I am exhausted and could have easily passed out 2 hours ago. I have no great excuse for sleep deprivation; I’m not nursing children, there are not noisy neighbours blasting hip-hop or heavy metal at all hours of the night, and I’ve never really had a huge problem with insomnia. In fact, at times I really want to sleep (like right now) but for some reason I won’t, out of pure stubbornness. Maybe this is a remnant of my neurotic rebellion around having somewhat puritanical parents (in the best sense of the word.) I have such an obsessive need at times to get out from under the thumbs of authority, and such a gripping fear of being told what to do or controlled by someone, that I often hurt myself with incessant declarations of independence (both from myself and others) merely for the sake of rebellion.
Like right now with sleep…nothing would be better than to have passed out two hours ago and be sleeping right now. But even as I yawn, I keep getting obsessed about this idea and that, and things I want to cross off of my conquer-the-world-list so I can get ahead of my plans and obsess about more. It’s loony when you think about it. And for anyone who has read enough of a sample of the blog you might have started to notice that I am a walking dichotomy, full of contradictions. Oh, believe me, I sometimes confuse myself. Anyway, with the investment of sleep and leisure, I’m always the person that clucks at the 14-hour per day CEOs who say they can’t afford to take a vacation. “You can’t afford not to.” I always tell them, “Think of it as an investment. You’re more relaxed and centered for your employees rather than scattered and burned out for which isn’t helping anyone.” You see this sounds totally convincing to both them and me, but there seems to be an addictive and unstoppable compulsion behind such hard-driving behavior so listening to such rationales is not an option. It seems that what is done is never enough and we become more obsesssed with perfectionism and acquisition than sanity.
Logically, I know that I’m not making the best choices from time to time, but somehow in the moment when I’m swimming upstream against my body’s inclinations I feel more powerful. “Oooh, I’m mastering myself.” I think. “Who needs sleep? That’s for pussies. Forget Type A, I’m the Bionic Woman.”
Another explanation I’ve entertained is that I might have such a zest for life that sleeping seems like an utter waste of time for me. As Samuel Johnson once admonished a friend, “Up sluggard, the grave will be sleeping enough.” All rationality aside, I can appreciate that point of view too. I never want to miss anything around here and it seems there is always something more fun than sleeping to do. When I was a baby my mother apparently could never get me to sleep at night. “Even when you were a baby,” she recalls, “you wanted to party all night and sleep all day.”
Although there were many reasons I knocked myself out with a bottle of wine every night, one was to quiet my mind’s noise to a dull roar so I could feel normal or at least somewhere around ground zero. So with marinating my waking life in alcohol so much of the time, there is the third possibility: That even as my body is screaming to let it sleep, the desire is ten times greater to make up for lost time. I would say I’ve wasted a good 6 solid years of my life. Now that is depressing. Granted it can always be worse and I could glass-half-full it, but 6 solid years of time could take someone to a completely different existence. Of course, were I more Piaf-esque I might just laugh all of that time off and say “I had no regrets” but it brings one to wince when reminded of the preciousness of life and wasted time. So I suppose in my child-like mind, I imagine that if I just stay up later and get up earlier, I will somehow make up for the time since everyone else is sleeping and there is an illusion created of me having an edge or head start on everyone.
No, I think I really just can’t complete a cogent thought or argument about any of this because I need sleep. How often do I end up losing to myself in an argument. Very rarely. My ego won’t let me waffle when I”m awake but I am clearly doing no one any good. Least of all myself. Let us hope there are dreams of faeries and baby-blue Porsche convertibles tonight. See? What is my problem? I have to even control what’s going on in my dream segments! Oy vey.