How Many Sleeps?

A number of my friends who have kids use the term “sleeps” to count the number of days. If they are going to Disneyland in four days, they say, “Only four more sleeps to Disney!” If they are going to Grandma’s in two days, “Only two more sleeps to Grandma’s!” It’s not always just fun. Sometimes when a kid in a divorced family is having to head to her mom’s and she’d really rather not, her dad might say, “Only four sleeps before you come back here.” Sleeps are a way of counting the passage of time in terms a kid can understand.

Obviously, I understand days, but the thought of sleeps has resonated with me. I’ve caught myself using that language for myself.

The Portland Marathon is in 17 sleeps. My next retreat with Jeanne is in 57 sleeps. My fortieth birthday is in 94 sleeps. I head to Africa in 100 sleeps.

I don’t think getting through nights is any easier than getting through days sometimes, but I do take comfort in measuring time by the nights. Nights are my time at home, and home is my safe place, where I am most relaxed. Home is where I hang out with Bread and Butter. Home is where I sit on the couch reading a book or sit on my bed watching television or sit in my chair writing.  Home is my space to rest in alone or occasionally with the trusted friend.

Days are harder. Days are about getting out and doing and training and working. They are about running errands and dealing with people and meeting deadlines and, to some extent, putting on a show, though I’m working hard at acting less and being more real. Days can be really good or really bad. Days are a gamble each and every time I set foot out of my home.

100 days to something fun sounds…dreadfully long. 100 sleeps? That sounds delightful.

It’s a busy day at the office. There are lots of suits around today, which always makes it feel more stressful. I’ve got lots going on and a list that is growing rather than shrinking. My space is a bit more cluttered than I’m used to because I have my hands in multiple projects today, all of which are moving forward but none of which are coming to a close. And I’m trying to eat well, which is hard when the days are stressful. (Almonds, anyone?)

After work, I’m hanging out with some really great girls I don’t get to see often enough. We’re gathering at a bar I’ve never been to and discussing a book I actually managed to finish. (We’ve joked that we are a drinking club with a book problem.) I didn’t love the book, but I enjoyed it, and I love the girls, so I’m really excited to see them all again.

When we’re done, I’ll head home to Bread and Butter, to my safe place, for another sleep. Maybe I’ll start the next book. (It’s going to be Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls by David Sedaris, for next week’s book club – a different club with another group of wonderful people.) Maybe I will catch up on some shows I’ve recorded. (I have many, including General Hospital, Ellen, Today, Girls, Nashville, and The Newsroom.) Maybe I’ll read through the magazines that are piling up. (Again, I have many – Texas Monthly, Portland Monthly, The New Yorker, Women’s Health, Experience Life, and Runner’s World.) Maybe I’ll write. Maybe I’ll go right to bed and just nestle with Bread and Butter, sort of like this:

photo (5)

All of that sounds really delightful. I can handle just about anything when I think about getting home at the end of the day.

I like my home. I like my sleeps.

One thought on “How Many Sleeps?

  1. Too funny! When they were little, we used to count “night nights” for my brothers when we were waiting to go on vacation or the days until Christmas or something. I still think like this when I’m anticipating something!

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