30 pm I could just simply walk into my house and go straight upstairs and throw myself on my bed, heels and all, and slip into a delicious well earned sleep. Oh well. No dice. Maybe in another ten years.


  1. Fascinating blog, not yet thoroughly explored, but shall return.

  2. Thank you! I hope you enjoy!