I love a routine. Take me out of it and my whole world turns upside down. I eat more, sleep less and growl a lot. Last week, my routine went south. I had a series of events I either hosted or attended and since I’m almost 52, I tire easily.
I anticipated the impact my “busy-ness” would have on me and I tried to build in down time. But inevitably, the adrenalin I generated from one event would prevent me from resting up for the next one. By the end of the week, I felt ready for the hospital.
When I’m feeling insecure, which is just about every day, I view my inability to sustain a brisk pace as a serious character flaw. I know other women my age and older who run circles around me. My friend, Alicia, is the managing partner of her law firm, travels almost every week around the country to both glamorous and God-forsaken locations, and has managed to raise three beautiful children. She also has a full social calendar and a stylish wardrobe, not that I noticed.
My friend, Helga, who is 74 stayed out until 12:30 a.m. on Saturday night. We attended the same event and I tucked into bed by 10:30 p.m. I called her the next afternoon and she rightfully crowed about how much she had accomplished that morning, cleaning two bathrooms, changing sheets on multiple beds and baking an apple cake.
I took a nap when I heard this.
If I don’t get enough sleep, look out world. Just ask my children. And unfortunately, as I age, sleep is starting to elude me. I think it’s related to my plummeting hormone levels (TMI!) and I don’t like it one bit.
A good night’s sleep and/or an afternoon nap remain at the top of my list of favorite things to do. Frankly, I don’t envision any other activities toppling these pursuits.
I view people who need only four hours sleep a night with suspicion. Bill Clinton, Martha Stewart and Madonna are famous short sleepers. Bill, of course, is charismatic yet inherently untrustworthy; Martha Stewart went to jail for insider training; and Madonna, well, you can draw your own conclusions.
Sleeping has always been a huge priority in the Crowley house. My husband does not get enough of it during the week, but does his level best to recapture his lost zzzz’s on the weekends. I have long admired his ability to turn on the TV and instantly fall asleep.
My teenage children gladly adhere to a 9:30 p.m. bedtime during the week with no prompting from me, although my 17-year-old son finds it increasingly challenging, given the demands of his senior year in high school. To compensate, he has discovered the joys of napping on the weekends.
I feel a strange sense of pride that my children share my sleeping values. They are very productive when they are awake and sleep like bears in hibernation when they rest.
Many successful people take pride in not needing much sleep, but they do not impress me. I’m too busy napping to care.