Sunday, August 2, 2009

Ho, Ho, Ho Sleep Deprivation

"One of the possible side effects of a continued lack of sleep is death"…Serendip/brynmawr.edu

Aside from all the other bad habits in my life, I’m hoping my continual aversion to hitting the sack doesn’t do me in! I fell asleep three times today, once sitting in the living room after dinner, and twice at this computer screen. I think this says something profound about my sleep habits or, more appropriately, my lack of sleep habit.


I suppose I haven’t been taking my own symptoms to heart very well. I stumbled across this little story I wrote up after a funny “sleep deprivation” moment many years back…when I was still wrapping up Christmas presents after the kids went to bed. I called the story “Ho, Ho, Ho Sleep Deprivation.” Enjoy!

Ho Ho Ho Sleep Deprivation

I’m not sure about you, but I seem to run 24/7 even at uneventful times of the year. Trying to squeeze all the things I need to do for the holidays into my already crowded schedule is extremely stressful. Keeping this in mind, I will share with you a recent happening for your amusement.

On Tuesday, after an extended day at work, I came home, ate some dinner and headed off to church for choir practice. I was already dragging when I got there, and due to all the extra songs for the upcoming Christmas services, choir practice ran particularly late. But regardless of how tired I was, I had a task that needed to be done when I got home come hell or high water. I had to wrap all the gifts. This needed to be done on Tuesday because the rest of my time for the week was already spoken for…cooking, baking, caroling, etc.


I sat down in my office with a card table to my side and began wrapping. It was already 11:00 and, by most sane thinking, I should have been in bed or headed that way. After all, I had to get up for work in the morning at 6:30. But I was determined, so box after box became a glittering jewel to place under the tree. I pressed on into the wee hours; 1 a.m., then 2 a.m. passed me by. By 2:30 I was about finished, but I was at that point of hitting the wall. When I began dozing off as I wrapped, I admitted the insanity of the situation, turned off the lights and headed to bed, making a last bathroom stop on the way.


I took my place on the throne as we women are pretty much required to do. Then being forward thinking, and not wanting to disturb Jim at that late hour by turning on a light in the bedroom, I leaned over and untied my hiking boots. What I didn’t realize was how VERY tired I was, and soon I dozed off perched atop the throne. I’m not sure how long I was out of it, perhaps a minute, perhaps more, but it was at least long enough to have that moment of complete stupor that often precedes full recognition of one’s surroundings on waking.


I woke with a start, and in that moment, glanced toward the floor. There, between my feet, and moving, was a striped snake, half blended into the gray-beige throw rug!!! In one tremendous movement, I leaped from the throne to the bathroom door while emitting a sound that can only be described as the shriek of the banshee!!


I turned around, shaking like a leaf, to see where the snake had gone. I could not see it! I was panic stricken! My heart was in my throat. My eyes scoured the floor. I couldn’t see the snake! Where was it? This was very bad. It meant the snake was hiding, waiting to come out and scare or bite the unwary (most likely me) on some other occasion!

Then I looked down and was startled to see the snake, still at my feet! The light bulb in my head snapped on at about 1000 lumens, and I dissolved into a heap on the bathroom floor, laughing hysterically, as I realized I had just scared myself half to death with my own brown and beige striped shoe laces!


Jim, awakened by the noise, was pounding at the bathroom door, wanting to know what in bloody hell I was screaming about. Needless to say he was not amused at being rousted from bed because of a demon shoe lace.

The real irony, however, is that after getting the rest of the house settled back in, I tossed and turned, awake, unable to sleep as the adrenaline that had surged into my system slowly ebbed away, adding to my ever-growing case of HHHSD (Ho Ho Ho Sleep Deprivation).