Monday, September 4, 2023

I Need a Nap . . . Forever

As mentioned in earlier posts, I turned 50 last year and am fast approaching 51, and just like that, I should be considering moving to Miami, Florida. Unfortunately, I do not look as good as the ladies from Sex and the City and I am definitely not as cool as The Golden Girls.

I hate everything about being 50. I hate the stigmatism of being "middle age"; I hate my sore knees and back; I hate my wrinkles; I really hate that muumuus and lounge dresses are more appealing than dark jeans and sequenced tops.

I remember in college I could do a dozen things a day on 6 hours of sleep: attend class, work full time, exercise and even maintain a social life. When I started teaching, I was still finishing my credential. So my day became working in the morning, working out in the afternoon, and then going to class 3 nights a week. I wrote a hundred-page thesis when I was 30, teaching full time, and starting a new relationship. I didn't work out as regularly, but exercise was still a part of my life until I broke up with both the relationship and significant physical movement when I was staring down the barrel of turning 40.

I know its been a tortoise / hair race between my body and my mind toward, ya know, death, but I can't figure out which is which, and even then, which is winning.

Somewhere in my mid 40s, I realized that if I want to do two things in one day, I need a nap in-between or bookend my "busy" day with 8-10 hours of sleep. Run an errand, or god help me, exercise after work? In bed by 8 p.m. Dinner with a friend after work? Nap in-between. Clean on a Saturday morning and then socialize Saturday night? Nap. Have one of my nephews overnight and then do anything afterward? Major nap.

Day-drinking has taken on an entire new significance now that I'm fucking middle-aged. My party starts at noon, and either is broken up with a nap or ends at 6 p.m. I need a minimum of 3 days to sober up and sleep it off.

So it proves to be a challenge when one's feeble attempt to reclaim her youth includes going to as many heavy metal concerts as possible. Honestly, if I want to reclaim my youth I can go out and make staggeringly bad relationship choices and then crash my car.

Most recently, my sister and I saw Godsmack on a Thursday night and I had to go to work the next day because it was the second week of school. In addition, I was supposed to be having my nephews for a sleepover. Now, I don't take both nephews at once; there aren't enough naps in the world to prep me for that. If I want to enjoy myself, I only take one at a time for one night. So it might be Jay on Friday night, then I swap for Blake on Saturday, then take Blake home Sunday, take a 2 hours nap, and spend the rest of the day readjusting my apartment and my brain.

But, when my sister and sister and I were working out what we call kid schlepping details, I didn't realize that all three events were back-to-back. I only realized it after I started updating my Google calendar. Once I realized my scheduling impossibility, I went storming into her office and nearly screamed: "I cannot have a kid the two nights after a concert!"

My sister looked up from her planner, filled with writing and post-it-notes. Her computer is flashing and beeping in the background. Her half-cast eyes show exhaustion; her slack jaw shows confusion. Or exhaustion. Or both. My sister has two kids every night of her life: one kid is heavily into sports, and she is very conscious of giving the kid not in sports as much of her time and attention as the other.

I held up my hands to stop any other comment from her and said, "I'll die. I mean, it's the first week of school."

My sister's profession includes the title of "director." The only directing I do is of teenage fuckery. My sister hosts seminars, zoom meetings with a dozen people who also have impressive titles including terms like "regional," "statewide," and "national." I have talks with adolescents about why they shouldn't have their earbuds in while I am teaching, even if "they are turned off." My sister holds workshops and seminars for people with PhDs. I teach how to capitalize the personal pronoun "I" to a class of gangling teens who are literally sweating hormones.

My sister flips back to August in her planner, propped her elbow and dropped her head into her hands and said, "Okay . . ."

We worked it out so that I wouldn't die. And a big shout-out to my baby sis who probably could use a nap, but still manages to function, and function well, without one.

Me? I had to take a nap after the near fatal scheduling mistake I nearly made.

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