Thursday, August 11, 2011

When did I get old?

Several things have caught my attention lately and made me wonder, when exactly did I turn into an old woman?

I could go on for hours explaining all of the behavioral awareness that has led me to this conclusion. But for today, I’ll start with just one example. Reason #21 I’m an old woman—I need my sleep, and I sure get cranky without it.

We’ve been working on a big project at work and this week we were putting some of our materials in front of people at focus groups to get some feedback. Last night, we were invited, and encouraged, to come observe the focus groups for at least one of the sessions. There were 3 sessions: 3:30, 5:30, and 7:30. I was fully on board with the first two. But even just the thought of not getting home until 9:30 or later made me yawn. That’s past my bedtime, you know.

So I went right away at 3:30 and stayed for the first two sessions. My bus stops running around 7, so I really had to get going anyway (lest I be stranded in downtown Minneapolis overnight, in which case I’d really be tired and cranky).

I walked in the door shortly before 7:30 and quickly finished watching Big Brother with Sean. Before I knew it, the familiar toll rang out—the sound of the TV turning off. “Time for bed!” Sean announced.

I reluctantly started my series of nightly tasks. Let the dog out. Get my breakfast ready. Pack my gym bag. Wash my face. Brush my teeth.

And suddenly it was after 8:30 and I was finally crawling into bed (later than usual, I might add), full of exhaustion and ready to crash.

And crash I did. For about 45 minutes.

At which point the stupid dog decided he needed an extra potty break. So back downstairs we went. All the while, I’m lecturing him (the dog, the one who doesn’t understand me and wouldn’t know the difference if I was speaking to him in English or Russian). It’s all very logical, you see.

“Now remember when I let you out about an hour ago? See that’s supposed to be your last potty break of the night. And remember how we were all snuggled in bed with the lights out and the fan on and the covers tucked perfectly under our chins? See that’s called bed time. And we’re not supposed to get out of bed until tomorrow morning, after the alarm goes off and not a second earlier. Comprende?”

Clearly he didn’t listen because an hour later he was back at it, this time begging to go downstairs for a water break. Damn dog.

I fully realize I better get used to this if I ever plan to bring children into this world. Potty-break Puppy is a breeze compared to the midnight feedings and screaming babies that I hope will one day be in my future (why would anyone wish for that?).

Before you go thinking I’m crazy, I know that being tired, or wanting a lot of sleep, doesn’t make you old. But there once was a time in my life where I could function on very little sleep. Where I would lay in bed for hours watching movies or TV shows for hours on end before falling asleep in the wee hours of the dark night.

So nights like last night make me stop and wonder when I grew up. When I got old. Even if it’s a bit irrational.

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