What to Do When You’re Awake at 2.a.m

Yesterday I posted about the things I learned in turning 26. There are more. There is Part II, Part III, and a sequel. I was thinking of just making Parts 1-112 and publishing it as the Emily Encyclopedia on Life and the Pursuit of Happiness.

However, then I had a weird dream about a cat driving my car on 295N to Maine, so I decided to change all of my highly philosophical musings into a sob story about being insomniac. Then I didn’t want everyone feeling bad for me, which I am sure would have happened, so I transformed it into an advice piece on what to do when you can’t fall back asleep. When every noise in the house is ticking too loudly, creaking too creepily, and hooting a little too barn-owlishly.

After lying awake replaying through your mind numerous times, the horrific nightmare you just had and then trying to counteract it with the counting of fluffy, white, gentle, sheep which in your freshly nightmare-scarred imagination end up as an insane clown posse, here are some ideas of what you should do, should you find yourself in the bind of being awake when all other human beings are watching pretty little, dream-like images float past the backs of their eyelids:

1. Make Popcorn, Eat Ice Cream, and then Call for a Pizza

My brother, Matthew, upon hearing my genius blog topic, piped up instantly, “Eat popcorn.” I imagine his brilliant thinking is aligned with someone else’s in this universe, so I thought I would put in my two cents as well and say I think it’s a particularly fabulous idea. Especially if you’re goal is to slowly morph over time into an elephant or hippopotamus, eating junky snacks every time you’re up and about when the sun don’t shine is the best way to kill time. While popping the popcorn in butter, I personally like to indulge in a little self-torture and think of all the other horrific foods I subjected my body to in the past month that could be causing my insomnia symptoms, and the gout in my toe…

2. Clean and Vacuum Loudly, Make Vegetable Juice in Juicer (to flush out the grease from the pizza), and Grind Coffee Beans

No explanation needed here. Your family and roommates will love you for this. Do not hog the joy of being awake and alive, allow others to feel that same excitement of not being able to sleep that they felt as children on Christmas Eve, whenever you experience sleepless nights.

3. Try on ALL of Your Best Bibs and Tuckers

A good personal fashion show is just the remedy for being upset with yourself for losing precious Zzzz’s. You don’t feel like you’re wasting valuable time because you are planning for the future by finding out which outfits bedazzle and which bedrizzle. After you have tried everything that you own on and thrown it in a heap on your floor, you can switch your attention to looking up out dated phrases like  “Bib and Tucker” on Google. 

4. Google Something.

Everyone needs someone else’s advice to live, to move, to breathe and to have any sort of significance in life. Why not perpetuate this idea by Googling how to live your life, care for your spouse, pets, and be the same friend to all of your friends. Google funny pictures, catch up on sports news, find out what “Looking a Gift Horse in the Mouth” is, and who laid the rules down for determining a “Good Egg” vs. a “Bad Egg” and how to “Hob Nob” successfully. When you have thoroughly exhausted this complexly, intricately-woven world wide web ‘s every particle of information, it’s time to move onto something more mindless and less educational to lull you back to sleep…

6. Facebook.

Go on, update your status, stalk your friends, find out when your college roommate’s oldest child is getting married, compare yourself to your ex-boyfriend’s new fling, and stir up feelings and create illusionary bonds with people with whom you haven’t spoken with in real life by reading Rumi’s status. This is the best time to go through your events list and RSVP, to make comments on pictures of people’s scary cats, and to write witty (or what you thought at 2:24 am was witty) comments on people’s walls. Hopefully, by your being the only one with “online” status on Facebook, you will feel too drained and tired to continue and your brain will have been morphine drip numbed from all thoughts of anxiety, anticipation, worry, dread, sadness, and the upcoming Mayan apocalypse. I am just waiting for them to make Facebook for babies, so I can recommend it to all my friends with newborns as a way to rock their screaming joy bundles to sleep when they don’t make it through the night either. Research somewhere from someone (written only to counteract other research from someone else) shows that staring a computer screen is the best for eyesight, posture, producing positive brain waves, and increasing the health of all cells in the body…that’s almost worth losing sleep over. 

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