Saturday, October 13, 2012

“When I can't sleep I count the buckles on my straightjacket.” ― Cathie Linz, Bad Girls Don't

I don't sleep through the night.  Now I know I'm not alone here.  I haven't met anyone lately that sleeps through the night.  I've blamed it on many things; from getting older, too much alcohol, bad food choices, menopause, and of course, a mind that never stops. It used to be that you would wake at 2:00 a.m., restless, flopping around like Raggedy Ann, or Andy, you choose, unable to get back to sleep so you would just lay there in your half waking hell, waiting impatiently for the first ray of the rising sun so that you could call it a night and rise with it.

Now in our recently cultivated 24 hour "open-open" world, where it seems that, just like New York City, nobody ever sleeps, I can now wake in the middle of the night, open up my resting laptop and check Facebook, where I'm sure people are anxiously awaiting my comments, my likes, my photos and Instagrams.   Checking FB, I see a couple of posts by friends, 2 hours ago, 43 minutes ago, 16 minutes ago.  Wow, they are up too?  Wow, he was up at 3:00 a.m.?  Does the whole world have insomnia ~ afraid we might miss something if we drift off for too long?  I don't know about you, but it is nothing if not exhausting to be expected to perform at this pace. 

My waking life has sort of reduced itself to a small smattering of good friends and then of course, my FB page, which houses my 100+ friends.  (Yes, I am aware, that is a VERY low number of friends!)  A few nights ago I woke again around 4:00 a.m. and couldn't get back to sleep.  Pulled my computer over onto the bed and entered my screen name. The world had continued on while I had been resting.  News from around the world.  AOL, Yahoo, BBC, I took a quick scan at all the latest.   Hmmm, Obama got the crap kicked out him by Romney in the debate, and now they are saying it may be a game changer, Tommy Lee has at least 50 tattoos, McDonald's is making big changes to the coffee menu and Roseanne is tweeting about Portlandia.  Okay, I needed to know all that.  Then to FB.  A couple of posts from friends that live on the other coast or on another continent, and then I wait.  Like a kid on Christmas morning, waiting for his parents to get up out of bed and get this party started.  I wait to see who is up, what starts to scroll on the side page, "Come on" I want to scream, "get up!"

Mornings used to be my cherished time alone.  A good 2 or so hours of gentle waking, drinking coffee, sitting and thinking about my day ahead.  No one would call until at least 8:00 ~ no distractions.  But now I am like some journalist for CNN or Tweeters Daily, I need to know immediately what is going on.  It's like I might miss something if I don't "connect" immediately upon rubbing the sleep from my eyes.    

My boyfriend has an iPhone (as does most everyone else that I know) and during the night it will beep, it will buzz, it will chime, with notifications that someone has sent a text, an email, a voice message or has posted something on Facebook.  And heaven forbid if any of us want to wait till morning to find out that we missed that Cathy or John "Liked" Bill Maher's link at 2:27 a.m. ~ craziness, yes, absolutely nuts.

Could it be that we are always on because we never feel like we've accomplished enough?  That we have unfinished business.  Answering emails at 1:57 am, watching an episode of Modern Family from your Hulu queue because you couldn't watch it on Wednesday night?  I realize this is the way of the world now, and to some degree you have to participate.  Sink or swim.  But I'm feeling like I just want to do the doggy paddle for awhile, float on a raft with my shades and a Mai Tai, or sit on the side of the pool with just my feet submerged.  I need some sleep!

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