I have always been a champion sleeper. Very little disrupts my ability to sleep, and in fact sleep has been known to disrupt activities because, when my body is ready to shut down, it does.
It has always been this way. My mother tells tales of vacuuming under my crib while I slept. I have slept through summer thunderstorms (while sleeping outside in a tent which collapsed around me even as I continued to sleep). Fire trucks and helicopters racing past our home. Children crawling into our bed, only to be discovered when I woke up in the morning.
Sleeping is my primary coping mechanism for dealing with stress. When I’m feeling overwhelmed I have been known to “take to my bed.” And I have slept so long and so hard that when I wake up my body hurts from the sleeping and I wonder what time it is.
Which is why I’m completely unprepared for this new phase of my life. Almost everyday, without fail, I have woken up at 6:30 am. It doesn’t matter how late I went to bed the night before. How much I did (or didn’t do) the day before. How tired I still am.
During the school week, my new internal alarm isn’t a problem, and actually beneficial. But on the weekends? It kind of stinks.
I often find myself laying in bed, staring at the ceiling, considering my options. I could (and do) read – I have done a lot of reading. I could (and do) mindlessly scroll through social networks, which makes me feel like I’m wasting my life, and my brain cells. I could get up and get a jump on the day.
Which I do. And it makes me feel super productive. I make lists. I change our sheets and start the laundry. I go through emails. And work on projects (this weekend I’m learning how to carve soap for a future Girl Scout encampment activity my girls will be leading, and working on a “Personal Branding” presentation I’m giving next week).
I know this is just the start of things to come as my friends share stories of hot flashes, disrupted sleep and other changes.
I’m learning to embrace and enjoy this quiet time before my family (including Steve who is still sleeping in like a pro) starts to stir. But I can’t help but feel a twinge of jealousy as I look into my teenagers’ rooms – both champion sleepers – and remember the joy of sleeping in.