Six Degrees of Counting Sheep

To toot my own horn, I’m an amazing sleeper. Eight hours is just half-assing it – when I’m really on my game, I get a solid nine and a half. I snooze happily through long flights, uncomfortable nights in random hotels, and even through three out of the eight Harry Potter films. I turn the world off like a switch and wake up like I’ve spent six weeks on a hammock… made of angel wings…in Barbados.

Yet lately, life has gotten a little busier, my to-do list has gotten a little longer, and my formerly sleeptastic nights have been interrupted by some unwelcome head clutter. Unsurprisingly, I don’t seem to be expending any brain power on anything of value. Instead, I experience those fervent trains of thought that start with a mental Post-It to remember to process invoices and end wondering if Stevie Nicks really knew someone named Rhiannon. Here’s a glimpse into how my head chooses to spend its should-be-sleeping hours:

1. Counting Little Blue Lights: This is my version of counting sheep. I hope that by the time my eyes meander from the clock to the phone to the DVD player to the humidifier to the Glade Plug-In to the mirror reflecting the little blue lights overtaking my kitchen, I’m exhausted by my electronic repertoire and pass right out. If not, I move on to something else of equal irrelevance.

2. Playing Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon: If being good at this game was the sole indicator of human intelligence I could dominate the world. Instead, it’s the sole indicator that my parents let me watch too much TV. Either way, I love trying to stump myself. Gerard Depardieu – go!

3. Planning My Christmas Party: Thanks to a rough Tuesday evening I already have this year’s theme nailed. Expect your save the date shortly.

4. Pondering Taxi Drivers: Why don’t they all take credit cards? Why do they always ask me how to get somewhere? Why don’t they have GPS? Why was Robert De Niro so messed up? (Side note: De Niro was in Sleepers with Kevin Bacon – one degree.)

5. Internally Singing “The Way You Make Me Feel”: I once read somewhere that “they” have determined this song to be the most common song for one to have in one’s head. Since then I can’t shake it. To my grave misfortune, the same is true for “The Lollipop Guild” from Wizard of Oz.

6. Stewing Over Expiration Dates: I’m not ashamed to admit I spend quality time weighing the potential pros and cons of drinking two-day expired milk or applying eight month old mascara or wearing three-year old sunscreen or taking a gulp of who-knows-how-old Nyquil to get my butt back to sleep.

There’s a critical moment in every sleepless night when you have to make a decision – either stick it out sheep-counting style, or call it a lost cause and get up for a night of Cocoa Puffs and infomercials. Since the latter can result in a drawer full of Pajama Jeans and a TiVo season pass to Bethenny Ever After, I recommend giving sleep a chance. But counting sheep becomes awfully boring around lamb number three hundred seventy-six, so feel free to borrow one of my inane tactics to get you back to Snoozeville.

What do you think about when you’re stuck awake at night? Or more importantly, got any Six Degrees stumpers?

About WhiteElephantInTheRoom

I'm an 80s music lover, traveling junkie, mac & cheese connoisseur, amateur wine snob, party-planning priestess and Chicago transplant living in Southern California. I find adventure in the everyday and have a unending compulsion to write about it. Hope you enjoy reading my mind!
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33 Responses to Six Degrees of Counting Sheep

  1. I lie awake at night thinking of how to come up with posts half as funny as yours… I got a Bacon Stumper for you – Charlie Chaplin.

    (I totally have to patent “Bacon Stumper”)

    • I insist that you do. Awesome one! Here goes… Sir Chaplin was in A Countess from Hong Kong with Marlon Brando who was in The Score with Robert De Niro and well.. you now know the rest. (I admit that one used to take me like three more degrees but I think I’m about there).

  2. I can especially relate to stewing over expiration dates.

  3. Theresa says:

    Alphabet game – come up w a word for each letter… Usually fall asleep between H and K. Variations incl limiting to related words (all foods, all places) or picking one letter and coming up w as many words I can.

