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April 24, 2013
Jewish World Review
Feb. 24, 2011
/ 20 Adar I, 5771
Feeling drowsy is lousy
Fatigue can make us do some loony things.
One morning I was so tired I drove through McDonald's for a Diet Coke. It would be a quick in and out, as there wasn't a single car in line. I pulled into the drive-through, rolled down my window and waited to place my order.
I waited. And waited. Thirty seconds passed, then a minute, a minute-and-a-half. I rolled my eyes and tapped my fingers on the steering wheel.
Then I noticed something. I wasn't staring at the speaker, I was staring at the opening of the trash receptacle 10 feet in front of the speaker. Service improved dramatically once I pulled forward.
Once again, I have been long on work and short on sleep. Today, I found my favorite ballpoint pen in my make-up bag. I looked in the mirror to make sure I hadn't lined my eyes with an extra-fine blue Sharpie.
Our daughter with six-month-old twins is in a constant state of fatigue. The last time I was with her, we were driving in the car and the babies were crying in the backseat. She reached for the volume knob on the radio to turn down the sound on the babies. If only.
When they were newborns, she once attempted to ask me if I had given one of the babies a bottle, but couldn't think of the word bottle. Instead, she asked if I'd given one of them a doughnut.
Words can be elusive when you're tired. I try to make sure I get enough sleep before speaking somewhere because when I'm really tired I tend to get my merds wixed up.
We often say we are bone tired and it must be true. Our feet get tired, our necks get tired, our backs get tired and our legs get tired. Even our eyes get tired. Someone has said that the only part of the human body that never gets tired is the tongue.
There is a difference between being tired and being forgetful. Forgetful is when you are talking on the phone putting groceries away and realize later that you put the grapes in the freezer. Tired is when you see that you put the grapes in the freezer and you don't care. In a few days you'll pass them off as a delicacy.
Once while tutoring a sleepy little Burmese boy who kept falling asleep with his face down in the book, I grilled him on the importance of sleep. "You need to get enough sleep every night so your brain is awake and ready to learn when you come to school. You don't need TV, you need sleep. Tell your parents that you should be in bed by 8 o'clock every night."
He looked at me with heavy eyes and said, "But my parents no speak English."
The Royal College of Psychiatrists says that any given time, one in every five people feel unusually tired. I'm not sure if that is true or not. I think I'll sleep on it.
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