Archives for category: Sleepless Nights

By the time I got home last night, my brain was just… done. I don’t even have any particular recollection of the evening, aside from a brief chat with my Traveling Partner. I crashed out a little earlier than “on time”.

I wake this morning to a gray storm-cloudy not-quite-sunrise of a dawn, after an interrupted night of otherwise deep sleep. The morning seems both very ordinary, and also a little strange, and a bit surreal. I have the peculiar subjective sense that I’m seeing things differently than usual, but can’t pin down anything obvious. A potential sign of mental fatigue requiring better rest than I’m getting. I’m not surprised, if that’s the case; I’ve been giving a bit more than all of myself at work for the past several days, working to complete a complex bit of analytical work in advance of a deadline. I haven’t been sleeping particularly well. I dream about work. I’m super glad this is the last work day in my week. I’m ready for some rest.

I pause to appreciate a small change that has developed over time; I am more aware of the rhythms of my experience. I more easily observe when poor quality sleep becomes, over time, an impediment to cognition and emotional balance. I am more likely to be aware when the pattern of my emotional “weather” changes over the course of the day, in such a way as to indicate I am more deeply fatigued than I may realize. I am more able to recognize when – and how – I need to step up my self-care, to support and nurture this fragile vessel for further lifetime’s enjoyment. It’s nice. (It took – and takes – practice, and my results vary.)

I think about a friend I know is suffering right now. I think about how far I’ve come, and how little certainty I felt then that my experience would change. I had no understanding that change could bring me to “now” – or that “now” could be this good. I still have some shitty moody angst-y despairing or angry or irritable, frustrated, rage-y moments. That’s what they are, too. Moments.

One moment of many.

Lately, for the past 2-3 days only, I’ve been waking feeling pretty generally content but finishing the day feeling moody, disappointed with life, frustrated, and angry without any particular cause that makes sense. It was last night, sitting quietly with my fatigue and making no point to distract myself from it, that I became re-aware that deeper, prolonged mental fatigue, tends to also coincide with that pattern of slowly losing emotional resilience over the course of the day. I am more self-aware and inclined to observe my experience without judgement these days, and it’s delightful to note that the pay-off seems, in this instance, that I will be able to avoid some unfortunate meltdown or freak out, that would ordinarily go down just at that point that I am not aware how deeply fatigued I am, at the end of some long (probably joyful and exciting) day, because instead I’ll get some damned rest this weekend. 😀

…I make a point of checking my calendar, of course… Well. Obviously, a weekend which I am counting on for rest is that rare weekend fully booked with events, errands, and tasks. LOL Shit. I sit smiling under my furrowed brown, chewing on my lip, mildly frustrated, a tad annoyed… I’m replacing the car windshield; a non-negotiable errand that needs to be done. No room for change there. An appointment with my stylist for Saturday… I could cancel a haircut and reschedule… but it’s hard to get those Saturday appointments. So. A great opportunity to point out how good self-care intentions go sadly wrong. You can say “I told you so” when I’m cross and moody on Monday morning. 😉

I won’t be running myself ragged this weekend, in any case. I’ll make a point of resting, and treating myself with care, gently, because I matter to me. Camping next weekend. My birthday the weekend after that. I suddenly feel tired before those events even get to “now”; my brain is reminding me to take getting some rest seriously. I sass myself silently with a smile and daydream about relaxing out among the trees next weekend. I’ll certainly get the rest I need then, but I know that doesn’t change how much rest I need, now. 😀

Fatigue changes the emotional weather, and the emotional landscape. Just saying. I have become more aware how important it is to get the rest I need.

Speaking of rest… it’s already time to go and do and be. One more work day – then rest.

 

I’d just barely hit “publish” on yesterday’s blog post when a severe OPD storm blew in. Other People’s Drama splashed all over my doorstep, and a tsunami of emotion blasted my morning, my afternoon, and my day generally.

In moments of gloom, there are often still flowers.

I am not the sort of person to turn someone fleeing domestic violence away from a moment of safety, though, and my OPD-free zone is certainly a safe space. I invited my friend in, and started working to help her calm herself; difficult decisions in life are most easily made from moments of calm, I find. I make a point of checking in with myself regularly, too, because this shit hits all of my buttons, and I am myself on the edge of panic being around domestic violence, at all.

