Is it possible to sleep with your eyes open?

cc licensed flickr photo shared by mike@bensalem

Ladies, when was the last time you gave yourself the day off?

And I don’t mean taking a break between chores to grab a cup of coffee or sitting down for a few minutes while you’re on the phone.

I mean, literally decided you weren’t going to do anything. Not a thing.

The crowd is silent.

I was talking about this with my sister today and surprisingly, she acknowledged that she couldn’t remember the last time she allowed herself to “just be.”

I think it’s wrong and yet, sexist as this sounds, I think this attitude is so typically female.

If we were men, we’d feel entitled to not do squat on our day off.

We’d break out the “brewskys”, grab the remote, and plunk our behinds on the recliner.

Yet females don’t seem to have the same sense of entitlement.

Even worse, some of us don’t know how not to do a damn thing.

I feel this belief stems from the notion that women, like worker bees, don’t deserve a break unless it’s a pee break.

We believe we have to be “on call” 24/7 and any attempt to nap is a seen as a sign of laziness.

I can’t but wonder how many of us have decided to break this rule and sneak a small “I’m resting my eyes” break, which if interrupted by a ringing doorbell, throws us in panic mode and prompts us to quasi remove the top layer of our skin’s epidermis as we rub off bed sheet creases.

How many of us have repeatedly cleared our throats and rehearsed the “I was not taking a nap” voice before answering the phone?

My God, women, when did it come to this and why have we allowed it?

After working all day and perhaps all night, don’t we deserve to catch a few zzz’s?

Without having to ask our husbands, boyfriends, and other live in family members for permission?

Without having to set the alarm clock to wake us in EXACTLY 20 minutes?

Without having to call friends and extended family members to tell them that “No, nothing is wrong. I’m not picking up cause I’m taking a freakin’ cat nap.”

Sadly, I speak from experience.

The last time I took a nap, I had to do the following first:
1) Inform the Son that unless someone was bleeding, dying or both, I was not to be disturbed.
2) Take Roxy out for a walk to prevent accidents.
3) Call the Significant Other to say, “Honey, don’t call me in the next 20 minutes. I’m exercising.”
4) Call friends and family and tell them the same thing.
5) Prepare snacks for the Son in case he gets hungry and can’t find food items that are smack in his face when he opens the fridge.
6) Change my underwear in case I suffer some sort of medical emergency during the 20 minute nap and paramedics have to cut the clothes off my body before starting life saving procedures.
7) Set two timers, an alarm clock and the cell phone alarm function as backup.
8) Set up a “wake up” station consisting of eye drops, mouthwash, and an ice pack.

Needless to say, at this point, I’ve generally lost the desire to nap.

It’s just too much work.

I’m sick of it.

I’m sick of having to justify getting a little shut-eye whenever the spirit moves me.

And so, ladies, methinks it’s time we rebel.

It’s time we turn off the ringer, toss the timers, refuse to incur in snack preparation, and make a run for our beds.

It’s time to be sloths; to do nothing at all.

It’s time to plop on the recliner and listen to the sound of our breathing, playlists from our Ipod, or Antonio Banderas’s voice saying, “Lets play.”

It’s time to stop apologizing, making excuses, or feeling guilt for taking a well deserved break.

It’s time to “go to the mattresses already!”

So today I urge you to beat your chests and holler, “We are women, hear us snore!”

When was the last time you took a nap and did you feel guilty for doing so?

Do super heroes exist?

cc licensed flickr photo shared by ***Yellow***

Super heroes. Super powers. The stuff children and many adults spend hours playing, creating, and fantasizing about. When I was a child, many an afternoon was spent talking with my sisters about the wonders of saving the world from evil villains. Our favorite question was always, “If you had a super power, what would it be?”

The answers to this open-ended question were endless. Sometimes we would wish for the much solicited x-ray vision, while other times, we were content to be invisible. Little did I know at the time that I was destined to indeed possess a super power. The super power of being able to go for days without getting any sleep.

I became aware of my ability, when as a single Mom I had to do a million things and very little time to get them done. As my children got older, my talent continued to evolve as I patrolled them round the clock whilst I worked both outside and inside the home.

Every morning I would proudly march into the kitchen–a wide-eyed crazy look on my face, hair dishevelled and still wearing the clothes from the previous day–and announce, “I only slept four hours last night”. The next morning the same announcement was made minus an hour. This process repeated itself until my countdown determined I was powering through the day on only one hour of sleep per night.

I justified my stance by informing others that doctors got a lot less sleep and still saved lives and dismissed any comments that enlightened me to the fact that a) I wasn’t a doctor and b) I wasn’t being paid a doctor’s salary to stay awake all those hours.

I was a super hero who could stay awake for days and days and days. Or so I thought.

As my days of not sleeping turned into weeks and weeks turned into months, I rapidly became one of the monsters super heroes battled. Sleep deprivation had transformed me into a worthy Stephen King character. I found laughing hysterically gave me the added spurt of energy I needed to get down the stairs and into the kitchen every morning. “I only slept 30 minutes last night. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA…” My grown children’s looks of horror only served to augment my psychotic state.

“What’s wrong with you people?,”, I screamed. ”
“Forget it, you’re just jealous cause neither of you has a super power.”
I was one step away from being committed and I didn’t know it.
It took two sisters, two young adults and the dog to get me into a chair that afternoon. Through their accounts I discovered I was a super hero gone bad and that sleep deprivation was my kryptonite. I sadly watched as the cape I had purchased as a joke at a party shop was folded and stored in a box.

“It’s time to retire, Mom,” announced my son.
“Let someone else save the world,” said my daughter.
Scenes of all that I’d done in my time as a super hero flashed before my eyes; staying up all night baking cookies, proofreading papers, folding laundry, bathing the dog, making grocery lists, writing in my journal, scheduling appointments, replying to emails, the mental slides of my accomplishments wouldn’t stop. Who would do all of this now?

That’s when my sister said, “I have a super power.”
I quickly sat up and said, “Really? What is it?” It was like we were five years old again.
“My super power is called delegating, also known as ‘let everyone else take care of their own crap’. If you want, I’ll let you have it for a while.”
My other sister said, “I have the greatest super power. It’s the super power of doing nothing, absolutely nothing.”
“Not fair! I want that one!” I replied.
And then I fell asleep.