I don't sleep well anymore.
This is a relatively new thing for me. I used to sleep like a rock. I could sleep through anything - train whistles, a loud sorority house, the TV at full volume- for hours upon hours upon hours. It was sort of a problem, actually, such that I repeatedly went to the campus clinic to be tested for mono, which I never actually had. I was just a really solid sleeper.
But not anymore.
Now, I wake up at least once a night to use the bathroom. I wake up at 5am when my cat decides it's the perfect time to step on my face or lick my hair or thunder around the apartment like a madman. I wake up at least a few times because the boy next to me is sawing logs. And sometimes I wake up for no reason at all other than a vague sense of panic that's not tethered to any sense of reality. When I do sleep, I have strange dreams that border on nightmares.
Where I used to welcome nighttime, I now dread it, knowing I face yet another night of restlessness & incomplete sleep. Mysteriously, I fall asleep the hardest from 6am until 9am, when I ought to be waking up; it's the only real sleep I get.
I was supposed to have a busy weekend, the kind that I was looking forward to but that made me feel exhausted before it even started. My friend Lindsey was spending the night Friday for a 24-hour "adventure weekend" around Cleveland, which we sometimes do. I had movie plans with other friends on Saturday night, brunch & shopping plans with my mom on Sunday morning, & dinner plans with a friend visiting from Chicago on Sunday night.
I was beat before it even began, but I wasn't about to cancel any of it. Still, I wondered: When was I going to get any sleep?!
The weather was terrible on Sunday, & my mom, suffering from a sinus headache, called to cancel. As much as I wanted to spend time with her, I have to admit: I was a little relieved. It was about 10:15am when we put the kibosh on our plans, & I should've gotten up to start the day, but...well, I didn't.
Instead, I went back to sleep. And I slept until 1pm. And then, even when I woke up, I stayed in bed & finished the mystery novel I'd stayed up late to devour. And then, I fell back asleep. By the time I finally, actually got out of bed & put in my contacts & took a shower, it was 5pm, & I headed out to meet my friends for dinner.
Yes, I spent all damn day in bed. And you know what? I don't feel bad about it at all.
I know that this is a lucky thing for me to be able to do, because most adults can't. I have responsibilities, sure, but I don't have kids, & everything else can wait. With Mike out of town for the week, yesterday was the ideal day for me to indulge in some seriously indulgent - fine, even lazy - self-care. I didn't do a damn thing - & it was exactly what I needed.
We're conditioned, I think, to feel guilty about the times when we're not productive. I spent a whole day doing nothing?! How dare I?!
And yet, I was doing something: I was taking care of me - & that's something important. I got plenty of sleep, not a weird dream or nightmare to be found. I gave my eyes & my mind a break. I didn't panic about a damn thing. I immersed myself in an amazing book, & I ate a croissant in bed. And at the end of the day, I felt relaxed, rejuvenated, refreshed, reinvigorated.
That's not doing nothing. In so many ways, that's doing everything.