Even before the baby was born back in March of last year, I wasn’t getting enough sleep. I’m currently running a huge sleep deficit, one so big that if it were money and not sleep, I’d singlehandedly put Congress to shame.
You see, I’m one of those kinds of people who needs a solid eight hours of sleep every night. But I’m usually lucky to get five hours. Just too busy.
If I could catch up on all the sleep I’ve lost throughout the course of my life, I’d be out like a light for oh, 153 years or so. I’d make Rip Van Winkle look like a piker.
I don’t know exactly when this obsession I have with sleep began but I do recall enjoying sleep when I was in high school. Oh, I’d actually wake up super early on the weekends and other days off from school (at 4 or 5 am, in fact) to go bass fishing, my favorite activity in high school. But there’d usually be a nap waiting for me when I got home.
And on those free days when I didn’t fancy fishing, well… I’d sleep in late. Real late. I used to brag back then about not waking up until the clock said “PM.” My favorite line was a paraphrase from Joseph Heller’s famous novel Catch 22: “I spring out of bed every day at the crack of noon.”
I joined the Army out of high school. Man, oh man, talk about not getting any sleep. There were always early wake up calls for “PT” (physical training, meaning calisthenics, push-ups and running a few miles), guard duty at night, field training exercises also at night, and what not.
I remember a road march in Germany once, for 36 miles (and it lasted just as many hours) where I was literally falling asleep as I walked. True story. I was so exhausted and sleep deprived I was hallucinating that I saw billboards on the side of the road, when there weren’t any. Don’t ask me what was on those billboards, by the way. Too sleepy to remember.
After the Army, I went to college full-time. Yep, you guessed it—being a procrastinator by nature (just ask the editor, Marlene), I pulled many an all-nighter. If that wasn’t bad enough, I also worked a few semesters for a now-defunct (no, I wasn’t the cause of said defunction either, in case you were wondering) package delivery company. The work took place in the wee hours of the morning, loading packages onto delivery trucks that would leave the warehouse at 6 am.
The money was good at the time for a starving college student. But the lack of sleep was a killer.
After graduation, I had a hard time finding a job in my field (I majored in communications) but eventually I landed one at a radio station—on the overnight shift, of course. Then I got a day job as a proofreader and I worked at both places for a while. And naturally, didn’t get any sleep.
Even later, after I started working a more traditional “9 to 5” (which in reality was more like “8 to 5,” but I digress) schedule, I still wasn’t getting enough sleep.
Because I spend an inordinate amount of time working on websites (such as TheHumorlessTwit.com, hint, hint) in the hopes that one day, they’ll make me rich. So far, this endeavor hasn’t resulted in making me rich. In essence, it’s a hobby that pays for itself (probably the only reason my wife indulges me—that, and the fact that I’m at home while I’m working on my websites).
I hope I haven’t put you to sleep (yet). I’m just about finished. Not because I don’t have more to tell, but because… I’m falling asleep myself. Good night….