I Slept My Way to the Top! (and you should too)


I Slept My Way to the Top! (and you should, too).

by Lee Ann “Sunny” Brown

This year is one of the “Big Ones,” a major high school reunion, and I must admit that I am a little nervous about going. It’s not that I’m worried about how I look or how much I’ve changed. It is just unnerving and strange what people remember about you. At our 10th reunion, I found out that my high heels had poked a hole in the leather seat of a boy’s convertible, and I never knew until he told me at the reunion. I’m afraid what people will tell me about me, because I admit that I had a deserved reputation for sleeping around.

Just to clarify, I am an advocate for it. I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a way to advance in their current situation, or in any area of life, really. The important thing to remember is that it’s all in the timing. Once you get in the right position and the nice, steady rhythm of breathing going, in no time at all you will think that you’re dreaming. I just don’t believe that there is any easier way to get ahead than by giving yours a rest.

The truth is that a short nap during the day helps boost your brain function and helps you stay focused. There is even research to back me up on this (but you will have to find it for yourself). I tried to explain all this to my teachers back in high school who were frustrated that I kept nodding off in their class, like it was personal or something. You would think the health benefits were obvious, especially in biology, of all subjects!

But, no! I was always put in charge of the remote to change the slides when the beeper beeped on the slide show. I am sure the intention was to keep me awake. It might have worked (LOL) if they hadn’t turned off the lights to project the slide show, which just made it that much more conducive for me to get a good 30-minute nap and feel completely refreshed for the rest of my afternoon classes.

This was a problem for me, because there were those students in class who were irritated that we would get so far behind in the slides and actually blamed me for their poor grades. These are the people that I am reluctant to see at the reunion. The thing is that I would always wake up from my little school-induced slumber knowing everything that they had discussed, like it had seeped its way into my subconscious mind. So I don’t know what their problem was. I can only assume that they were awake and day dreaming. But my afternoon teachers thought I was a model student, showing up for class all energized and ready to learn.

This continued all through high school. Let me tell you what wonders a little beauty rest will do for your teenage skin! I found that eventually I just couldn’t help giving in to a little afternoon siesta. In fact, I actually started to take Spanish, thinking that I might get a grade for it. Then I heard that the French take off the whole afternoon (and the entire month of August, too!), so I took that instead. Although we didn’t get to actually take a siesta, I did manage to catch a few winks in that class, and it didn’t hurt my ability to learn French at all. I still use it all the time. It comes in very handy when I am ordering Champagne and filet mignon.

My need for a little nooner has never changed, but the most challenging time for me to give into it was when my children were pre-school age. Starting when they were about three, I spent the next seven years sleep walking. Wouldn’t you know that pre-school pick-up time was at 12:30 p.m., right in the middle of my best REM. The worst though was when they were late getting out and I had to wait. Nothing is quite as embarrassing as having the teachers wake you up by knocking on your car window because you are holding up the car-pool traffic. Oh, you can pretend all you want that you were just reading or filing your nails, but the drool running down your chin is a dead giveaway, as is your slurred speech, and the frightened, confused look in your eyes.

But the absolute worst time for me was when my daughter wanted to play Barbie (which thankfully was a short-lived phase). Just the word “Barbie” had a hypnotic effect on me and immediately sent me into a mini- coma-like state. This was not helped by the fact that she would not let me do anything that I wanted to do with Barbie. “No, Barbie isn’t going to catch on fire cooking in the kitchen! She is going to sleep in her princess bed.” (I was just trying to keep it interesting, maybe have Fireman Ken come save her.) Basically, I was just watching my daughter play Barbie, and it was pure torture. I tried everything to stay interested and involved, but I just ended up being startled awake by the sound of her pulling everything out of the refrigerator trying to pour herself something to drink.

I have always felt sorry for and wanted to defend the mom that I have read about being arrested and charged with child negligence because they found her three-year-old child wandering down the railroad tracks alone. She was probably a good, sleep-deprived, Barbie-playing mother who couldn’t keep her eyes open any longer, and whose child was a “Houdini” at picking any lock in the house. And, by the way, I wondered, where is the dad? The articles never mention him. If so, it would probably say something like, “The father was not charged, as he was assuming the child was safely in the mother’s care, while he was taking a nap in the bedroom before going to work for his night job.” Well, #@*$, the mom has a night job, too! I didn’t mean to sound angry there. I must be tired.

As for the leather seat that I tore with my heels, it happened when I was riding in his convertible in the homecoming parade, no matter what you were thinking. I still can’t decide if I am going to my high school reunion or not. I think I will go lie down and sleep on it.

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