Book Body Soul contributes article “A Mid-Life’s Summer Night” to Mothering in the Middle

It’s 10:30 p.m. The kitchen is cleaned, and the family room picked up. They are both ready for tomorrow’s life of meals, random newspaper circulars, and at least a dozen water glasses left half full lying around both rooms.

The dog, Louie, has been put out for the evening. We both climb the stairs to finally to go to sleep. My husband, already snoring peacefully, has his earphones on and plugged into his Ipad that is now flopped haphazardly onto his stomach. As Louie jumps onto the bed, I prepare my nightly ritual for sleep.

“Boy, it’s so hot in here.” I lower the thermostat before changing into my pajamas. I stare into my closet, trying to conjure an outfit I will wear to work tomorrow. Then, off to the bathroom I plod for the beauty regimen. Teeth brushed and flossed—check. Contacts out, eye make-up off, face washed—check.

Oh, did I put the clothes from the washer into the dryer? My mind wanders as I start to apply the multiple moisturizers for ageless beauty. Trekking downstairs to check, I find a damp mess in the washer. I also find a wrinkled chaos in the dryer. I decide to dump them on the dining room table and deal with them tomorrow.

Back upstairs, I continue to apply my antioxidant eye cream, the retinol cream with Hyaluronic Acid, moisturizer cream with PSP, neck firming cream with peptides, and lip balm with vitamin E. Done! Oops, I can’t forget to put on my hand cream, too. I think the hand cream has something in it to get rid of brown spots and creepy lines … or at least I hope so. I really wonder if all of this is worth the expense and time.

Perhaps if I forgot all of these and went to bed earlier that would be better for my skin. I do remember reading sleep is important for healthy, glowing skin. As I get ready to climb into bed, I realize I forgot to put my heating pad for my achy back in the microwave. Three minutes later, I am back upstairs and lie in bed with the wonderful warmth of the heat relaxing my tight muscles.

“Ahhhh!” I relax and rest. Finally, I reach for my book, but it’s not there! Back I go, down the stairs to search for where I left it last. Finding it sitting right in the middle of the kitchen table, I quickly grab it to savor the favorite part of my night: reading in bed.

As I reach the bed again, I notice my glass of water is empty and go to fill it. Putting it on my nightstand, I am now ready to get in bed, but Louie has taken over my side. As I struggle to push the sixty-five pound standard poodle over, I realize he is very happy where he is and is not going to move.

Finally, in exasperation I startle him and say, “Louie, move over!” Of course being the brilliant dog he is, he opens his eyes, and barely moves his body just to roll over on his other side. Taking advantage of some space, I quickly climb in, place the heating pad under my back again, and finally read. It’s now 11:30 p.m.

Very quickly I notice I am reading the same paragraph over and over again, so at midnight I shut down and power out. Curling up on my left side, I drift off saying my prayers, when suddenly my eyes are wide open and I think, Wow, it is so hot in here and I have to go to the bathroom. Glancing at the clock, I discover it is 2:30 a.m. Gulping my water and changing into cooler pajamas, I go to the bathroom and notice how beautiful the full moon shines above the skylight. It casts such a stunning hue in my bathroom.

Walking back to bed, I start thinking about the moon, which makes be think about having to check the level of salt in the water softener—you know, the moon has an effect on the ocean tides and hence I thought of salt water. Lying in bed now, I think I also need stamps and cotton balls.

Okay, enough! Go to sleep, I state clearly to my brain. However, at this point my husband has reached the high point of his snoring abilities. I tap him on the arm, sweetly saying, “Please turn over.” He doesn’t move, but is quiet for a bit, so I quickly think if I fall asleep at this very moment it will be perfect timing. Just as I feel my body twitch into relaxing, the snoring starts again!

I use my reasoning and think it’s not so bad because at least there is a consistent rhythm to it, much like a pendulum clock. Just go with it! I resign myself to listening. As much as I try, I can’t. I tap him again, then push a little harder, and finally use my foot to kick his leg. Nothing. Nada. No response.

sleep-II

It’s now 3:00 a.m. and the snoring continues. I decide to pet Louie. Dogs have been proven to reduce anxiety and blood pressure levels, so I think this will bring me back to a calm state. Nope, not working.

I begin thinking, which is always a bad sign in the middle of the night. I need to write some thank you letters, send a few work e-mails, review a report, order more contacts, and make a doctor’s appointment. Also, I really liked that peach salad I had at my friend’s house, so I should call and get the recipe.

Louie now can’t stand the snoring either. Or it’s the fact that I am petting him too hard and disturbing his sleep. He leaves to lie on the cool bathroom tile. Not a bad idea because it is so darn hot in here! Taking another sip of water, I reposition myself and shake my husband’s arm, which makes him finally turnover.

“Alleluia!” Quietness has been achieved at 4:30 a.m.

Suddenly, I hear the shower. I must be dreaming. Opening an eye, I glance at the clock. It’s 6:30 a.m. and my husband is up. Ugh! I drop quickly into dreamland, knowing I have thirty minutes until my alarm goes off.

Strangely the next thing I hear is my phone alerting me of a text message. Oh my God, its 8:30 a.m. Quickly grabbing my phone and jumping out of bed, I read my text message. It’s from my friend. She says, “Do you want to go for a walk?”

A walk. A walk? Oh, it’s Sunday. My husband was up to play golf and I don’t have to go to work. I can sleep in! All I want to do is sleep, as I now stand wide-awake in the middle of my bedroom.

Well, a walk it is. As I put my mid-life night behind me, I change, lace up my sneakers, and step out into the sunshine. Of course with my sunglasses and some caffeine.

So, ladies, please let me know I am not alone in this mid-life summer’s sleep.

Lori can be found at www.bookbodysoul.com and napping any chance she can.

 

This was published on Mothering in the Middle http://www.motheringinthemiddle.com/?p=6918

 

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