When conditions are right, flowers bloom.

My friend and I took a walk through the park, “enjoying” the flowers. To be more precise, I was enjoying the flowers, my friend was moping along beside me, less than fully engaged in the moment. I didn’t really intend to give up on 100% of the beauty and fun of my weekend, just because someone else has drama to choose to invest in. 🙂 It was a lovely walk, and I’m sure the fresh air and sunshine did her some good too. She talked. I listened. Sometimes I talked. I hope she made a point of listening, but it’s not something I can confirm with any confidence. We walked in silence some, too. I did my best to respect her emotional experience and be present, welcoming, and comforting.

I’m not always sure what one flower or another actually is, and this does not stop me from enjoying them.

She figured out what to do with herself in the short-term, and where to go. Her things were already packed up and ready for all of that. I gave her a ride. I gave her hugs. I gave her my time. I came home. The evening from that point was very quiet. Her now-ex is a friend, too. I know he must be hurting, and I’m here, even for him, if he wants to talk. He hasn’t reached out. I don’t expect that he will. The situation saddens me. Not my circus. Not my monkeys. Not my drama.

Sometimes, a closer look.

I slept restlessly, waking often toward the end of the night. My restlessness got me out of bed more than once, to walk through and around the apartment before returning to bed, no particular purpose in mind. It was a weird night. I sip my coffee contemplating the weekend behind me, and the day ahead. Yesterday’s investment in drama was time-consuming; I didn’t get my laundry done, and I didn’t paint my nails. I didn’t read that book I started. I didn’t get much housework done. All of that will inconvenience or annoy me this week, at some point, more than likely…but… what I did do counts too, and comes up less often; I spent time with a friend who needed me.

It’s a journey.

Still, I’m looking around the place this morning and recognizing opportunities to take better care of the woman in the mirror. Today seems like a good day to begin again. 🙂

 

Changes of plan are just a thing. As much as I enjoy the safe comfort of planning my day, my week, some moment, or even life – plans are only plans. The map is not the world. The journey is independent of the destination (which oddly seems to remain true even from the perspective that the journey is the destination…).

My plan, this weekend, was first to see some acreage Friday. It went pending and changed my plans. There is more to see, and I could drive out to see it today. The drive would be lovely regardless. I’d settled on getting the windshield of the car repaired or replaced on Friday and made time for that, but it turned out there was no available appointment time on that day, and that’s now scheduled for next Friday. Okay, no problem…but I was also going to get the car detailed, after the windshield was replaced, and it’s pointless to do so with that crack in the windshield…so… no. Next week. Okay… well… it was a lovely day, yesterday, and friends and I made the decision, rather spontaneously, to drive out to the coast together, today. I woke in pain, couldn’t make myself really wake up very well, and drifted in and out of sleep a long while until something like sleeping in happened, which sort of through off the timing of the day, but beyond that, I woke in too much pain to spend a large part of the day in the car. Again, the plan for the weekend changes. I’m not even complaining, just observing how little effect on my reality my plans have had at all. lol

I sip my second coffee rather sleepily, and nibble on a breakfast salad of garden-fresh vegetables, wilted greens, and still-warm hard-boiled egg. I’m pretty sure I could go back to sleep this very moment, if it weren’t for the pain I’m in directing me rather firmly to get out of bed and move around some. At this point, I’ve given up planning anything at all with what little remains of the weekend. Maybe a hike? Unscripted, unplanned – really just a walk down the nearest trail for some comfortable distance, and then returning home? I may be up to that. 🙂 Or a nap. A nap later sounds lovely, too. No planning required, just a modest amount of attention to the quantity of coffee I drink. 🙂

Mornings, moments, plans, dreams… and another cup of coffee. A little later, perhaps I will begin again. 😀

I’m slow to wake up this morning, even though I woke quite naturally minutes before the alarm would go off. I almost fell asleep again. My night was restless, interrupted by wakefulness, disturbed by strange dreams of disappointment and sad surprise. The worst of those was surreal and hard to distinguish from “real” and I was glad wake to this world, here.

