Sunday, March 21, 2010

My Ode to Sleep

I am going to admit something here that I can’t really believe I’m going to do. Some of you may know a small amount of the extent to which I love this thing I am going to talk about but probably not exactly how much. I might change my social plans to get a “fix” of this, I might lie about not feeling well to get some more. What is this craziness you ask? What is wrong with me? I argue this could genuinely be called a talent. A God-given gift. I could win contests for this.

It’s sleep.

Glorious, uninterrupted, sleep-late-then-get-up-and-eat-and-go-back-to-bed-for-a-nap kind of sleep. I am so good at it, I can’t even tell you. At my 5-year-old birthday party—with my friends there no less—I got a new beautiful yellow comforter blanket as a gift from my parents. I took that as a cue to go lie down and take a nap. So I did. In the middle of my party.

Sometime in college, when I found out that there were such things as 8 o’clock classes (what in the world are those crazy people thinking?), I realized that my need (or desire, however you choose to look at it) might be slightly socially unacceptable. But then I realized the absolute beauty of the nap. I have no problem getting up early, if I know I can take a nap sometime. I have actually had real conversations in my head about moving to places like Mexico or Central America where time pretty much stops in the middle of the afternoon for everyone to take a siesta. Those people have got things figured out, I am telling you.

My love of sleep has caused the occasional hesitation when making some plans. Vacations with friends for instance. Vacation to me is a synonym for sleep. Whenever I want. If I want to sleep for 10 hours at night and take a 2 hour nap in the afternoon, DO NOT JUDGE ME. We started inviting our friends Vic and Rosalyn to the Lake with us 2 summers ago, and I asked Buck if they were going to say anything about me sleeping. He laughed. We love them so much, and they probably didn’t judge me, they were probably worried I was sick or something. Nope, not sick, just in heaven.

One of the joys of my relationship with my husband? He gets my need for sleep. He totally does. I know some of you are reading this, saying “my husband would never put up with that” or “wow, he is so understanding!” Here’s the deal: those things are true. He is incredibly understanding. Keep in mind, too, that we have been together for 16 years (yes, you read that right). He knew what he was getting in to and he knows that if I don’t get a Saturday or Sunday afternoon nap…well, you know the saying…if Mama ain’t happy, ain’t no one happy. My crazy love affair with sleep doesn’t happen all the time. It is a rare event when I get to sleep as much as my body tells me it would like to. Rare event meaning like never. So please don’t worry that I am not waking up to care for my children. No worries. They are the best freakin’ alarm clock I’ve ever had. :) I wish it did happen occasionally, and maybe someday it will…but for now I take it when I can get it.

And as for my chosen profession? Yes, I am a midwife who gets calls at ALL hours of the day and night. Yes, I am required to function at 100% mental clarity at ALL hours of the day and night. Trust me, I have some questions for God when I get to heaven. Like why my children are biologically programmed to wake up at the god-forsaken hour of 6 AM. Why the only time in the day that works for me to get my workout in is 6 AM. Why what I love to do requires pretty much the worst possible sleeping hours possible. I’m not bitter, this is all tongue-in-cheek, I promise. But still.

So if I’m napping or sleeping in and it’s 9 AM, please don’t think “that’s sleeping the day away!” Kindly think “Good for her” and know that I will have a smile on my face. This is from a kindred sleep spirit of mine, God bless her, “When I find myself lying in bed on a beautiful, sunny Saturday morning, plagued with the feeling that I should get up and embrace the day, I do not. Instead, I abandon all guilt and shame, roll over, commit to sleeping, and continue sleeping until I can sleep no longer. I firmly believe that only then, in the deepest of sleep, can true progress begin.”

For those of you who are able to jump out of bed and hit the ground running without the lag of hitting the alarm clock 2 or 3 (OK, 4) times…know that I wish with all my being I was like you. But for some reason, God made me the way He did. And having peace in that knowledge brings me sweet restful sleep, for however many hours it may be. Proverbs 3:24 says [when you have sound judgment and discernment] “when you lie down, you will not be afraid, when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.” Amen. Here’s wishing you all sweet sleep. Love to you all~

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