I’m currently reading ‘My Year Of Rest And Relaxation’ by Ottessa Moshfegh, a novel about a young woman who decides to drop out of society and sleep for a year. It’s an enticing concept, especially for gentlemen of a certain age like me who share a house with three crazy teenagers and an even crazier border terrier. Fionnuala and I never seem to get enough sleep.
As we emerge out of lockdown, the pace of life is slowly beginning to grind up through the gears again. The diary is filling up and opportunities to lounge around on the sofa watching Netflix are becoming rarer and rarer. And when I do I increasingly find my eyelids closing as I succumb to the temptation of the afternoon nap. I convince myself I’m just resting my eyes and then…bam…a whole hour has passed.
My wife and kids have taken great delight in this turn of events. Rebecca openly calls me ‘old man’ now without a hint of irony while Fionnuala and I have regressed to a guerilla war of filming each other asleep and then gleefully sharing the horrific content. The sight of me drooling on a cushion while snoring like a congested pig is not a pretty sight and would ruin my carefully cultivated online persona in a nanosecond if it ever saw the light of day.
Rest? Relaxation? I’m not so sure if it’s that, more grabbing whatever shuteye I can as I struggle to keep up with the demands of modern life. I’m not dropping out like the character in the book, more recharging the batteries in order to dive back into the rat race. Paddling like fury just to stay afloat and maintain the status quo. Tired? Yes. But glad to be alive and have the opportunity to participate in this bonkers world we live in.