(The kind of sleep that every one of us longing for. Image source: Charismatic Planet)
Read the rest of the childhood series here
I must admit that I have been feeling very sleepy at work for the past few weeks ever since I was back from overseas.
At first, I thought that I could recover from the jet lag and difference in sleeping time but things have not improved for the better. There is not enough time in the day for a comfortable 8 hours sleep and as age catches up, it looks like I cannot afford to sleep for 5 hours like I used to do.
When I was in my “college-age”, I can afford to sleep for less than 5 hours every day and can still be active, energetic and sharp thinking from morning tonight. When I started to work to pay for my studies, things just got worse. 5 days of work, 2 days of classes and daily revision hours took most of my “wake hours”.
Such careless deprivation of sleep, however, comes at a price and I know that I must, somehow, have to repay my sleep debts. Sunday was my off day and it is in a literal sense – it was time for me to shut down my body and go to sleep.
But sleeping at home was a bad idea for my Mom expects us to wake up at the usual time and spent time cleaning up the house or helping out on the cooking or help to buy sundry items. There is no such thing as sleeping and waking up late at home. But because we have been so busy during the weekdays with lack of sleep, my Mom affords us to take afternoon nap but that’s it – she does expect us to wake up in time for our bath and dinner.
But it was not enough for me to repay back my sleep debts. So, it was time to make my way to my Grandma’s house where I am treated like a King and no one bothers me with household work. After my college on Saturdays, instead of coming back home, I would make the long trip to Puduraya to catch the bus to my Grandma’s house.
By the time I reach her house, it will be late in the evening, just the right time for me to take a shower and an early dinner.
A quick shower, quick dinner and a short watch of TV and once done, it was time for me to hit the soft comfortable bed and seconds after that; I am already in the la-la land. Actually not much of a difference with the home but the difference comes the next day.
The next day, I would open my eyes and see a dark bedroom. I wondered what is the time. Looking at the darkroom, I would gather that it would probably be between 10 am to 11 am but then again I could be wrong. Still feeling sleepy, I would try to hear whether I could hear any sound on the outside. It will be pin-drop silence as if everyone else was still sleeping but I know they were not.
The household rules that my Mom enforces at home – she actually learned it from her Mom. So, it is not a big surprise that my Grandma also enforces the same kind of strict rules at home. I, of course, was the only exception to that strict rule. When I was sleeping, the bedroom is made more comfortable, the bedroom is darkened, the fan switched on and my noisy cousins (who also lived in the house) are asked to be hush-hush so that no other noise wakes me up.
Getting bored with sleeping (the only time I get bored with sleeping is when I am at Grandma’s house), I slowly wake and force myself from the bed. I open the door, still feeling drowsy (to the point I sometimes wondered where I am) and walk to the living room.
I look at the clock on the wall and realised that the time is about 3 pm. Wow, I have been sleeping for more than 20 hours! I gathered that it should have been more than enough to repay the outstanding sleep debt (my record is 24 hours – weeks before the exams).
As I go off to take my shower (and to brush my teeth), I realised that breakfast or rather lunch waiting for me. And after lunch, I would be lazing around, watching TV or join my cousins in their activities (which I must say worth joining). By 5 pm in the evening, it was time to go back home – so it was another long and tiring journey before work the next day. But at least, I still arrive at home still feeling refreshed and no sign of any sleepiness.
Monday, it was back to routine and losing sleep over the weekdays. That is until Sunday when it was time to go back to my Grandma’s house for good night sleep.