In the dim light of the bedside lamp, I notice the red numbers of the clock, shining brightly. Every so often, I feel compelled to glance over at it; it’s almost like it has some invisible power over me to make me see what it has to say when it wants me to.
It’s telling me, no, urging me to put the book down and go to sleep. Every time I check it, the numbers have moved steadily on, taking me further into the night until finally, I can ignore them no more.
They’ve done their job and they seem to shine a little brighter. It’s like they know they fought a hard battle but they finally won.
Sleep must come. I like sleep; in fact I adore it. So, why do I fight it every night?
A yawn, big enough to make my eyes water, is the final bit of effort my head has to do for the night. I put down my book, turn off the lamp and let the darkness envelop me.
I sigh with contentment as my whole body relaxes and my eyes close. I’m no longer fighting it. I want sleep to come and help me drift away into a land where normal, everyday happenings are turned upside down and inside out, but, somehow, remain normal.
Dreams are wonderful things and I look forward to new ones every night.
A final glance at the glowing red numbers, (this will be the time my mind registers as the time I went to sleep, no matter how long it takes me to actually fall asleep, unless of course, I have to look at the clock again before sleep claims me) as I give in to the night.
Thoughts of the day ahead start to creep into my mind. Lists are being made of things that need doing to ensure that every family member will be ready to face the day ahead.
Family faces change to images of the garden that float across my vision. It’s been a major renovation project since the start of the year and sometimes, my thoughts are dominated by it. It’s not surprising when there’s so much to do. More lists, more thoughts, no sleep.
I need to slow my mind down. It needs to relax just as much as my body does; it doesn’t listen. The first opportunity it gets to rest, it shifts into gear and starts working overtime.
I try to clear the thoughts away. I breathe deeply and think about a nice relaxing place I’d like to be.
There’s a small water way, it’s pretty and I like how the water trickles over the smooth stones on the stream bed. I sit on the soft, mossy grass and let my fingers touch the water gently.
It’s cold but not uncomfortably so. The sunlight glints through the trees and sparkles on the water’s surface.
I breathe deeply and the crisp fresh air fills my lungs and makes me feel alive.
Hmmm, this isn’t really helping. Now I want to be out in the sun, letting water run through my fingers.
I open my eyes and look at the clock. My mind refuses to register that an hour has passed since I last looked. Surely the clock is wrong? Is it playing with me, toying with my tired emotions? I only closed my eyes a moment ago. I tried my best to do as I was told and go to sleep but sleep failed me and now it seems the clock is punishing me.
If it is indeed telling the truth, I’m going to be so tired tomorrow I won’t be able to function properly.
The minute changes as I watch, taking me ever closer to morning; if I were a child, I’d stick my tongue out at it because it’s annoying me now. There was absolutely no need to torment on me on purpose.
I close my eyes again. I relax and let sleep know that it’s OK; I’m really not fighting any more and I’m sorry for not listening earlier. I know you were trying to tell me that you were more important than what happened to the heroine of my story but sometimes the heroine just won’t let go of my mind. She grabs on with both hands and says, “just one more page, go on, you know you want to”.
It comes without me knowing. It takes me under to that special land of adventure. A million and one things can happen and if I’m lucky, they will all be nice things. If I’m not so lucky I may travel down the road that leads to the scary place. The worst thing is, it’s not my choice. I have to go with the flow and take whatever this land wants to throw at me.
Tonight, it’s all good. Family members drop by and stay for a coffee. Their mug isn’t even half empty when they’ve suddenly changed to someone else, but it’s OK because I won’t even notice till I wake and try to tell my other half about my dream. It’s too hard to explain because none of it makes sense, but while I’m there, it’s not an issue.
After spending hours with family and friends, doing weird and wonderful things, my mind starts to remind me that soon, the morning will be here and that clock with the pretty red lights will be the enemy. It’ll start shouting at me with a noise so horrible it can even make me shudder when I hear it on a movie in the middle of the day!
I start to gear myself up while all the time wishing I’d gone to sleep earlier because I just haven’t had enough time in the land of dreams.
Somehow, that darn clock makes me force open a sleep filled eye so I can see how much longer I’ve got before the ‘beepbeepbeepbeepbeep’ drags me out of that special land and into the cold light of an autumn morning.
It can’t be. How does this happen? How can it only take 10 minutes for all those family and friends to drop by, spend hours with me on my various adventures, drift off home because I’ve told them I have to leave soon when really, according to the lovely clock, I’ve got ages before it shrieks at me.
It’s one of life’s mysteries but one that makes me extremely happy! I quickly get a lift back to my special place and enjoy the rest of my time there.
I hate that shriek. I quickly press the snooze button and this time sleeps takes me right back under. For the next 9 minutes I’m away in the special land, where time messes with your head. Where it can feel like 1 minute or 100 minutes since you closed your eyes and the only way to be sure is to put your trust in the glowing red lights of the clock.
It shrieks at me again. It’s 6.30am and the reason it’s 6.30am and not 6.29am is because I don’t let that clock mess with me in a morning. I work in full tens when it comes to getting up and there’s no way I’m setting my alarm for 6.20am and letting that clock make me drag myself out of bed before 6.30am. Even if it is just one minute.
I’m tired, so tired in fact and I vow that tonight will be different. I’ll go to bed earlier and read less. I’ll be strong with the heroine and tell her, “no lady, I’m not giving in tonight. You can tell me all about it another time”.
I’ll embrace sleep and let it carry me away as soon as it wants.
Maybe if I do, time will not mess with my head. It will let me sleep until morning and when I wake my mind will know that hours, not minutes have passed and I’ll feel refreshed and ready to face the day.
This was a great challenge and I really enjoyed it.
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