Art by Sarah.
Sleep. It has always seemed to elude me. However, with its nightly distance, I always found myself more energized.
As far as I can remember going to bed was always a taxing item on my to-do list. As a child I distinctly remember laying in my bed unable to turn my brain off, to fall asleep blissfully. I would get up, put a blanket at the foot of my door (to block the light), turn on my light and clean my room. I would reorganize everything. Refold clothes, arrange clothes by colors, put my toys in the perfect spot and remake my bed so it was perfect. Once I finished that I wold sneak out of my room to watch Star Trek the Next Generation from the Hallway. It started at 9 pm and as it was ending I would sneak back to my room, get in my perfectly made bed just in case my Mother would come in to check on me. I remember laying in bed fantasizing. Imagining I was a princess, asleep in my perfect bed, as I would adjust my hair so it would look beautiful. I would lay on my back clasping my hands in front just like Sleeping Beauty and think about a prince who would come, kiss me and take me away. Who would want me and love me? All the things we would do together. Other nights I would dream about being magic. Being able to fix all the awful things in my life, my family and the world. I would imagine I was a famous actress and recite the lines from Romeo and Juliet longing to be Olivia Hussey with her gorgeous long hair. Pretty sure I was the only 5-year-old who had the balcony scene memorized line for line as I would sit on the branch of the Olive tree in our front yard. But I am getting off topic.
My nights never got easier. As I got older I remember crying myself to sleep, thinking of comebacks to bullies and again imagining a different life for myself. I would stay up late doing homework and there were many nights that I just wouldn’t go to sleep at all. How I managed to do so well in high school is beyond me, but I did. Being a “night-owl”, I was obviously NOT a “Morning person”. Despite doing decent in school I was often late. Not only on my own accord, since my Mother is incapable of managing time.
The only time I have had semi-healthy sleeping habits was in College. Trust me when I say I understand the irony. Long gone are those days, and now I am a Mother. And being a night-owl is not an ideal situation. I am 29 years old and going to sleep is still a huge challenge. If I go to bed, I lay for hours upon hours with lists of to-do’s, what- ifs, could-bes, and no-mores. I have thought about it and there is something about night time, especially with children, that is just mine. It’s my time and I don’t want it to end. I seem to go through the same ridiculous cycle of enjoying my time, losing track of time, realization, and guilt, then the “screw it” attitude, followed by the 4 am inspirations. That tomorrow will be different. I can see everything planned out so perfectly. The way I am to handle the children, to organize the house, to exercise, eat right and to truly be proud of myself. So I head off to bed only to allow my head to reel with the promises of a better tomorrow, and then the sun is up. My children will be awake in less than 2 hours. I just made things worse…again.
I know that having a better sleeping pattern will help me dramatically but I am just not sure how to truly follow through. It should be easy but I know there is a part of me that dreads the next day. I don’t want it to come. I want to fantasize about its perfection in theory and am too afraid to make it happen. The fear of failing and judgement is real to me. It haunts me. The fear of the coming day is all too real for me. I still lie in bed imagining a life that is full of magic. Where I can wave my hand and turn myself and my life into my own perfect world. I long to stay in bed and be awoken by someone who will make all my pain go away and whisk me off to a world of perfection. Where money is not a problem, fear is not crippling, my love ones are happy and I am anyone else but myself.