A Routine

I’ve developed a routine
I call it,
“Mornings like Mom”
And although I love my mom,
I do not like this routine.

It starts as soon as I cocoon myself into my comforter,
Squish my head into my pillow,
And let my eyelids meet.
At night I have high hopes for sleep.
In the early morning hours that hope becomes determination.
Maybe if I pee, my body will allow me to rest.
Maybe if I fill this cup with water for the fourth time.
Maybe then I will sleep.
My body seems to awaken me around 4 in the morning.
It tells me it’s hungry.
It hints that it might have to poop.
It sweats.
Then it shivers.
Then it decides my brain needs to be awake too, like,
“Hey, don’t you have some work to do?
Didn’t you forget to print that form?
What about that email you’ve been putting off?”
My body and my brain team up against me.
And they both boycott sleep and¬†that’s sleep is really¬†all I need.

I remember stories my Mom told me when I lived with her.
“I was up at 4am.
Couldn’t sleep, so I came downstairs to watch some TV.”
How could that be?
High school me could not comprehend a body rejecting sleep.
Teacher me totally gets it.

I’m not sure if we worry too much.
Or think about too many possibilities.
I’m not sure if our bodies just really like to be awake,
Or if they just don’t need as much sleep as they used to.
I do know when it is 4am and I cannot sleep it feels like my body has betrayed me.

On mornings like this morning,
I wonder,
“Is my mom awake right now, too?
Is she searching for some quiet activity to do?
Or is she trying to find a lullaby so she can sleep?
Maybe she’s watching some HGTV.”

It’s moments like this morning I wish I had a TV.
I wish I had something to entertain me other than the darkness of this house.
Even my cats are sleeping.
Why can I not sleep?

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