I was up for more than two hours this morning before I actually looked at myself in the mirror. Nice rings under those eyes today. Lovely.
Welcome to Zombieland.
My kid doesn’t sleep. He’s a brilliant, beautiful, sweet little boy. He’ll eat anything you put on a plate in front of him. He’s adventurous, generally polite. But he doesn’t sleep. We’ll go through a good chunk every now and again where he’s actually sleeping through the night or close to it.
Now is not one of those times.
And when the kid doesn’t sleep, the mom doesn’t sleep, thus the zombie staring at me from other side of the mirror.
I have a cure for this. Or a bandaid anyway. When I’m dragging my body around on three hours of sleep, it’s tempting to go back to bed as soon as junior is safely installed in school. Or to plug in a Buffy disc and stare at the pretty pictures on the screen (TV is a good thing. Bright colors, music… little tiny people) while holding a ball of yarn and doing jack-all with it.
This is not an exit from Zombieland. It’s signing up for a timeshare there.
So I run.
“You run?” Chezza says.
“Yes,” I reply, thinking that what I actually do is run for the first 5 minutes and then pant and wheeze while I jog the rest of the way. But I keep my ass moving. That’s the material point.
I don’t do well without sleep and as counterintuitive as it may seem to push your body further on fewer resources, energy begets energy. I add a workout and a real meal – big ass plate of eggs and toast – to compensate. Strangely, this isn’t too far off from my standard hangover cure in college.
So I run. Not far. I put my headphones on and I walk to the park, run the loop there, and then run the rest of the way home. Maybe a mile all together. I sweat. I breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth and feel aches and pains. In short, I run until I’m human again.
Then when I get home, I jack my iPhone into the stereo system and keep going. Crunches, those horrible rond de jambe things to attitude that Miss Cara throws at us. I stretch. I stretch longer than I ran for. Sometimes I’ll run through a bit of choreography that we’re working on in class. Usually not. This isn’t about thinking and it sure as hell isn’t about being pretty. It’s about getting it done.
When I’m finished I strip every piece of clothing off and put it straight in the wash then head for the shower. I leave the stereo on while I shower. Loud.
And when I get out I’m more or less human again. I might write for a bit. I might knit a few rows if time allows. On to the computer or the housework if it doesn’t.
Sometimes I’m living in Zombieland and I never know how long the duration of that stay will be. But I want to make sure that when the credits roll, I’m the badass chick holding the bloody shovel, not the corpse walking around groaning for brains.