My Sleep Is More Important Than My Aspirations

My Sleep Is More Important Than My Aspirations

If time was no object, I’d go out every night, allowing the cool, reckless, uninhibited night air to hit my face as I climb into a car to explore the bustling nightlife, laughing into the wee hours and reaching that precious state where everything is zanier, kookier, freer.

I’d return home to seize the quiet and calm of the night to get some major headway on projects I was working on, clicking away at the computer, cruising, in the zone.

I’d catch up on all the phone calls I squandered during daytime hours, all the chores I never got around to, and- let’s never forget- the dishes. All the dishes.

I’d read all those Facebook articles whose headlines looked so promising, that I saved and promptly forget about. Maybe I’d even sneak some funny youtube videos in afterwards.

If time was no object, I’d then fall asleep at four and wake up with a start at five, when my baby yells for me.

I’d sit up with joy, a tiger bounding out of bed, that blissful, Godly refreshed energy cascading over my body as I gratefully bound over to her crib and take her out.

I’d give my kids all the attention I could ever muster, my heart open, my mind empty, my focus focused.

I’d listen to them and sit down on the couch and have conversations about everything. I’d be cool, calm, and available.

Instead. I’m an unquenchable fire, burning for action. I’m thirsty, constantly, for more.

More time,” I plead, eyes on the clock.  It ticks. It taunts. It’s a losing battle, a predictable battle of wills every night.

Despite the roar of my inner beast, I know what meets me if I scream myself victor; the groggy mornings, the snappy, overwhelmed reactions, confused children, and agitated minds.

I clutch my smartphone in my hand. It is my tool to the worlds of productivity I long to travel down, the dreamy channel of possibilities.

Goodbye,” I mouth, holding down that circular button like it’s the switch of a ventilator. It is.

Without it, my beast inside, like a fan, whirs down, almost disappearing from awareness.

One down, one to go. I move to my computer. Before it knows what’s coming to it, its face, too,  goes black.

Fuzziness enters my mental state, muddling my desires. Confusion lubricates my thought processes, lulling me to the bedroom.

I passively fall onto my bed, entering REM sleep. I go somewhere else.

Every night, time, space, and soul- you win.

Yet, what do I lose?  From within the cushy depths of that very submission, springs my reward, when my lids blink open to human consciousness.

In each nightly submission, I’m granted the gift of sanity.

Healthy, productive, finite headspace bequeathed to me, my daily allotment, opening me to both the truth within and beyond my frame. To worlds untraveled. Yet the beast within roars again, forgetting gratitude and craving infinitude. Enjoying it all. Wanting it all.

Every night, the war begins anew. To stop never stops hurting.

My bedtime decision is my silent warrior cry to the glory of You. My humble blowing of feeble human weakness.

My bedtime is my daily, heartfelt, soulcry, modern day sacrificial offering.


Rivka Nehorai

Rivka is an outspoken activist for recovering artists, insisting that raw, redemptive art-making is the means for mental and spiritual health. Rivka received her BA in Painting from Rutgers University, and does a daily chicken dance mothering three little ladies and finding her way within the greater art world. She runs ArtWarming Cards, a monthly contemporary art postcard subscription service, and curates shows and fabulous afterparties at Brooklyn Jewish Art Gallery. Rivka's personal artwork can be viewed at rivka.gallery.

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