  4. I think about wanting to go back to sleep as well as want to put duct tape over my other half’s mouth so he will stop snoring or grinding his teeth – ha! Great Post – Have a Beautiful Weekend:)

  5. The Timothy Olyphant in the Room says:

    Falling asleep is easy … staying awake is where the fun’s at. I get 4-5 hours of sleep a day – leaves me more time to eat and drink things, among other activities.

    What would you say to Yahoo Serious? #mylovelyladystumps

  6. If playing 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon was the sole indicator of intelligence I would be forever stuck on the short bus wearing a helmet. Bush people who’ve never seen a television are better than I am. It’s sad.
    I pick a house I’ve seen and redecorate it. Somewhere between paint swatches and furniture placement I usually fade out. I know it’s a bad night when I start doing mental construction.

  7. Go Jules Go says:

    Wait wait – I want to know more about this Christmas party! That’s going to keep ME up at night… 😉 When I’m trying to fall asleep, I like to imagine myself living out fabulous fantasy scenarios, in the hopes that they’ll continue in my dreams. You know, like being on the set of Glee and getting Second Husband, Darren Criss, to fall in love with me. In this scenario, I can also sing and dance without making people cry.

    • So here’s the Christmas party plan: White Christmas. Simple enough, but I live in California so we don’t get any of that good white stuff out here. So it will be a white party, and I’m going to decorate with palms and other California goodness all covered in white. Maybe I’ll pull an Uncle Jesse and get some real snow too.

  8. notquiteold says:

    Too easy: Gerard Depardieu – Andie MacDowell (Green Card) – John Travolta (Michael) – Kyra Sedgwick (Phenomenon) – Kevin Bacon DONE!
    I only have a few sleepless nights a year. I imagine all the pieces in my wardrobe and different ways to pair them and count outfits….(the burgundy cami with the orange sherbert cardi and the khaki crops; then the white cami with the navy sweater and the khaki crops; then the burgundy cami with the navy sweater and the grey ankle pants….then the….zzzzzzzz)

  9. kitchenmudge says:

    I think you mean the “Lollipop Guild”:

    Munchkins were all small, they were not kids.
    Just had to do that to keep it in your head as long as possible, heh heh….

  10. kaityhall says:

    On the topic of expiration dates, did you know that tea never goes out of date they simply put an expiration date on the box as a marketing technique as people are reluctant to buy products that have no expiration date.
    …On second thoughts it’s probably just me that finds that interesting. But it’s another thing to add to the list of things to think about in the dead of the night regarding the oh-so-exciting topic of expiration dates.

  11. Ach! You did not mention the Lollipop Guild! Oz was my daughter’s favorite movie until recently and I had JUST gotten it out of my head this week… and the video in the comments… it will be another month of this song skipping around in my brain.

    I will be using your very helpful advice tonight and start planing my birthday bash and/or holiday party. Maybe both. I am a horrible sleeper, it all started with the Lollipop Guild dreams.

  12. nancyfrancis says:

    I’m lucky to say that I, too, am an skilled sleeper. I can sleep just about anywhere, and the process of sleeping generally takes less than a minute – I’m never quite sure but it happens quickly. I live with two problem sleepers that absolutely despise this about me.
    On the odd occasion that my mind starts wandering too much and not focusing on sleep, I get really agitated. I don’t know what makes me fall asleep so quickly usually, so I never know what to do if its not happening!

  13. I’m going to have to look up the tune to #5. Maybe that’s why I can’t sleep.

  14. Samantha says:

    I just stumbled on your blog and I love it!

    I have struggled falling asleep lately too, so I have started to imagine literally every detail I can about places I used to work or live. I start with a job site or house, and move my way through every memory, surface texture, and smell. It’s working!

  15. larousse7 says:

    I play a lot of 3am online Scrabble. Then sometimes I dream about Q’s and X’s. Or the word Qi.

  16. Pingback: From Our Friends: August 23, 2013 | Organic Authority

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