Is it Time that's Warped or is it Me?
by Jennifer Mally
Does this ever happen to you?
You're sitting in bed reading a book and suddenly realize you've been asleep, for who knows how long, with the light on and the book in your hands. You attempt to start reading where you left off, but can't quite figure out where that was until you read it and realize you've already read it -- and then it happens again -- you slip into some kind of time warp and wake up an hour later. So you say to yourself, "maybe it's time to sleep." You turn off the light. Snuggle in. And...stare into blackness, more awake than you could have dreamed possible.
At this point, your mind takes control, and everything you need to get done and everything you want to do and everything you are remotely worried about and every person you miss and every thing you wish and every mistake you made and every opportunity you let pass and every project you're working on and every bill you need to pay is incredibly running through your brain all at one time. And then you look at the clock. Only 30 seconds have gone by since the last time you looked. How could that be? You just, with utmost clarity, figured out the answer to a complex question you've been snagged on for weeks. Surely, that alone would have taken more than 30 seconds. But, on top of that, you made a mental note to clean the leaves off the deck, call your sister, make a lunch date with a friend, check into this dish thing, plan the meals for the coming week and make an appointment with the vet for your pooch. Obviously, you're not ready to sleep. So you turn the light on, start on your book again, and…fall asleep.
I've been wrestling with time warps like this for awhile now. What I just described to you, happens nearly every night for me. Combine that with a few perimenopausal hot flashes and night sweats and you've got a recipe for the loony bin. Perhaps it's not time that is warped, but yours truly.
I became most keenly aware of time earlier this year when my mom was diagnosed with cancer. Wait. Not, cancer -- CANCER to the 4th degree. I mean this monster had been working on her in the worst of ways. Which brings with it that lingering question, "how much time do we really have?" I've discovered a few things since her diagnosis -- epiphanies of those sleepless nights when as my 4-year-old daughter says, "Sparkling Varies" are dancing about and the clock jumps and stops, jumps and stops.
Here's what has dawned on me in those predawn hours:
Time is our most valuable commodity. Every millisecond asks for our personal investment. The payoffs are there and easy to see...if you're looking.
I am the luckiest person on earth. I am honored to be associated with so many people who have crossed my path -- family, friends, even that old fella Greta and I meet frequently on walks. Gifts, all of you.
Heaven is all around me. I see it in your smile. I hear it in my daughter's voice. I feel it in my husband's kiss. I smell in my neighbor's flower garden. And chocolate, of course, there's always chocolate.
We need to touch. It connects us. It heals us. Whether we touch through words in an e-mail, a roll of the eyes across a conference room table, rubbing our mom's head when she doesn't feel so well or kissing our babies' booboos, it's essential to our well being.
My Mom is a warrior. She has fought this disease with such grace, it proves all over again what a beautiful and exceptional human being she is. She is my model, my hero. And here I am complaining about not getting any sleep.
I'm not crazy, just human. A "Dancing Vary" whispered in my ear last night. She said, "It's okay to be afraid. It's okay to not have all the answers. It's okay to be angry and stomp your feet. But it's time to sleep. Tomorrow, you'll remember that time should not be wasted, that you are surrounded by good and guiding people, that heaven lives in every moment and every hug and every song and on the breeze...and you have a warrior's blood. It's time to sleep. You need to dream. And we 'Varies' have dancing to do."
Okay. Maybe a little crazy -- gotta be that perimenopausal-hormone-thing.