Simcha Fisher, author of The Sinner’s Guide to Natural Family Planning writes for several publications and blogs daily at Aleteia. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and ten children. Without supernatural aid, she would hardly be a human being.
It’s a pretty swell age, if there’s something wrong with you. You name it, and there’s a support group ready to encourage you to wear your infirmity with pride. Some of this is downright horrible (and, after searching for quite some time for a link that was both sufficiently horrible and appropriate for the Register, I gave up), some vaguely depressing (I’m wearing, for instance, jeans with the brand name that cheerily boasts, “Just My Size!” because the company apparently didn’t realize that, when you suggest that it’s a real accomplishment to sufficiently cover my entire hindquarters, THAT DOESN’T HELP), and some are probably onto something.
Now, there’s not really anything wrong with me. Or, there’s not really any one thing wrong with me. The only problem I have right now is that I am breastfeeding a six-week-old baby who is extremely sensitive to caffeine. This means I’m only drinking one cup of coffee a day, so she won’t be up all night. On the other hand, I really, really need more than one cup of coffee each day, because I’m so tired from being up with the baby all night.
There’s something wrong with that paragraph, but I can’t put my finger on it. Because I’m so.
What? Oh, tired. Yes, so, in keeping with the spirit of the times, I’ve decided that I’m not going to struggle against my tiredness any more. No longer will I work against my exhaustion, trying shamefully to “pass” for a person who experiences a distinct day and night every 24 hours (rather than what I am, which is a pathetic, shambling zombie who can only vaguely distinguish between what I think of as “light day” and “dark day”).
From this day (assuming it is, in fact, day) forward, I’m going to embrace it. I’m going to welcome the fatigue, let it subsume me, and identify myself entirely with my condition. I’m going to wear it with pride, insofar as anyone who drools at stop lights can be considered “proud”.
Here are some of the many enviable advantages of living the Tired Lifestyle:
Useless clairvoyance. Since I’m never fully awake when I’m awake and never fully asleep when I sleep, about 80% of my consciousness has slid into some kind of parallel netherworld, a land of spirits which coincides, unseen, with the day-t0-day. Unbidden, my tetherless powers of perception snag little psychic parcels of experience out of other people’s lives, and I see things I shouldn’t see, know things I couldn’t possibly know. Astonishing! Inexplicable! What a gift! The only downside is that it’s all really stupid stuff. For instance, I dream that a friend on Facebook (someone I only haven’t unsubscribed from because she has a weird last name that makes me giggle) is a fairy who lives inside a giant zucchini. Then, get this: three days later, she posts, “lol so much zucchini!”
I’m not even making this up. Somebody go warn Uri Geller about my brain.
Neverending Hilarity for the Kiddies. They thought life was pretty great back when I was just a pregnant idiot who couldn’t finish sentences. What fun they had, filling in words for me as I staggered around the kitchen like a washing machine with too many wet towels in it. “Sweetheart, I want you to go to . . . um . . . go to . . . ”—“MARS!” they would shriek. “TRANSYLVANIA! FUNKY TOWN!” But that was nothing compared to the delight they feel now that I am perfectly capable of speaking in complete sentences that don’t actually make any sense. “Time to go, kids,” I will say in a brisk, businesslike tone. “No time for snacks here—you can eat each other in the car.” The best part is, I don’t even realize that anything’s wrong, and I cannot for the life of me figure out why they are all just standing there grinning at me.
Capacity for Radical trust. Every time I log into my blog, it says, “This page is in Polish. Would you like to translate it?” And I never press “yes,” because I have a terrible fear—oh, wait, I was being positive. I have an admirable ability to believe that if I do, I’ll discover that I’ve been speaking Polish my whole life without realizing it. Deep in the heart of me, I believe that if I press that button, I’ll be translated into Slavic oblivion, and my husband will leave me because every time I try to ask him, “Do you want pepperoni or olive?” all he’ll hear is “Proszę zostawić mnie w spokoju?” and who could live that way?
I’m so, so funny when I’m tired. Much in the same way that, back in college, I used to sing really, really well when I was drunk. So, for instance, a long-suffering, hardworking Facebook friend (not the zucchini lady) just posted an announcement about a Catholic blogger meet-up in Houston, and instead of writing “Hey,” she accidentally wrote “Ney.” So, quick as a wink, I helpfully commented, “Blucher!”
BECAUSE, you see, every time I say “Blucher” . . .
I just laughed so hard I woke up the baby. But have it your way—it wasn’t that funny. Still, I think we Tireds ought to stick together, maybe form a support group. It’s nothing to be ashamed of! Say it clear and say it loud! I’m tired, and I’m . . .