Tuesday, August 13, 2013

How to Fall Asleep

There are plenty of nights when I go to bed but can't fall asleep. I sometimes turn the lights back on and read into the wee hours, but then I'll be exhausted the next day. Other nights, I lie there, thinking along various familiar, very deeply rutted, lines: When are we going to buy a new place and move? What second (or is it third?) career should I attempt? Why are there no comfortable shoes? Where did the cats hide my Japanese silk coaster? What is that ping pong ball–sized lump on my knee? Why don't we get any cardio exercise? Etc.*

It's no way to fall asleep, and I've proven it hundreds of times.

Here's a better way to fall asleep

1. Picture an imaginary travel bag that you'll pack for a short, last-minute trip. You can start with your usual carry-on or backpack, or invent the bag of your dreams — maybe green leather, lined in a Liberty peacock print. Pick whatever you want, but try to travel light. We're fantasizing, okay?

2. Choose a place you want to go: A long weekend in NYC, or London, or Siena, or Rajasthan, or on safari?

3. Choose how you'll get there: Private jet? Orient Express? Clipper ship? Restored 1950's Thunderbird?

4. If you're still awake, imagine packing your bag. You can limit yourself to your existing wardrobe or supplement from your imaginary closet (that's where I keep a few Burberry military-style overcoats and all of my evening gowns).

Keep in mind that, as in real life, your suitcase can't hold everything (unless you borrowed Hermione Granger's beaded handbag). You need to pick and choose, and strategize, so you'll be ready for all the fun you're going to have.

I've seldom made it as far as packing. I usually fall asleep well before that. Perhaps this is why I often take a nap when I should be packing for a trip in real life.

We'll be packing for Mount Desert Island tomorrow night. We will not be traveling light.

Sweet dreams.

Harris thinks about Paris, and the toys he wants to take.

* Best answers so far: Most likely never, at this rate. Employment counselor? Because we have evolved to wear flip flops. Behind a huge, immovable bookcase? Bursitis. Zero motivation and uncomfortable shoes.

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