It’s good to be…sleeping

As a teenager I would sleep until mid afternoon. My mother would watch me saunter down the stairs, my hair in disarray, my eyes bloodshot. As my mother would look upon my disheveled form she would say, in a disgusted voice, “I hope you don’t TELL people you sleep this late.” It never made sense to me. Why would anyone care what time I slept until? Was I taking time away from their snooze-fest? Besides, I finally turned off my light and went to sleep around 4 in the morning. So, I was just trying to get my 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. What is wrong with sleeping?

After some intense analysis I realized that my Catholic mother had two problems with my tardy wakening. First, she definitely believed she had a lazy daughter, which was an absolute disability, a handicap so bad that she would never be able to marry me off. Yeah, it was the late 1980s early 1990s, but in her old-ways European life mentality, her goal was all about selling off…ahem…marrying off her daughter to a good family. The second thing was that “sloth” was (and is) one of the Seven Deadly Sins. Not only was her daughter the epitome of laziness, not only would my mom never be able to find me a mate, but when my life finally DID expire on this earth she knew that her beloved spawn would burn in hell forever which ultimately meant she was a bad mother. Everything in my life somehow directly affected her life. That, however, is a story for another day. Actually, it’s more like a novella, but I digress (as usual).

Lazy. I wasn’t lazy. I was tired. Staying up late when the house was nice and quiet was when I got most of my homework done. HA! HOMEWORK! Yeah right. The witching hour was when I would haul the land line phone into my closet and call my boyfriend and we would whisper chat. Or I’d meet my sister by the tv set in the family room at 1 a.m. so we could watch music videos. THAT was definitely banned. One tv in the WHOLE house and limited viewing time.  There were horrible things like “rock videos” and those were very bad because there was nudity (like bald people) and people dressed weird and screaming at you (like Twisted Sister, We’re Not Gonna Take It which was definitely devil’s work. Hmmm, come to think of it, most of the stuff that was FUN was devil’s work. All this banned stuff made sense (sort of), but sleep…being bad?

Now, back to my original tale of my teenage obsession with sleep.  The reason I liked sleeping so much was that I finally had my very own room which contained my very own double (nowadays called “full”) bed.  There were 4 of us children. We lived in a very large 4 bedroom home. Now here is how bed/bedroom assignments worked in our house.  Parental figures had one of the 4 bedrooms.  That left 3 bedrooms for 4 children. Initially my younger brother and I shared a room, but as we went from toddler to tween the whole boy/girl in same room was not an option. So, my parents put me and my sister together in a room.  It was great!  She is 5 years older than me.   At that time she was so excited that her little sister was sharing HER room and asking questions about HER teenage stuff.  And her little sister would not shut the hell up at night because wee sister came alive at bedtime.  Big sister decided that there needed to be some rules:  No more asking questions about her teenage girl stuff.  No talking at bedtime.  No tossing and turning in the squeaky bed.  No looking at older sister.  No using big sister’s stuff.  Little sis allowed in room ONLY at bedtime.  Oh, little sister must learn not to breathe cause that was annoying too.  After a few days of this sisterly love-fest, I got to vacate.  I went from pauper to princess and got my very own room.

(Sidenote:  My older brother…who is even older than my sister, had to share a room with baby brother…9 years younger.  I don’t think my big brother has ever forgiven me for having him displaced from his solitary haven.) 

Anyway, back to my original tale of the zombie teen in the kitchen.  I thought about the whole “lazy” thing and then thought about how the bible actually referred to this particular sin as “sloth”. Sloths were super cool. I had seen one once while watching Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom. (That was the show we had to watch first in order to be allowed to watch the Magical World of Disney. It was a trade off: Learn, then laugh.) But this day was totally worth it cause sloths are incredibly amazing! They look like they are smiling ALL THE TIME! Like a big teddy bear. And they love hugging tree branches which means they love hugs and I love hugs so I was definitely the epitome of sloth-dom.

I tried to explain this thought process to my mother. The whole laziness = sloth = happy animal = GOD LOVES EVERYONE! That last one was always my go to response when my parents poo-pooed people. I used it if my parents didn’t like one of the neighbour kids, “but God loves everyone.”  Or I’d try this one:  Jesus even said to ‘love thy neighbour’.  I could almost hear their eyes rolling at me.  To be fair, I was trained in Commando Verbal Warfare by the best of the best: My Mother.  In the end, I was informed that God could love these people at their own houses and we could love people from afar and sloth and laziness were still bad.  I would still pat myself on the back for the good effort I had put forward.  I wouldn’t win the battle, but hoped to win the war.  Time passed.

As an adult in my partying 20s, I managed to get, maybe 3 to 4 hours of sleep a night. Not sure how I coped or functioned, but I managed to drive my car, do daily work assignments, and basically function like a normal human being. After aging and graduating into the upper echelons of adult society, thoughts of partying were put the wayside because the one thing I cherished most was once again, the nestling of my head into my down and feather pillow and watching my digital clock on weekends as it went from 6 am to 8 am to 9 am to double digits like 10 am and 11 am. Each time I checked the time I would smile, contentedly.  No guilt.  No thoughts of laziness.  I prefer to call it a luxury.  Get it while you can and enjoy it.  Snuggle yourself into your blankets and dream those happy dreams.  No need to get dressed.  No need to run around and think about errands.  It’s the best de-stresser. 

