Once upon a time, there were at least eight glorious hours of uninterrupted sleep. Turning off the bedside light at night was the last I saw before the sun sneakily streamed through the curtains in the morning. Stretching and yawning without a care in the world, I would sleepily make my way out of my bedroom and the only thought at that time would be whether to have vegemite or marmalade on my toast.
Those were the days.
Whatever happened to those days? It is like a distant (very distant) memory from a past life.
Let’s take a look at a few things. In the last few days, it’s been pouring with rain and we’ve had the worst rainfall in over 18 years. We have been lucky to have no leaks or damage to our property and relatively no significant repercussions, unlike so many people.
What I’m getting at is, usually on rainy nights I absolutely love the fact that I’m cosy, warm and dry inside, listening to the rain and feeling so comfortable. It makes for really good writing, reading and relaxing. So actually, it should make me relaxed and in a good space for a really good sleep.
My gripe on this day is: why, for the past two days, when I’ve been warm as toast, comfortable in bed, dry and safe would I by experiencing poor quality sleep.
Hmmm. I have to admit, I love listening to rain as I fall asleep. It’s so comforting to know that you are safe and sound and outside is wet and cold. So, why did the sound of the rain keep me awake for two nights?
I feel like I’ve been ripped off. I want a refund on those two nights please. I was supposed to be blissfully asleep in slumber land. Instead I was in ‘turning over restless land’. The sound of the rain annoyed me and didn’t soothe me as it usually would. Why is this so?
Am I not entitled to feel that undeniable feeling of knowing I’m as snug as a bug anymore? What about the long day I just worked and all the morning and afternoon rituals? Don’t I deserve to have a continuous, quality induced sleep? The thoughts streamed through.
As I lay there, totally warm and cosy with the ‘perfect’ atmosphere for sleeping, I still can’t get away from the fact that I’m awake! It’s way too early to get up. If I start writing now, I’ll be in no state to go to work in 5 hours time. So what do I do?
Of course, whilst planning different things for the day and writing a mental grocery list, I wait another three hours for my alarm to go off and instead of dragging myself out of bed 15 minutes later like I usually do, I’m sitting up, slippers on, and tiptoeing in the dark to start the day.
Well, after my morning ritual of petting the cat, eating breakfast and having a cup of tea, I then make the lunches. All this was before 6:30am. I catch up on the latest Facebook posts that came through overnight and then it hit me. ‘I’ll make dinner!’
Being so pleased with myself, I got to work. I started by peeling potatoes and carrots, cutting pumpkin and onions and then cutting up the meat. Yes, I did say meat – and it is only 6:35 in the morning for goodness sake!
I decide a nice slow cooked meal would do the trick on a rainy, cold night. All day at work, I had that smug inner smile that said, ‘dinner is already cooked’. It really did put a smile on my face at random times during the day, in between yawning.
The family enjoyed the meal and devoured a long crusty loaf of bread with it.
It wasn’t until after dinner that the thought of facing another restless night invaded my thoughts. Sooooo, as swiftly as I could, I pulled out all makings for a potentially good night’s sleep. Out came the electric blanket. Tick. A warm shower. Tick. The oil burner with lavender aromatherapy oil burning. Tick. Reading a good book. Tick. Chamomile tea. Tick.
I could hardly wait to get into my cosy bed. It was looking good. All signs pointed to a peaceful sleep.
What can I say, I turned out the bedside light and with the alarm sounding the next morning, I think that I might have had the best sleep since…maybe another lifetime ago.
I don't know why I do it. Every time we have family coming over for a special occasion, in this case it is Easter, I go crazy with all the preparations. It's not like the Queen is coming over, or Mick Jagger or someone like that, it's only family.
Honestly, I stress myself out way too much, and even though I start planning things ahead of time so that I won't be running around like a mad woman, I still manage to be crazed! Why is that?
Is it because I work full time and consequently that doesn't leave much time for preparation? Is it because I plan too far ahead? Is it because I think that planning too far ahead is being way too organised, so I try and be a bit more relaxed about timing and lo and behold before I know it, it's a day before the event!
Easter is somewhat 'different' I guess. Not that I'm making excuses, but having the Friday off with no shops open makes everyone think that there's a famine and so the shops are just packed to the rafters the next day.
Today, I planned on being dropped off at the shops so that I can buy the groceries and a few 'necessary' items and then be picked up. Easy. That was my plan not to spend an hour going around the carparks looking for a place to park.
Well, it turned into a right royal saga, as the traffic heading to the local shops was banked right back and even entering the car park required strategic planning. I wasn't waiting around. A quick bye to my loved ones and I was off.
Was every man and his dog here today? OMG! I couldn't walk in a straight line without having someone nearly bump me off.
Let me tell you, the supermarket was so crazy! Parking my trolley to the side of the entrance near the fruit and vegetables, I went to get my trusty list out. Oh no!!! My list was missing! Lucky I'm a list person and the other day, when I was stuck in traffic I started another list in my notebook (same list, just different days. Yes, I did say I was a list person). Thank goodness I had a spare list. Phew.
First thing I noticed was lettuce. From where I stood, I had a clear view of where the lettuce should be. Oh no! There was no lettuce! I push my trolley like a woman possessed to the empty shelves and like I'm searching for the missing treasure of a million dollars, look at each empty shelf for lettuce. Someone must have been looking after me, because I discovered to my excitement, two packets of mixed lettuce leaves with a decent amount of time on the use by date. Again, phew.
This was not going to be an easy journey. Each aisle was jammed with trolleys and people. It was a case of nearly bumping into someone at every turn, stopping, reversing, apologising, commenting on what a crazy day it was and moving on. Then doing the same thing in each aisle. Well, I think I had more conversations with people I don't know than I have in my whole life.
The checkout was another fiasco. My trolley was over loaded. I had to hold the items on top so that they wouldn't fall out. Standing in line gave me a chance to see everyone else's shopping haul. The lady's in front of me could have been a carbon copy of my trolley. In fact even her clothes and handbag were like mine. Weird. The lady behind me had two trolleys! Another conversation there. Of course we chatted about there being one day of no shops open and everyone thinks that there is a famine.
Just as I had put the last item on to the conveyor belt, my memory kicked in and I had to run and get the toilet paper. That's it. I have officially over loaded my trolley. When I was picked up by my family, my sons actually had open mouths when they saw their Mum trying to steer a very overloaded and heavy trolley with one hand and 20 rolls of toilet paper under the other arm.
Oh, did I mention that when my husband double parked the car to come and help put the groceries in the back, he said, 'are you going to help or just watch?'
Well! Hmff. I got straight into that car and waited for the bags to be loaded in the back. After that traumatic experience, nothing could deny me my comfort in the car.
Next time, I'm shopping early.
Find Gillian in a busy cafe or street, scoping the prospect of characters in her latest book.
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