Sleep deprivation


Monday Monday

Image by soonerpa via Flickr

And it’s totally wrong. A Sunday should never feel like the beginning of the week even if technically it is.

The phone rang at eight this morning. I’ll give CB props from not calling an hour earlier when his pothead downstairs neighbor woke him with that phlegm soaked hack that makes smokers of any ilk so endearing. Off-hand I can’t recall too many other sounds as unsettling and gag-reflex triggering as someone whose lungs have been used to filter all manner of toxic substance, so while I sympathize with little brother, he could have waited until lunch.

Sunday is the only day of the week I really sleep in. Saturday is soccer practice, and I have to be up by 8:30 at the latest – which still feels like sleeping in after a week of getting up at quarter to seven. I look forward to banking zzzz’s on Sunday. Rob and I even treat ourselves to a longer dvd on Saturday night because Dee has long since been trained to fend for herself on a weekend morning and Sunday just shouldn’t be a “should” or “have to” day.

So I am up, barely, and listening to CB’s recitation of a list of things that are currently causing him stress. I will grant him the right to feel stressed. Losing his apartment and job when he has kids to take care of and in one of the worst job markets of our lives is no joke.

It could have waited another hour … or two. Just saying.

Calming people down and on my feet damage control/spin seems to be my prime directive for the moment. I am good at it. No doubt about that. Twenty years as a public school teacher trained me well. It gets old though. Reminds me of the scene in Jesus Christ Superstar where Christ is being swarmed by the lepers, who are symbolic of the needy and the not able to think for themselves, and he finally breaks down and screams at them, “Heal yourselves!”

Probably I am just feeling that sleep deprivation but working miracles is difficult enough when I am within hug distance but across the phone lines, the degree of difficulty ratchets up.

He did apologize. Admitted that he was overwhelmed and slipped up. I appreciated his honesty and owning it. Not everyone will.

Things are slightly more under control. I have N1 fact-finding this week and with luck by mid-week, there will be solid information on which to formulate Plan … uh … might be D or E by now.

DNOS continues to chuckle and offer warnings so dire I have to hold the phone a full arm’s length from my ear to avoid hearing loss, but I am not willing to write this venture off. N1 is stepping up every time he is asked and CB and xSIL appear to be on the same page – more or less. We’ll call that good.

Tomorrow is actual Monday. The neighbor will rev up the yellow bus in her backyard at some point after 6 AM. Rob’s alarm will go off at 6:30 and by the time mine goes off at 6:45, we might be able to open our eyes to face another week.


Death found an author writing his life.. Desig...

Image via Wikipedia

Expanding one’s vocabulary deserves missionary zeal, but how many of us bother to learn a word a day?

Here’s a word for you – micromort – it’s the one in a million probability of death. Check out the chart. Very cool.

Most of us don’t spend much, or any, time worrying about our impending deaths. But make no mistake, everyone’s death is pending and has been from the moment you first drew breath.

The lucky majority, and I use the term “lucky” subjectively, will shuffle off to the undiscovered country at various degrees of ripe.

Statistically, only a small percentage of those over 70 can be considered healthy enough to be envied. The rest are, in various ways, chronically ill or disabled or both. One’s sixties, realistically, are the last frontier because the exercise one didn’t bother to do, the healthy foods not eaten, sleep deprivation, needlessly self-imposed stress and a general wishful thinking about being one of the lucky few because one’s great-grandfather married a twenty year old and had a half-dozen babies with her when he was 70 won’t matter one bit. Old age is ruthless and can really only work with the raw material at hand, not the genetic promise willfully squandered decades before.

Some of us though will bite it long before our born on dates could conceivably be considered stale.

Bad luck. Bad timing. Bad roll of the genetic dice rendering us susceptible to environmental triggers for all manner of nasty conditions. Whatever. Still dead.

And the odds mount as we age. At 60 a man’s risk of dying in his sleep on any given day is 27 out of a million. It climbs to 118 out of a million at age 75. In 1841 the odds sat at 86 and 266 per million respectively. But though modern life affords us more years, it doesn’t usually grant us good ones.

If you knew that sometime in your mid to late 60’s you’d physically deteriorate to the point where daily life was a real struggle, would a long life be as appealing?

The yogis – the serious ones – tend to live and live and then just die. But I suspect that their lifestyles make that possible in a way that no one in North America can really emulate.

My mother had a health scare recently. A lump in her breast turned out to be a harmless cyst, but at nearly 80, she has slowed noticeably. Her eyesight is failing at a rate that will result in blindness at some point yet to be fully copped to by her doctor, and she suffers from a variety of ailments that haven’t dampened her enjoyment of life but are harbingers of heart disease and strokes yet to come.

I am reminded of mortality – again – by the death of a friend’s father this last weekend.

Sudden but yet not really.

“How old was he?” Rob asked.

“Five years younger than Mom,” I said.

“Oh, well, that’s getting into prime death territory for men.”

And he was right.

We are lulled by media stories of centenarians climbing mountains but they make the news precisely because there are so very few of them.

The clock is always ticking. It just speeds up at 60 and gets steadily louder and slightly faster with every year after.