It’s well past my bedtime, but sleep is far from me. I just finished it, you see, that book I’ve been immersed in, thinking about, dreaming of, dreading. We haven’t devoured this one quite the way we usually do, but have been rather polite to each other, even taking turns and making sure we’re caught up so we can discuss (and bemoan) the twists and turns in the plot. After bedtime, Hubby and I were even, with a small enough chunk left and too much suspense to sleep on, and so off he went to the kitchen with the audio, and on I climbed to the couch, to curl up and wade undefended into the final chapters.

And so, in the wake of finishing not just one huge novel, but a whole series, in the aftermath of all that happens and will continue to replay in my head until I give in and reread it (and the series), I bring you a listing of things you may find yourself doing when your own Harry Potter Immersion is over:

– Cast about reading those blogs you’ve been neglecting for a week. Somehow, you appear to be the only person over 30 who has forsaken blogging for reading (again). And they’re writing and writing and writing. And it’s good. But they’re just missing something.

– And so, as you cast about reading the blogs, you will find yourself needing some sustenance of the kitchen cupboard variety. I recommend Chips Ahoy or Golden Oreos (or a delightful combination of both), with a large glass of milk (Nestle Quik optional).

– Having read for a few hours, getting your eyes droopy and realizing how early morning shall come, with the advent of small clunks on the stairs and loud announcements of “I AWAKE!” you might want to enjoy some Vernor’s. It is, after all, non-caffeinated, and besides, there’s nothing like carbonated water to take your *

– When the heat from the underside of the laptop has left lasting imprints on the tops of your thighs (because you stubbornly refuse to leave the couch where you finished The Book), you might consider turning on the fan and turning off the laptop. Those blogs can wait. You aren’t going to sleep, but maybe you can finish one of the other five books you’re reading.

– Then again, maybe you could scamper outside with the dog. He’s bound to find something critter-like and keep you busy and focused and eventually exhaust you.

– The garden, you know, could use some weeding. And while the lighting at midnight is not exactly ideal, what you get done can only help.

– Of course, if you’re feeling motivated, the bathroom could also use some attention.

– Speaking of housework, did I mention the floor in the living room? The kitchen sink?

– But really, who wants to do housework? Waking up Toddler-tron with a wrong move and a loud vacuum would be worse than how you thought the book was going to end. Perhaps, instead, you should apply yourself to organizing the desk. You know, the one that you’ve been meaning to clean off for…two – or is it three? – months?

– Ah, but all this considering will probably give you enough of the relaxation you need to curl up with a book of short stories – pick one, there are a few laying around – and read yourself off to a jolly good (if too short) visit with the Sandman.

* Apparently, the Vernor’s will have the effect of making you forget to finish your paragraph… 🙂