Thursday, February 19, 2009

Asleep At The Wheel

No, it's not some clever play on words or reference to something deep and insightful.
It's literal. I fell asleep at the wheel this morning while driving Bianca to school. It wasn't as cute as this little furry guy to the left, unfortunately.
It's something I struggle with regularly, being over-tired while driving. I have a small arsenal of techniques to combat it. Sometimes I stab my arm with a T pin. Sometimes I munch on almonds. Sometimes I sing along with a great CD. This AM, I had no pin, I had no almonds and I was so tired that the music & open window were not helping. I was swerving all over the road and would continue to wake up a second later to find myself half way into another lane. Right before I got to Bianca's school, I went up onto a curb and grazed a telephone pole. I am very fortunate in so many ways. It could have been so much worse. It's the first time I've actually hit something and I'm freaked out about it. What if it were another car? Or someone walking on the sidewalk?
It's something I've discussed with Susan more than once. It's about consequences. Every decision I make puts a sequence of events into motion. I oversleep and pop out of bed already stressed out and angry with myself. I end up getting to work late so I work late to compensate for being late in the AM. Of course, I'm so tired through the day that I'm not thinking or working at full capacity which puts me more behind and more stressed out. I drink so much coffee to perk up that I get heartburn & jitters. Working late puts me off to a later start when I get home at night. I'm rushing around and I'm stressed out and it spills over onto Bianca with me constantly trying to hurry her along. When she goes to bed, I spend time trying to get stuff done which I don't have the energy to do because I'm exhausted and then I'm stressed about the house being a mess and how much work I have to do at the office and I can't sleep because of the anxiety so I stay up late trying to wind down by watching TV or playing on the computer til I can finally fall asleep at midnight or later. And the alarm goes off at 5am, I smack it around for an hour and the cycle starts over again.
My shoulder/chest pain has been particularly bad the past 2 weeks or so, so I know I'm feeling particularly stressed. I sometimes have the chance to catch up on sleep &/or house stuff on the weekends but not always. And then Tuesdays really kill me. That's my long day when I go to choir after work. So we don't get home til 10:30. It's really rough on Bianca, too. Weds my Mom comes over which is nice. That goes both ways for me....sometimes I take advantage of her being there to entertain Bianca. Other times, I want to be in on the fun, too! Just seems like there are not enough hours in the day and I don't know how to handle it.
This weekend is full for me so I know I'm not going to get much rest. I have decided I'm going to make a point to get the computer equipment I need and am going to ask my boss if I can work from home at least one day a week (preferably Weds). Doing that will allow me 2 1/2 extra hours to sleep and I think will make a big difference. Not to mention that I get 10 times more work done at home when I'm not being interrupted by co-workers. It's a start.


Enola said...

You need a break. Can you lower your standards on cleanliness around the house? Nap at lunch? Something? I worry about you driving and falling asleep.

Kim said...

Oh my....if I lower my standards on my house anymore, I may as well move to the dump!!! ;o)

I did purchase the computer I need to work from home, ordered it this afternoon. And made my pitch to the boss. I asked him not to answer me in the moment but to give it some thought, even if it's just to ok it on a trial basis to see how it works for us. I hope he will say yes.

I worry about my driving also.

Enola said...

Just a thought - can you afford to hire a housekeeper? Even just 1x a month for the heavy stuff?

Anonymous said...

My first reaction to reading this was, I wish I knew you in real life I would call you and scream at you, "WTF are you thinking? Driving like that with your child in the car." And I read it as nonchalant. I still want to scream especially because I live in Connecticut. Then I remember that I do so many things that are harmful and deadly and how can I judge. I can't. This post has however shocked me into confessing in person to my behavior so I have to now be accountable. So thanks for that.