Archives for posts with tag: 3 am eternal

I’m okay. Just awake, for a moment. It’s nothing.

I think I have already picked up a head cold, following the local relaxing of mask requirements. A sneeze woke me. I will go back to sleep after I finish this glass of water, and take some cold medicine.

My conveniently timed appointment with my therapist yesterday was helpful. I don’t necessarily feel any lighter of heart, but I feel that I understand myself a bit more. I’m not being so hard on myself, as a result. That actually helps. Be kind to yourself and the people around you. These are difficult times.

I got a walk in, after my appointment. Shared lunch with my Traveling Partner. Made a point to meditate. Now, here, in these quiet wee hours of morning, mind soft and open, and not feeling pressed for time, or under attack by “everything”, I am making time to write, and reflect. Feels good to take better care of the woman in the mirror.

Spring is almost here, again, already. It’s definitely a good time to begin again.

Spring flowers in the garden.

It’s 3 a.m.

I woke unexpectedly. Like… fully awake. Even “rested”. Mind restless. I wander around the hotel room aimlessly for some minutes. Drink some water. Use the restroom. I finally just put on jeans and a sweater, my coat, and went outside into the fresh air for a few minutes.

The night air was mild. The city sleeping around me is quiet. There was a sea breeze carrying a hint of nearby ocean along with it. The sound of the wind pushing between the buildings overcomes my tinnitus for awhile. I stand in the twilight of street lights in the wee hours, alone. I enjoy the quiet. I enjoy the breeze.

For a moment, I am not in any pain at all. I stand quietly enjoying the moment without asking it any questions.

Back in the room, some minutes later, I open a fresh bottle of water, cold from the refrigerator, and take an antacid. Now, here I find myself, at 3 a.m., sipping water in the glow of the laptop screen, writing about a sleepless moment in the wee hours, alone in a strange city. It’s not any sort of remarkable moment, either. I’m just… here. Awake at 3 a.m.

My alarm is set for 5 a.m. with a busy work day planned ahead of me. I could stay awake. I could return to sleep. It doesn’t matter too much which I choose to do, really. If I don’t – or can’t – sleep, it’s not a big deal; I feel relatively well-rested as things are now. If I can – and do – return to sleep, it’ll be nice to get a bit more rest; these long work days take a lot out of me.

I sit quietly a few minutes. No agenda. No stress. Stalled for a moment, without stress, just sitting quietly. I sit. I breathe. Slowly I begin to feel the soft edges of sleepiness begin to wrap my consciousness in a foggy blanket.

I woke at 3:00 am this morning. No reason for it as far as I could tell. Lately I’ve been feeling very fatigued, and my sleep was definitely disturbed by the recent hot weather. It’s cooler again, now, for the time being. Yesterday I powered through the fatigue of recent days and the headache that I woke with, mostly fueled by the emotional energy of excitement, having accepted a suitable job offer. I crashed hard, pretty early, after enjoying the evening with my partner. This morning, I woke at 3:00 am, after only 6 hours of sleep. I wanted to go back to sleep, but sleep was having nothing to more to do with me, this morning. It was sufficiently clear that sleeping was concluded I simply got up, and made my coffee.

Before dawn the only glow is in the art on the walls, not the sky beyond the window.

Before dawn the only glow is in the art on the walls, not the sky beyond the window.  “Without Substance” 11″x 14″ acrylic on canvas w/glow 2016

So, it’s back to the day-to-day grind of ‘gainful employment’… if I sound less than enthusiastic, it’s only because I don’t define the quality of my life by whether or not I am doing work for someone else in exchange for money. I enjoy my leisure time, and certainly there is enough I’d like to do with my time to fill all of it quite nicely without giving any of it away.  On the other hand, the offer I accepted is a very good move in a new direction, and I am genuinely stoked about that. Balance. I am also not being rushed back into the workforce; I’ll have a couple more weeks off before I get back to commuting.

