February 12, 2001
Sleep, Interrupted


Two hours into my morning, I was ready for a nap already.

Usually I don't hit the sleepy part of my day until mid-afternoon ... and even then, it never lasts more than a minute or two. A brisk walk up and down the hallway -- and a banana -- is usually all it takes to shake it off. I've been blessed, at this point in my life/my recovery/my hormonal development, with a freaky metabolism that allows me to function reasonably well on very limited amounts of sleep. As a matter of fact, it almost seems as though the earlier I get up in the morning -- 5:30 a.m., 5:45 a.m., somewhere in that neighborhood -- the better I feel. But today was a different story.

Today I was face-down at my desk by 9 a.m.

A combination of *factors* are to blame ... none of them fatal, none of them permanent, all of them preventable in the future. For instance: David snored with somewhat more ... umm ... velocity than normal last night (she says with loving, tolerant delicacy). And because we had small overnight guests, I was unable to flee to the relative quiet of the living room sofa. I spent most of the night poking him in the ribcage with my finger, trying to get him to roll over onto his side again. Then I had sinus trouble, on and off: at one point I dreamed that a clown was sitting on my face. Wet noisy traffic splashed outside our bedroom window all night: I lay awake for a long time, waiting for an eighteen-wheeler to careen off the road and crash into the side of our building. At one point, Upstairs Neighbor Guy decided that 3:11 a.m. PST was the perfect time to open his squeaky closet door, directly above our heads, nineteen or forty-seven or eighty-nine-thousand times in a row. Taking a three-hour nap on Sunday afternoon probably didn't help things much. I probably shouldn't have had that 4 p.m. Mocha Almond Latte, either.

All of this stuff put together, anyway, had me counting ants on the ceiling at 2 a.m. ... and again at 3 a.m. ... and again at 4 a.m.

But let's look on the bright side here: at least I didn't go to sleep drunk last night. Sunday nights used to be a big *cheap-chablis-and-chat-room* night for me. In retrospect, it seems unbelievably stoopid to get screwed up on the very first work-night of the week. But I wasn't much about 'making sense' in those days. In my muddled little addict's brain, Sunday night was still officially part of the weekend ... and weekends meant P-A-R-T-Y until you P-U-K-E.  I would get started late Sunday afternoon and work my way through most of a box of Mountain Chablis  ...  skipping dinner and laundry, ignoring phone calls and smoke alarms  ...  finally wobbling off to bed around midnight or so. Then of course I would spend half the night too buzzed to sleep, and the other half too dehydrated/too remorseful/too sick to my stomach to sleep.

Mondays were almost always a painful blur, as a result.

Here's more good news:  I didn't lay awake all night last night worrying about money. That used to be another surefire insomnia-inducer, specific for some reason to Sunday nights. It began when the Tots were babies: a crushing tidal wave of Sunday Night Anxiety over finances, unpaid bills, disconnected utilities, negative bank balances, keeping me awake until dawn. It peaked during the *I-Have-Minus-Thirty-Three-Dollars-In-My-Checking-Account (and I-Just-Bought-Forty-Bucks-Worth-of-Pizza)* Tree House days. It has only recently begun to abate a little. David and I are a long way from retiring to that villa in France, but we have our finances reasonably under control at the moment. We're slowly but surely paying down our debts ... we're saving what we can ... we're researching ways to make our money go further. My days of stuffing the electricity bill under the sofa cushion, hoping it will magically *go away,* are a thing of the past.  If I'm laying awake at 2 a.m. these days, it's a safe bet I'm not stressing over finances.

Stressing over The Tots? Yes. Stressing over what to wear on my wedding day? Yes. Stressing over the tragic disappearance of Fast Lane Tea from my grocer's shelf? Yes.

But stressing over finances? Usually not.

And here's the best news of all, maybe: when I went to bed last night ... I wasn't all tied up in knots over the idea of going back to the Totem Pole Company on Monday morning. For the past two years, Sunday nights have meant one thing:

Another week of Franz.

Another week of voicemail overload, and cancelled meetings, and rescheduled flex sigmoid appointments. Another week of silly pointless busywork. Another week of doing everything three times.  Another week of runny Maybelline, crumpled Kleenex in my *In* Basket, lying to people on the phone ("He's been delayed in traffic") and wiping spider mites off an ailing Dwarf Schleffera. Another week of cringing every time the phone rings. Another week of ramming my right knee into that open desk drawer. Another week of feeling stressed and edgy and sad all the time.

Another week of hating nine full hours of my life every day.

And that was a bigger deterrent to sleep, frankly, than all of the Sunday night financial anxieties, hangovers, noisy upstairs neighbors, late afternoon coffee breaks, silly dreams, wet traffic, sinus congestion and snoring bed partners, put together.

before i have to kill somebody ...
help bring back Fast Lane Tea!
[tell 'em SECRA sent you]

throw a rock