Archives for category: Sleepless Nights

Today is turning out to be a less than pleasant day. I mean… it could be worse. I already voted, and it is not a headache to do that in Oregon. So… there’s that. Win? It’s something, at least. I make a point of being aware of the small win. In many other respects today is mostly fairly shitty.

…Well… a whole bunch of the moments are annoying, unpleasant, frustrating, ineffective uses of time, or wasted in a cascade of interruptions when I am struggling to concentrate. I slept badly. It’s been downhill from the moment I woke, although I’m certain that I had choices that could have been chosen rather differently, potentially with better outcomes.

This headache, though. This arthritis pain. Fatigue. Lack of focus. The sensation that I “can’t hear myself think”. A feeling of “falling behind”. The lack of sleep is just the sprinkles on the icing of a relatively crappy day.

…Crappy days are a thing. Everyone gets a few. I try not to take it personally. I try to refrain from allowing my shitty mood to become weaponized. I try not to allow myself to pass on the shitty experience to anyone else.

The work day is almost over. It really hasn’t been “personal”, at all. I’m tired and I’m in pain – that pretty reliably has significant potential to be rendered as “a shitty day”. I imagine shrugging it off, and find myself simultaneously amused and annoyed that the text editor in WordPress does not have a default menu of emoji for day-to-day use, and chuckle to myself when I realize how much I actually do use emoji instead of written word – even at work. Wow. How 21st century am I?

…I guess I’m at least 21st century enough to have a solid grasp of the practices involved in emotional wellness, resilience, and bouncing back from a shitty moment… I know how to begin again. 😉

I’d settled into work for the day, with a reminder to myself to phone the contractor handling the repair work (for the recent water damage). Having heard nothing for more than a week (again), it seemed wise to reach out pro-actively and see what could be delaying the work, and maybe get it scheduled. I felt very grown-up to be so on top of things on a Monday…

…Yeah…

So, just as I was preparing some routine work for follow-up with key stakeholders, fingers flying across my keyboard, I heard the doorbell. A package? So early? (I bet you know where this one is heading!) Yep. Contractors. Here to do dry wall. Wtf?? Nothing on my calendar… nothing coordinated with me… no follow-up since materials were picked. What. The. Fuck.

My Traveling Partner was wakened by the door bell. Hadn’t even had his coffee. My studio and the adjacent room were not ready for contractors to do work; I’d moved a bunch of stuff while my stepson was visiting. Paintings. Computer equipment. Paperwork. Book shelving complete with books. So, I did the only obvious thing… I smiled and welcomed the contractors in after alerting my partner they were here to work. I moved stuff out of their way. I did my best to keep my shit together while my work space was disrupted yet again. Fucking hell.

Things got moved. Including me; I’m in my partner’s game room, working. Whatever. It works, and I greatly appreciate having a partner who is flexible and quick-thinking. I managed to shed minimal tears over generally being faced with further upheaval. Win.

…Now all that’s left is to begin again. 😉

I woke early with a headache. I didn’t sleep well, waking several times for (sometimes) no obvious reason. More than once I woke from dreams of … noise. Just that. Car noise. Truck noise. Construction noise. I would wake to hear only quiet. No real noise. Back to sleep, to dream of noise. It wasn’t a great night.

I woke earlier than the alarm would have gone off by a bit more than an hour. I got up. Meditation. Some yoga. I felt restless and annoyed, headache persisting. I put on my boots and went for a walk. It was dark, quiet, and still. The chilly morning air felt wonderful. The quiet was lovely. The silhouettes of trees and shrubbery created fantastical scenes ahead of me along the way. The headache persisted.

I returned home, still before dawn and no hint of sunrise visible. I made coffee, and sat down with that – and my headache. I finished off the water in my water bottle while I waited for my coffee to cool enough to drink that, instead. About half-way through my coffee, I admitted that “nothing else” had worked to improve this headache, thus far, and took something for it. My Traveling Partner woke, perhaps I banged the drawer or rattled a pill bottle? We spent a pleasant half an hour or so hanging out with our morning coffee before my work day began.

I started my workday with this headache, and it is with me, even now. A soak in the hot tub in the chill of an autumn morning was lovely. Didn’t help with the headache. Lunch with my partner and his son was quite pleasant, too. Still enduring the headache. I’d taken a stronger headache remedy shortly before lunch, and it’s now about an hour later than we finished that meal. I’ve still got the headache, but… maybe it’s improved a bit? It only hurts when I move… and when I sit still. Sometimes it fades into the background for a moment (that’s definitely an improvement).

…I’m not really just whinging about this headache as much as I mean to be pointing out how important the self-care is, even though it isn’t helping the headache much. The self-care is keeping me from becoming a fucking monster and treating everyone around me badly. That’s worth something. It’s not so much that I can feel any notable improvement where the headache is concerned (I can’t) – but I’m not snarling at people. Not blasting anyone with negative emotion over some small thing. I haven’t lost my sense of humor, or become stern. I’m mostly enjoying my day, mostly being someone I can appreciate in my interactions with others (from my own perspective). I’m in pain. I’m not enjoying that, but I’m also not devolving into some shattered broken down thing, or causing a fuck ton of chaos for everyone around me. That’s worth something. Apologies only go so far, so often – sooner or later we have to take steps to change problem behavior. For real. Headaches and all.