My thoughts are interrupted by a cat complaining outside my window. I don’t have a cat, myself, so I know it isn’t mine. The plaintive wails are not those of pain or suffering as much as a call for companionship. I am on the edge of the park, and there is a lot of wildlife. It isn’t unusual to see a neighbor’s cat patrolling along the edge of the tall grass that separates the residential community from the park itself, but less interesting than the other visitors. Occasionally, raccoons wander up to the patio at dawn, or at dusk. Possums, too. Squirrels are plentiful, as are rabbits (though I don’t see them as often).  There are nutria, and beavers. The beavers are reclaiming trails and swaths of park, marsh, and meadow, by damming the creek here and there, causing flooding in areas that were once planned around human traffic. I’ve heard coyotes, but haven’t seen any. I spotted a young bob cat a bit less than a year ago, but haven’t seen it since construction began and ended in that area. There are herons, cranes, eagles, and hawks, and all manner of small woodland, marshland, and meadow birds. There are crows by the dozens, and woodpeckers are common. I smile, recalling happy hours sitting on my meditation cushion at the patio door, watching a sunrise, or the birds at the feeder. I yield to the bliss of this moment of contentment and contemplation. Right now, in this one singular moment, I don’t need more. This is enough.

The sky is beginning to lighten. The clock counts off the minutes, and the day advances. No headache this morning. No back pain for the time being. A rare pain-free morning? An unexpected bonus. It’s even a Friday without plans, aside from one new-job-related errand I will run later today. I feel myself relax, really relax. Was it stress that woke me, finding me wide awake and alert, so early? I yawn. 4:30 am? Why am I even awake? As I relax, sleepiness creeps over me. Seriously? I just finished my coffee…! I turn the idea of going back to bed over in my head… no reason not to…although I am already awake, already caffeinated, and already alert and active…Am I really sleepy, or tired enough to sleep more? Puzzled over the wave of sleepiness that hit me as I finished my coffee, and unsure what to do about it, I decide on meditation, next. Regardless, it’s a day with a pleasant start. That’s enough. The rest of it I’ll fill out with verbs, and see where it goes. 🙂

I woke crying, at 3:00 am. Not loud frightened sobbing, as from a nightmare, just fat wet tears rolling hot and plentifully down my cheeks. My thoughts were empty, my emotions breaking against the stony silence as I considered them. A year ago, a wake up call like that one would have doomed the day, without question. I’d have fought myself for hours, before turning my emotional weapons of mass destruction on any hapless lover who wandered past with a good morning on their lips.

This morning it felt very natural to reach for new tools as I might reach for a tissue, calmly, practically, and without second guessing their utility. A few good deep breaths, a couple of yoga postures I know calm me pretty easily. I ‘made room’ for my emotions; understanding they are part of my experience, I experienced them.  When anger and resentment began to surge from beneath the sad tears, I made room for them, too.  Without delivering the additional blow to my heart of harsh self-criticism, or icy refusal to be compassionate toward myself, my strong emotions didn’t linger. As they began to dissipate, a clearer sense of discontent developed.  I observed my wiley – and highly skilled – brain attempt to position the feelings as being somehow indicative of something more significant than the moment. It felt okay to say to myself “well, maybe, but it’s 4:00 am, and I’m barely awake – why would I act on a feeling like that now?”

In the night I had somehow managed to travel from calm optimism about today, to a sense of resentment, anger, disappointment, foreboding… and as I observed each emotion develop, break against the calm shore of my observation, and fade, I became aware that some of the emotions didn’t seem the slightest bit connected to any ‘real’ factual experience or circumstance at all, while others did. I was feeling feelings – and feeling feelings about the feelings I was feeling, as well as feeling feelings about feeling feelings about the feelings I was feeling.  I almost laughed out loud in the shower. The moment of bewilderment and humor gave me a precious gift – perspective.

A brief good morning in passing with a dear one was a needed moment of connection with a consciousness not my own. “You’re up early.” “Yeah, since 3. Just woke up, couldn’t go back to sleep.” It was enough. “I’ve had a restless night, too.” He sympathized.  A human moment. A connection. A shared experience.  He went back to bed. I put on earrings. As I looked at my reflection in the mirror I recognized more than my own face – I recognized that for whatever reason, I had awakened feeling lonely. Even that simple shared moment in passing was enough to restore my feeling of connection.  I made a coffee, took time to meditate from a more wholesome place, and sitting down to write the morning finds me calm.  (No, at 3:00 am I did not know this would be the outcome.)

It’s relevant to what I observed last night about my experience. Changes. I am in less of a state of emotional disarray, generally speaking.  I guess that makes 2013 a huge ‘life success’. Funny to wake up in tears and in less than 3 hours be feeling not just calm, but actually pleased to be where I am with myself. lol.  What a nice place to be.

Looking forward to the dawn.

Looking forward to the dawn.