You Need a Lifestyle Change

Posted by mwallach on March 13, 2012 in Crazy Follows Me Everywhere |

Dear That’s Life,
I have been recently warned by a number of physicians that I have to change my lifestyle. I find that advice particularly humorous in light of certain factors. I workout at least six days a week and am at an acceptable weight for my height and age. I eat no meat, opt for whole grains when I can, drink no soda or caffeinated beverages and have no problems with my cholesterol. It seems, however, that this is not good enough.

While I joke both in public and in private that sleep is for other people, the limited number of hours that I log on an average night is apparently not enough. I enjoy waking up in the morning during hours that some people still consider night time, though some medical professionals think I am doing myself in. My efficiency does not impress them nor does my insistence that it really is good for me to be this active. They tell me I will not be able to keep this up forever, that it will take its toll and my migraines will not cure themselves. Believing that smart people surround themselves with smarter people, I decided to heed their advice and committed to getting at about 7 hours of sleep and shutting off my blackberry at night which, before this, rarely happened.

It did not work, however. I tried – I really did – but I have not been tired enough to sleep the entire seven hours without waking up. It is a disjointed night, during which I get very little REM and often wonder if this is really the best use of my time. While some do not have that internal drive that makes them ‘go,’ mine makes me go fast and that’s the way I like it. I have, therefore, returned to my previous habits. If I sleep for five hours and wake up once, then that is a good night for me. I still have my Friday nights during which I will fall asleep on the couch for hours before I make my way upstairs – a ritual that annoys my husband but which rejuvenates me better than anything else. Between everything, this works for me. Either way, it is my life and I like it this way.

So when my kids came down for breakfast this morning, it did not phase them for a minute that I was barbequing. No one said anything, nor asked why I was marinating chicken before sunrise or why the neighborhood already smelled like July 4th. Though it was not a Friday, when cooking chicken in the morning in preparation for Shabbat was something they see every week, this behavior appeared completely acceptable as well. They saw what I was doing and went about their business. Even when they came outside to check out what was on the grill, nary a comment was made. This is our normal – because I may be crazy.

Having posted the picture on Facebook of my grill in action at an hour while many were still sporting their bunny slippers, the comments came flooding in from people who do not live with me and for whom, this behavior is loco. At this point, even I thought I had a problem. I had run six miles, made six lunches, put three kids on the bus and was grilling chicken – all before 7:36am. One person applauded my energy while I silently questioned if there was something pathologically wrong. This cannot be normal, I thought, wondering if the doctors were right – was all of this going to catch up with me?

Stumbling into the kitchen bleary eyed, my husband sat down at our kitchen counter. “What smells like it’s burning?” he said. Grimacing, I told him nothing was burning. “I’m barbequing,” I explained. Without comment or question, he went on and asked me something about the kids. “Wait a minute,” I said, perplexed. “You’re not going to ask me why I’m grilling chicken at 7:45 in the morning?” I was beginning to wonder if anyone in my house was going to think I had finally lost it. “With you??” he said, incredulously. “This makes perfect sense.”

Following me out to the grill, my husband took a look at the chicken I was grilling. “Kids!” he bellowed in a sing-songy voice. “Breakfast!” I could not help but laugh hysterically.

Seems my lifestyle suits us just fine.

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