So, last night my plan was this:
- Consume eleven chicken wings and a Diet Sierra Mist
- Watch the end of a Doctor Who
- Take a thirty minute nap
- Write blog post
- Fall asleep
First two items I knocked out perfectly. Nobody is better at eating chicken wings and watching Doctor Who. I’m competent at that shit.
Note – I never actually get the “wings” part of chicken wings. They are disappointing and way too much effort for the meat payoff. Drumsticks or bust!
Now, the nap situation. This is a problem in my life. Not the nap itself. Naps are fantastic. But I am in a weird denial about my ability to take a nap.
I don’t think I had ever consciously taken a nap until I was twenty one. At the time I was studying self-hypnosis and I would put myself in a trance for fifteen minutes. I was able to set an internal clock to wake myself up exactly fifteen minutes later, but during that time I was fully unconscious. Little did I know it then, but I was napping.
Since then I have become a nap God. Fifteen years later nothing is more exciting to me than a thirty minute nap. But, even since I ditched the hypnosis years ago I have never actually been able to take only a thirty minute nap. I still believe with all my heart that I can do this – and, technically I can – but I won’t.
My body is one of those that needs eight hours of sleep every night. Preferably nine hours, but that’s near impossible. So, I’m always a little sleep deprived. I can’t take naps during the week – there just isn’t any time. But when Friday night rolls around – IT’S NAP TIME, DAMMIT.
Now, I haven’t been keeping a log, but if I had to estimate I would say my record is 0/140 in waking up thirty minutes later refreshed and alert. I always end up doing two hours minimum. But, like the boozebag who swears he can stop after just three shots of Cutty Sark, I am in massive denial.
Last night my girlfriend said:
D.J., there’s no way you’ll wake up in thirty minutes and write. You will go right to sleep. Guaranteed!
Nope. Just thirty minutes. You’ll see.
Well, I’ll say good night to you now since you’ll be out until 8am.
No need! I’ll be calling you after I write. In fact, DON’T say goodnight! I forbid it!
Uh huh. Goodnight.
– fin –
Smash cut to four hours later waking up at midnight. Not because I was refreshed, of course. I had to go to the bathroom. As I stumbled back to bed I thought, “Hmm… I wonder what went awry? Why did I let myself sleep? I should have woken up and did my writing. Well, next time I’ll totally nail it!”
I wish I could say that any part of what I’ve written this morning is hyperbole. But it isn’t. I’ve heard that the strongest human desire is not actually survival – but denial. And if you think about it, people will kill themselves because they believe they’re better off dead, that nobody loves them, that they’re worthless, etc. And that’s almost certainly untrue.
Now, while my ego is way too invested in me being alive to suggest suicide, I know that I am living in denial in many different ways. I think the trick over time is to uncover what the underlying reasons are that make me ignore the truth and work on healing those wounds.
And, I owe my girlfriend an apology and a thank you for not subscribing to my denial. We all need at least one good friend who loves us enough to tell us the truth despite how we feel about it. If I was hanging out with one of my buddies and I whipped out a ten gallon cowboy hat and said, “Okay fellows, let’s hit the disco!” I would hope to Christ that my friends would go, “Put that hat away – you look like an asshole. And nobody says ‘disco’ anymore.”