Merry Merry, Quite Contrary

And so the season is pretty much upon us.  Contrary to my first post, I think I am also ready for Santa to come a visiting.

I have been real good this year.  Well, sort of.  Certainly I have not been any worse behaved than other years, and that’s gotta count for something.   And I did volunteer a lot.  And I did not get caught doing anything criminal.  And I did not even yell at any referees this year  season.  So I should be a shoe in to get what I have asked for — a few days off work and away from arenas.

I was at a small get together last week when someone asked if there was anyone present who was not tired.  It seems that yawning is the norm, not the exception.

I thought I stood alone living in a near state of exhaustion.  This new found knowledge gave me a comforting feeling of belonging, but it also left me with a great fear of getting behind the wheel.  In order to get home from this party I was going to have to travel on the busiest road in North America.  I always felt comforted knowing that the other drivers could not possibly be as tired as I, but now I knew the roads were actually full of zombies like me.  My safety net was shattered.

My character never strays far from questioning my daily observations.  And so the questions began.  —    Why are we all so tired?   Is it just because of the season where we are stressing out trying to get ready for the perfect holiday season?  Or is it even worse, and are we all tired all the time?

The Yawn has been a part of us  long before we managed to control our bowels or dress ourselves or even learned to mumble “gagaga”.  It is something we did not have to learn; it is intuitive.  This must mean that even when we are babies, and spend most of our days in a blissful state of zzzzzz’s – even then we are still tired.  Is there no hope for us then?

Then we grow old, lose all fashion self, return to the toothless grin, and yet still the yawn is with us.

We never outgrow the Yawn.  Does this mean that we are doomed to a lifetime of helpless yawning – doomed to a life of battling the ever present open-mouthed expression of exhaustion?

There’s some really interesting research completed about the yawn.  55% of people will yawn after seeing someone else yawn.  The theory is that it began as a symbol of empathy stemming back from our caveman days when we communicated more through body language.  Kind of like saying “I am sorry you look so odd, but maybe if I do it too nobody will notice.  They say even a blind person is more likely to yawn following another yawn.  That seems very odd to me.  My theory is that the Yawn physically sucks so much air out of the vicinity, that those left in the wake of the Yawn must Yawn themselves in order to gather up enough oxygen to allow them to survive.  No wonder Yawns seem contagious.

They say that the average yawn lasts 6 seconds and athletes often yawn before a competition.  Penguins yawns as part of a wooing ritual.  I guess that makes this guy a hunkahunka burnin’ love at the zoo.

These are all very interesting observations and facts, but I have another theory on the Yawn — stick with me here- we are yawning because we are all tired.  This guy is not trying to pick up that cute penguin at the zoo, he just wants to catch some zzzzz’s.  Just thinking about it makes me yawn.

What we really need is not a lot of stuff for Christmas.  I bet we all have enough stuff.  What we need is sleep.  Blissful, uninterrupted, silent, peaceful, glorious sleep.   Not those few winks you get in a vehicle with your head bobbing up and down like a oil well; not the kind of sleep this tourist is getting trying to keep up the crazy Germans at Octoberfest.

We need the kind of sleep where you can get into a state of complete a true relaxation.  The kind of sleep that when you wake up, you are no longer tired.  The kind of sleep that leaves you waiting and eager to take on the world.  You know what I am talking about.  Sleeping like a baby – only longer!

Now that is what I am talking about!

And so this New Year, as others are vowing to lose weight and exercise more, I will be vowing to spend more time examining the inside of my eyelids.  I vow to enter the 2012 holiday season rested and relaxed.  It has been a while since I set myself up for failure with a New Years resolution, but this one will be different.  As others struggle to do more, I will endeavor to do less.  When Marc asks why the dishes are not done or why the house is a mess, I can tell him I am just following my New Years resolution.  When my client asks why his project is behind schedule – again the resolution.  When the kids need someone to drive them back from the theatre – not me.  Looking for a volunteer for your dinner auction – not me.  Need the garbage taken out or the driveway shoveled?  Sorry, nocandu, I have a resolution to keep.

And so I welcome 2012.  The year of fewer yawns, more sleep and less things on my to-do list.  The only question left in my mind right now is why I did not so this sooner.

And so in closing… Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.



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