Counting Sheep

Last night I couldn't sleep. I woke up at 1 a.m, feeling wide awake. You know that feeling, right? When you suddenly wonder "Wow, did I sleepwalk to the coffee pot?"

I tried everything to fall back asleep. I once read that if you imagine someone writing big 3s on a chalkboard ever so slowly, you'll be asleep by the third 3. I tried that. I tried watching boring videos about dissections (the professors' voices drone on and on and on), but that also didn't work.

Eventually, I tried the old stand-by of counting sheep. And here is where I figured out why writing 3s on the mental chalkboard didn't work (no word yet on why the professors weren't helpful - they rarely are?).

I'm too darn realistic. That is right - reality is not good for counting sheep or writing 3s. The chances you will mess up writing a massive 3 on a mental chalkboard? Apparently it is something like 100%. The second 3 is going to look nothing like the first one, and then you feel like standing back and comparing for awhile.

And here is the thing about sheep: they are not the type of creatures to obediently jump over the little fence and walk off when it is their turn. They are small-brained creatures with a herd mentality. Biblically speaking, one or two will occasionally wander off, possibly towards a fence. But this is generally considered a bad thing and not in the norm.

So here is a fact: most likely you will need to lasso the sheep and yank it up over the fence away from the rest of his friends. This is not relaxing at all.

Cute, you say. Devious, I say.
Let me reset the scene for you. It is 1:44 am and I'm still awake. I have class at 8:25 and a quiz later in the day that I know Í'll need to study for. I have to pick a friend up at the airport and meet someone for dinner. I have a full day and no time for this pesky insomnia issue. I attempt to draw mental 3s. My failure is the result of scratchy chalk sounds and a bump in the chalkboard that makes the first 3 appear bent at a not-at-all-attractive angle. I abandon all hope that 3s will send me to sleep and try the videos, but my internet bio pals are not sufficiently boring. So... I attempt to count sheep.

I know how my brain works. I over over over analyze everything. I was well aware of this problem before I ever introduced sheep to the situation, so I began by setting some rules. For one, I needed to create a script: each sheep would enter at the right and traipse happily leftward towards a fence, where he/she would leap joyfully, land cleanly, and hop away out of the scene to the left. After that sheep left, another could enter, and so on. I would count as this happened, and by the twentieth sheep I'd be asleep - I was sure. In addition to the script, I knew that none of the sheep would have different coloring. The weather would never change. The fence would never break. In short, my script would be followed and nothing else would happen.

But my sheep didn't cooperate. The first sheep was sluggish and made weird noises like someone was trying to strangle it. It made it over the fence, just barely, and moved to escape out to the left so slowly that the sheep following it was already in my head. This sheep was younger. It kind of reminded me of Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer from the animated classic... lots of energy and thrills in discovering how to walk and jump (or in Rudolph's case, fly). He dove over the fence and ran into the first sheep's butt.

You know how this ends. Within seconds I had a 10-sheep pileup and was literally tensing every muscle of my body in bed. I forced myself to relax and try again, but I was still left with an impossible situation.

My final thought on sheep was that they were the most difficult creatures on the face of the planet. I'd rather wrestle an alligator in my dreams than count the wooly creatures doing anything, let alone coordinating themselves into a straight line. Besides, after I yelled at them, the sheep fell down to the ground together to take a nap. They could sleep. Good for them.

 Instead of trying another method, I got on Facebook. Then I shut my computer and got on Facebook from my phone. Eventually I got my computer again and started writing a blog post about sheep. But I didn't finish it, because I fell asleep.

The answer, then, is to blog about sheep rather than count them.

"And what does this have to do with writing?" I hear you asking.

Nothing. It is random.

But I got to post a lamb picture!