I had dreamt that my Traveling Partner stopped taking my calls, or coming around. We didn’t divorce… he just…sort of… drifted away and became inaccessible. He chose to distance me, but there was no resolution, no certainty. I woke feeling odd, rather than broken, feeling stalled instead of wounded, and mostly just fairly confused that such a thing could be – or that I could even imagine it. I returned immediately to sleep, and to further strange dreams.

It was a  weird night. This morning I am sluggish and my consciousness creeps along slowly instead of soaring. No headache for now, though, that’s nice. My back doesn’t feel unmanageably stiff, either. Also win and good. 🙂 My coffee is hot, tasty (well, for some values of “tasty”; if you don’t like coffee you would likely disagree). I still struggle to really “get going”. I think ahead to the weekend. The blues and grays of dawn sky filled with big fluffy clouds is breaking up and revealing the possibility of blue sky later. The not-yet-peach-or-pink lines of imminent sunrise silhouette the trees on the skyline. I think about hiking. I think about a piece of land I am looking at this weekend and wondering what the sky looks like from that vantage point? I think about the beach, and wonder when I’ll next see the sunset there. I get all the way to recollections of humid summer mornings of childhood, on the screened in porch, sipping root beer after swim lessons before I realize that my brain is “idling” in neutral. I’m just sipping coffee, gazing out at the sunrise contentedly, as recollections and daydreams flow through my still-waking consciousness. I could so easily return to sleep from here. lol

I begin again. I pull my spine erect and find healthier posture that improves the odds I’ll still be mostly pain-free at the other end of the day. I breathe deeply. I finish my coffee and dance to a current favorite piece of music. The day ahead is the last of the work week for me, now. Fridays and Saturdays will be my days off for some time to come. It’s a good fit for me.

As I wake more fully I feel myself vaguely yearning for… something. A moment. Something specific, but just out of reach… I miss my Traveling Partner. My unsettling strange dream finds me taking a moment to fully appreciate the joy in the relationship we share, and all the ways that we are “there for each other”. We’re planning to spend time together on an upcoming weekend (my birthday). I smile. No doubt that will meet many needs. 🙂 In the meantime, I do my own thing quite contentedly, eyes wide to the wonders that life reveals, and taking care of me. I do miss morning coffee together, or brunch… I’ll have to invite him to do that sometime soon. 🙂

The sun is nearly up. The sky is light, and shades of green, lawn, leaf, and tree, are varied and easily seen as distinct. Streaks of magenta, rose, and violet peep through the trees, separating the blue and grays of the lingering clouds from the blue sky trying so hard to take over the day. In an instant, the clouds are painted in hues of orange all along their underside; the sun has risen fully, just beyond what I can see – but I see the clouds. As I watch the sky change color like a Polaroid, I feel the energy of the day to come fill me up with eagerness.

There’s an entire day ahead!

I am awake. It’s time to begin again. 🙂

I don’t know that it is actually an important thing. It’s an experience. A moment. I woke up crying. It’s not the first time. It may not be the last time. I wandered the limited space of my apartment in the darkness as if both seeking out whatever is distressing me, and also, perhaps, attempting to sneak away from it. I pace aimlessly, while plentiful hot tears spill silently down my cheeks, dripping from my face. I flutter a bit. I feel edgy and restless fighting off… what? I feel the mental machinery begin to spin up for a night of over-thinking this.

Then I begin again.

I breathe. I relax. I sit the fuck down and let the pacing and mindless cycles of movement end, in favor of a moment of self-inventory. I briefly take stock; what’s up with me? What do I need from myself? I pull myself back into this moment, here, in the quiet darkness, in the wee hours. I blow my nose. I let the tears fall without criticism. The living room is very quiet. The world feels very quiet from this quiet vantage point. I feel my emotional state shift. My tears dry. I’m okay right now. The moment passes. I meditate awhile longer. Life’s practical burdens sometimes feel heavier than they need to. It’s not about the weight, though – it’s about the journey.

I’ll sleep again, when sleep comes. I’m not quite there as I get up from my cushion, alone in the darkness. I won’t feel like writing about this tomorrow, after waking from some other moment altogether. In fact, maybe I won’t write tomorrow, I think to myself as my feet take me into the studio to while away some minutes wakefully… I’ll write now. I’ll write about this… Maybe I’ll sleep in. I feel calm. Sleep sounds good…

…Tomorrow I can begin again.