If I Fall Asleep RIGHT NOW . . .Dawn Meehan
Over my two week winter break, I slowly reverted back to my habit of staying up late and sleeping in even later, but in an effort to get myself ready to go back to work, yesterday I woke up early (okay, I woke up at 8:00 which, in all fairness, was early compared to how late I’d been sleeping). Then, last night, I went to bed at 10:00 like a good girl so I could wake up all bright-eyed and ready to take on my students once again. And by bright-eyed and ready to take on my students, of course I mean, getting out of bed, having a pulse, and not falling asleep during any classes.
However, instead of falling asleep the moment my head hit the pillow, I lay awake, my brain spinning like an out-of-control top. I glanced at the clock. 10:15. “That’s okay”, I told myself. It’s still early. I’ll just put on a movie for a bit. That should make me sleepy. I flipped on the tv and watched one of my faves, While You Were Sleeping. I mean, the movie had the word sleeping in it! That had to help me sleep, right? At 12:00, I turned off the tv, pulled my covers up around my head, and snuggled in to sleep. My brain didn’t get the memo that it was time for bed. Nope, it was on some sort of schizophrenic mission to keep me awake all night.
I think I’ll make spaghetti for dinner tomorrow. An easy meal after my first day back at work. Besides, I can make garlic bread with that loaf that’s starting to dry out. Oh shoot, I forgot to take out the corned beef to thaw so I can put it in the crockpot for Wednesday’s dinner. I wonder if I have spaghetti sauce. I guess I can stop at the store on the way home. Oh no, did I mail my mortgage payment? I don’t think I did. I remember writing a check. Maybe it’s on my desk. Oh, I really need to go to the bank after work tomorrow. I shouldn’t have eaten that chocolate before bed.
I reached for the Tums on my nightstand and saw the clock. 12:48. If I fall asleep right now, I’ll be able to get 5 hours and 12 minutes of sleep. I rolled over, prepared to nod off.
Boy, it sure is windy. Maybe I should have turned on the heat. I remember when our furnace went out last year. How did we survive that? It was so cold. I hope my air conditioner doesn’t go out here. Man, that would really stink. I really need to write some more articles or I won’t have enough money to go home this summer and I’ve promised my kids we’d go back and visit. I wonder what the alligators do when it’s so cold out.
This is ridiculous, I thought. I glanced at the clock. 1:17. If I fall asleep right now, I can still get 4 hours and 43 minutes of sleep. I fluffed up my pillow, took a deep breath, consciously relaxed my jaw, and snuggled back into my bed.
What’s that noise? Someone’s in the bathroom. It’s probably Austin. Is he clipping his nails? Who clips their nails at 1:30 in the morning? He’s going to have a hard time getting up in the morning. I should’ve dug out the winter coats before I went to bed. I bet the kids are going to need coats tomorrow. Where are they? In the garage, I think. I’m going to have to work on the chapter eight vocabulary words with the eighth graders tomorrow. Most of them need to retake that vocab test. I hope I still have the words. What am I going to wear tomorrow? Definitely pants since it’s so cold. I wonder if I can find my gloves since I have to monitor the courtyard before school starts. I hope we’re not out of apples. I think I’ll take an apple for a snack.
Frustrated because my brain was being an idiot and I was powerless to stop it, I looked at the clock again. 2:28. If I fall asleep right now, I can still get 3 hours and 32 minutes of sleep. I can function on that, right? Sure, I can. It’ll be fine. I just need to fall asleep right now.
Wouldn’t it be nice if the kids went back to school tomorrow, but I got to stay home for another week. Oh, the stuff I could get done! Oh darn, I totally forgot to take down the tree. I was going to pack away the Christmas decorations. Now, who knows when I’ll get to it. Maybe I can assign the kids this chore. Or just leave them up until next year. I bet the HOA has a rule about lights being left up outside. Oh that’s right, I still need to pay my association fee. Ugh. I need to write more.
I consciously unclenched my jaw again and looked at the clock. 3:07. If I fall asleep right now, I can still get 2 hours and 53 minutes of sleep. In fact, if I skip my shower, I can even get 3 hours and 8 minutes of sleep. I considered getting up and pouring myself a glass of wine to help me relax, but I decided it was too cold and I was too lazy to get out of my nice, warm bed and walk downstairs. So, instead, I angrily punched my pillow and flipped back over while pondering the possibility of installing a mini-bar in my nightstand.
I really don’t want to have a colonoscopy. I’m afraid they’re going to tell me I need surgery to remove part of my bowel. Do people automatically need poop bags if they have that surgery? I’ll have to Google that tomorrow. Although, if I need surgery, I’d get a nice little hospital stay. That could be relaxing. Wait a minute. No, that won’t work because I wouldn’t have anyone to watch my kids. Oh shoot, I don’t think I put the kids’ thank you notes in the mail. I’ll have to do that tomorrow. I bet if I have to have surgery, I could lose some serious weight.
The last thing I remember is dreaming that I was looking out the window at school and seeing an enormous tornado, then looking at the clock and freaking out that I was going to be late to school, even though I was already there and apparently about to be whisked away to Oz.