It doesn’t matter how tired I am. I never get into bed and fall right to sleep. It’s as if my brain says, “Oh! Good! She’s not doing anything but lying there. Now is the time to go into overdrive and replay not only everything that happened today, but everything that happened over the last six decades.

It’s amazing how my brain drags out long forgotten memories of things that happened years ago and intermingles them with current events. One minute I’m thinking of the perfect comeback that I should have said yesterday to the rude person in Walmart (not that I ever would, mind you, as I am generally both nonconfrontational and a coward), and the next, my mind wanders off by itself to the time when I said the wrong thing to the wrong person when I was a teenager and got myself into trouble. Then my thoughts travel down the path to the time I got detention in middle school for saying a bit too loudly that I liked my band teacher’s red slip better than her black one. It wasn’t my fault. She wore mini-skirts and every time she raised her baton, her skirt rode up showing a good bit of her undergarments. It’s scary how many times my foot in my mouth has gotten me into trouble. (But I digress, as usual, which is why I can’t sleep at night.)

Then my mind ping-pongs to the fact that I really need to get all the important information and documents together that my sons will need in case I die unexpectedly. Oh, and remember to tell them where the information is. I start thinking about the sick cat I saw today with Feline Leukemia, and then take a trip down memory lane back to when, instead of a ten-minute Feline Leukemia test run in-house, we had to send a sample to a lab in New Jersey that took two weeks to come back. Then I think about how easy the vets have it today compared to when I was first starting out. Usually that thought ricochets to the many mistakes I’ve made in my job over the years and how I should have done things differently.

Next, although not in any particular order, my brain decides to drag out all the things I should be worrying about that I didn’t have time to dwell on earlier. Such as, will my husband make good on his promise to take care of all my animals when I die? Or should I start parceling them out in my will? Will I fulfill my dream of becoming a best-selling author only to have a crazy fan stalk me? Maybe I should take down my website. Will the government seize all my hard-earned assets and redistribute them to illegal immigrants, leaving me penniless and homeless? And, BTW, how does one go about opening a Swiss bank account? Will my son ever move out of my basement? Will I ever be called to be a contestant on Wheel of Fortune? Did I turn off my space heater at work? If not, what are the odds it will burn the building down overnight? Do I have anything to wear to work tomorrow that doesn’t require ironing? Is the milk in the refrigerator still good? Will Scarlet O’Hara ever get Rhett Butler back?

Next, my brain moves on to my to-do list. Shoot! I forgot to email that link to my friend that I promised to do last week. (Don’t forget to email that link first thing in the morning. Stay awake reminding yourself so you don’t fall asleep and forget to do it.) Does my dental appointment conflict with my doctor’s appointment that I made last week? (Stay awake reminding yourself to check your calendar first thing in the morning.) I forgot, yet again, to pick up my prescription at the pharmacy. (Stay awake reminding yourself to pick it up tomorrow.) I forgot to call that client back before leaving work. (Stay awake reminding yourself to do it as soon as you get to work. Assuming you aren’t shanghaied the second you walk in the door with something else that needs your immediate attention.) Ooh! I have a great idea for a blog. (Keep the idea running through your head so you don’t fall asleep and forget it.)

Meanwhile, I listen to my husband blissfully snoring away next to me. (Note to self: remember to buy ear plugs at the pharmacy when you pick up your prescription.)