Fuck this headache, though. Damn.

I slept like crap last night. I woke shortly after 1:00 am, and never really went back to sleep in any restful way. I wasn’t “tossing and turning” or frustrated with my sleeplessness. It was just there, and the night was what it was. I was noise sensitive once I woke, so the industrial gear in my studio drying out the water damage from the leak we found some days ago seemed more than usually noisy. Not helpful. Mysterious creaks and miscellaneous “new house” sounds I still haven’t figured out added to the “din” (in the quiet of night). I was light sensitive, too; every time I turned over, my awareness of some small indicator light or power button would re-wake me, seeming infernally bright in the darkness. Add to that my dumb “wearable” fitness device; every movement caused the silly thing to light up to “detect” whether I was awake, catching my eye, and pushing me further from sleep, again.

It just wasn’t a great night for sleeping, for me, I guess. I shrugged it off first thing, after trying to grab another hour of sleep before starting the work day. It didn’t work out very well. You already know how those thing go, right? Best sleep of the night in that last hour, and then… the alarm. LOL It is what it is. I hope I sleep well tonight.

My Traveling Partner spotted my fatigue early on. He’s been supremely considerate and gentle with me, nudging me in the direction of this or that thing I find myself on the edge of losing track of, as the day proceeds. Still managing to stay on track with his own projects, too. I take a moment to drink some water, and feel the love and gratitude that fills my heart when I see him step past the door to the deck, while he works outside in the sunshine. He’s been putting in the hours and the effort to help make our home together here really special. I often find myself wondering what other small thing I can do to show him how much I appreciate all of it, or to lift him up when he’s having a down moment or a frustrating challenge. I catch myself thinking of him, and I smile so hard my face hurts. It’s a nice problem to have.

My partner calls me out onto the deck to see how the new skirting on the hot tub looks. Wow. Project well-finished, and very little left to do. I feel loved and cared for. Appreciated. Understood. He… “gets me”. I take some pictures. Say some pleasant words. I’m still so tired… my thoughts are disorganized. Time to call it a day… wait…

…My work day ended moments ago, and I still feel groggy and stupid. lol

I’m sipping my coffee, watching the dawn become day. I can’t honestly say the morning is “routine”; the move into this house is still quite recent, and a great many of my routines are altered, or broken. The “new normal” is still developing, and I don’t really know what that will look like, in days or weeks, or months, or two years from now. I breathe, exhale, relax, and let that go. The new normal does not need my help, it’ll be what it is once it becomes so. 🙂

…This coffee is fairly terrible…

There is a work day ahead of me. I’m struggling to fully embrace that. I’m tired, as a result of sleeping… poorly? That’s not wholly accurate. The sleep I got was deep and restful. It was just interrupted, a lot, and it takes a lot of 90 minute to 2 hour naps to achieve a restful night’s sleep. lol I feel distracted by tiredness. (I also feel acutely aware there is another, more appropriate word for “tiredness” that I can’t quite recall…) I’d very much like the day to be over, so I can go back to sleep. LOL It’s not quite 6:00 am. So unlike me.

This morning I am lost in thought, contemplating “fairness” and “unfairness”, and what it means to have a “level playing field” in life (or love). I am giving thought to how easily I take things personally – even knowing that generally speaking, “it isn’t personal” applies to most situations. Even those few that are direct, targeted, willful acts (or words) of aggression between human beings aren’t really “personal” – they have ever so much more to do with the person doing the thing than they are ever about the person against whom the words or acts are directed. I mull that over awhile, and drink my coffee.

recommended summer reading

I sit quietly with this moment, and this fairly terrible cup of coffee. I feel fortunate in life (and in love, if I’m being real). I feel grateful for what I have, how far I’ve come, and how much chaos has been transformed into order, and yes, even how much healing has occurred, over time. I sit quietly, and let the scales gently balance, metaphorically speaking. It’s so easy to become entangled with a partner’s experience, or to internalize world drama or conflict. It’s easy to take small things personally, or to make much of something small. It’s easy to wreck the experience of a singularly pleasant moment with a harsh word, a misunderstanding, an erroneous assumption, then place the blame on the circumstances, or some other human being… I sip my coffee aware of the quizzical look on my face. No answers, just questions, and a handful of useful practices. It is, at least, a starting point.

The minutes tick by. The blue morning sky hints at a hot summer day ahead. I wonder what I’ll do with it? Will I be my best self, from moment to moment, or create an emotional inferno of small shit to apologize for, instead? Something in between? (There’s very nearly always “something in between” any two extremes, just saying, “don’t succumb to false dichotomies” is very good advice.) I remind myself that life (and love, and emotion) are very nuanced, filled with subtleties and hidden information. I remind myself to slow down, to be present, to stay centered in my own experience, and in this moment, here. I’m tired… which puts me at risk of drama and bullshit and chaos, but none of that demands that I be a shitty human being – it’s a new opportunity to practice doing a bit more/better at being the woman I most want to be. So… there’s that. 🙂

I notice the time… time to begin again. Again. 😉