So yesterday, I came home from work about 6:15 p.m. and after changing out of my work clothes, thought I’d just sort of lounge on the bed for a minute. Take a little catnap. I put on my sleeping mask (yes, I use one) and dozed off.
I woke up some time later and glanced at my watch. 7:15. My apartment was quite light, and it was cloudy outside. I looked at my alarm clock. 7:15. I got up, amazed I’d just slept 13 hours, ate breakfast, made coffee, took a shower, blow-dried my hair, got dressed, put my coffee in my travel mug and went to pack my bag to leave. Only then did I look at my cell phone and see it was 19:50. 7:50 p.m.
This is the first time I’ve ever done anything like this.
I’m not really the scatterbrained type. Yes, I lose my work ID in my office a lot, and yes sometimes I can’t find my keys, but generally, on the day-to-day, I know what’s going on. I am lately, though, really really tired. For example, Saturday I slept from about 11 p.m. Friday night until 4 p.m. Saturday afternoon. And while I was sleeping, I was dreaming about going on vacation to this splendid vacation house with a very comfy bed and sleeping in that. I was dreaming about sleeping. That’s how sleeping I was.
My mother called me, and I told her what had happened. “That’s devastating,” she said. She really sounded concerned. “That’s how tired you are,” she said. “Your body can’t even tell the difference in how you feel after sleeping one hour versus thirteen hours.” I started to freak out a little. “What about now?” I asked. “What if this is sleeping? Is this real? Am I losing my mind?”
She assured me it was real, and that I wasn’t crazy, but that I should rest more. I honestly don’t know when I’d get to that resting.
The other day, I confessed to a friend that if I had a husband and children to take care of, cook for, do laundry for, a house to clean with a yard to mow, I’d honestly need some kind of serious amphetamine addiction to get through. As it is, I don’t know how I manage taking care of my work and life, and I don’t do a whole lot of life-care (like I don’t have furniture, like my cable has been out for 3 weeks and I haven’t called about it, like there are still boxes I haven’t unpacked and I moved here in August). I don’t get it. My mom raised me mostly by herself, while working more than full time. When did she have time for that? Granted, we mostly lived in condos (no yard) and had a nanny to watch me after school and do some daily chores, but still, my mom did all cooking, most cleaning, and still worked, and dealt with me. (My unruly, toddler self who did things like park her tricycle on top of a water moccasin.)
What changed? Is work harder now? More time consuming? Are the techno-media advances really hurting us after all? Is my never-ending email/BlackBerry/iPhone to-do list crushing me? And if it is, what’s my alternative? It’s not like I could remove media from my job (it’s 100% media), or change my own media consumption habits (I have to stay informed, you know, and read for entertainment too). What else can I quit to stop feeling so rushed/spread thin/worn out?