Tomorrow is Saturday.  I have no plans.  Full disclosure, I have one plan:  Sleep in and be happy.



If you got what I got…you’re welcome!

I love touting the fact that I don’t get sick.  If I feel like my throat is getting sore, or I have a slight sniffle, I grab for my bottle of echinacea and start taking a pill three times a day.   I ensure that I have at least a tablespoon of honey and that there is a nice hot tea that will keep me warm and hydrated.  Yes, that usually does the trick.  Oh, and I like to tell myself, and everyone else, that I am NOT sick.  Lying to myself is usually the best way to ensure that the little germs and virus and bacteria stay away from my humble body.  Well, this time the “bug-ger” got through.  No denying it.  I am sick!

I am sick of being sick.  I have actually been staving off this stupid illness since 2017.  It has been trying to lay waste to my body since about August of last year.  My tried and true methods were tried and true then.  When everyone had sinus infections, plugged ears, ratchety or phlegmy coughs, horrendous sneezes and other germ spreading conditions, I had managed to stay healthy.  Oh sure, there was the occasional whisper of a sneeze.  Sometimes there was a bit of a scratchy throat, but I prevailed.  Nay, I conquered!  What the hell happened this time?

Oh sure, I heard people at work sneezing, but I was fortified with vitamin C.  My apple a day, my healthy vegetables.  I washed my hands to the point of cracked dryness.  Why oh why did I suddenly end up like this?

I am weak.  The thought of getting out of bed leaves me in anguish.  That would mean lifting my 100 lb head off the pillow.  That would mean getting out of a nice, warmed up area and exposing my hot, sweaty body to the frigid cold of the room.  21 degrees celsius or 70 degrees fahrenheit.  Brrrrr.  The thought of motion, leaves me weak.  Can I make it all the way down those stairs to get to the bathroom?  Will my knees give out?  Will my head loll forward, making me lose my balance, thus having me careen down the stairs?  What if I can’t lift myself off the toilet once I have completed my duties (doody?).

Why do my eyes feel like sandpaper?  It hurts when I try to look around.  Even blinking doesn’t help.  There is this immense pressure just in behind them.  Or is that beside them?  Huh…seems like it’s in between my eyes.  Yes, that’s where it is.  If I manage to raise a hand to touch the side of my nose it feels like my eyes are going to bug out and fall to the floor.  I think my half-closed eyelids are managing to keep those vision balls in my head.

Oh…my head.  My brain is trying to think of stuff.  It’s trying really hard, but there is this weird fog up there.  As I type, I see my fingers moving, but am not sure how.  My burning eyes are looking at them because those flesh-coloured sticks seem to be moving on their own.  My grey matter can’t be telling them what to do.  All the penthouse presider is thinking is, “why aren’t we in bed sleeping?”

I recall being at the top of the stairs.  Then I recall being in the bathroom.  Then stuff gets misty.  No more recall.  Ah, I see a cup of tea beside me.  Huh…must’ve made that at some point.  Good call brain!

I thought it was a good call.  I burnt my tongue.  Then again, it doesn’t matter because I can’t really taste anything anyway.  There is this blanket, a white blanket, covering my tongue.  So, burnt tongue may not taste anything, but it definitely felt something.  While its charred, maybe I should have some nutritious soup.  That should help heal me.  It has worked in the past.  I’ll add my echinacea to the mix and some man-made ibuprofen and the dinnertime cocktail with healing powers is ready to go.  This will entail more walking.

My brain is saying something.  Move feet.  Move feet.  *shuffling feet*  Well, it’s a start.  Now arms.  Lift.  Why won’t my arms listen to my instructions?  I command them to lift up and yet they just hang there, listlessly, by my side.  We need to heat up soup pronto.

“Go to bed,” brain murmurs.

“I need food,” says…is that my brain too?  OMG I am getting a split personality!

“Go to bed,” Brain 1.

“I’m hungry,” Brain 2.

Achoo! *sniffle*.  Great!  Now there is something running down my face.  At least I have feeling in my face.  That’s a good thing right?  Heading way too close to my lips.  Time to blow my nose.  Oh good.  One of the brains has decided that my feet and hands can work again.  Itchy, watery eyes have honed in on the box of facial tissue.  *shuffle, shuffle, shuffle* and hand reach.  Looks like the body is working in harmony again. Blow nose, discard germy tissue and while I’m funtioning as a human again I will get that soup going to boil.

(Time passes).  Empty bowl in front of me.  Numb tongue.  Belly full.  I think I ate my soup.  I feel full.  Time to lumber up, sloth style…nice and slow…and fall back into bed.

If all goes well, my energy conservation and my healthy meal should give me enough germ fighting energy to get me back up on my feet again tomorrow.  Another day in which my brain will function as one unit.  My body will listen to all its orders.  My sinuses will happily drain out leaving me with wide-opened, focused eyes and no throbbing pressure.  I will LIVE again.  I will be happy to have survived this debilitating flu!

I will be so thankful and grateful!  I will spread joy and happiness to everyone!  Or maybe I’ll just spread this virus around and share the misfortune.  Sometimes, by living through the bad, you really appreciate all the good you have.  So, if you got what I got, then all I can say is “you’re welcome!”