When I was growing up, my brothers and I used to laugh at the way my dad would fall asleep in front of the telly every night. He would get in from work, have a family dinner around the table in the dining room and he would then grab the newspaper and sit down on the sofa in the living room. Almost without fail, he would be asleep within ten minutes, often starting to snore not long after that. The snoring disturbed our TV viewing, of course, so we would start coughing loudly at each other or making unsubtle banging noises to try and get him to stop. He'd wake up with a start, scrunch up the newspaper involuntarily in his lap, and would then grumpily cast about him trying to get his bearings.
It was hysterically funny.
I used to wonder how you could fall asleep like that before it was even nine in the evening.
Well, I'm not wondering any more.
I'm pretty sure it's getting worse as I get older too: I used to only fall asleep in front of Match of the Day on a Saturday night, and I could rationalise that it was usually after a big meal and a couple of drinks... but now I seem to feel the need for a little snooze almost as soon as I get home from work of an evening.
Recently, I seem to be prone to a catastrophic dip in energy at around 3pm every afternoon. At home, this isn't too much of a problem. You can just have a nap, right? But when you're in the office? Hmm. I can usually handle this if I'm in a position to get up, walk around and make myself a cup of coffee.... but if I'm trapped at the back end of a meeting room furthest away from the door, stuck in a session with some suppliers or something, then it's pretty awful.
My eyelids start to droop, and soon enough every fibre of my being is trying to stop myself from falling asleep completely. I no longer care what anyone in the room is saying - if I even cared before - my entire focus is on making sure that I don't nod off. I'm pretty sure that falling asleep at work in a meeting with suppliers is not likely to be too career enhancing... even by the standards of my brilliant career, that might be a bridge too far and as I seem to be drifting off like this more and more often, it's probably only a matter of time before it happens and I do fall properly asleep in the middle of a meeting.
Maybe it's because of my MS. Maybe I'm eating the wrong kind of food at lunchtime. Maybe it's because I'm flogging myself too hard with all that running I'm doing. Hell, maybe it's just because I attend an awful lot of really, really boring meetings.
Maybe it's all of those things.
Unfortunately, I'm also reluctantly facing up to the fact that it's simply because I'm old. Laugh it up though kids; just as I laughed at my dad when he nodded off back in the day (well, and he still does, to be fair), and just as you're now laughing at me.....one day someone is going to be laughing at you dribbling onto your cardigan as you snooze gently in the corner.
There are no more indignities that come with age, right?
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