Archives for posts with tag: sleeping and waking

My dreams chased me through war zones and down dark hallways last night. I’m sipping my coffee grateful to escape The Nightmare City without much else to say about it. Definitely nightmares. Not such a big deal now that I am awake.

…I have a dim recollection of being awake during the night…

…This coffee is good. This moment, right here, is just fine. I sit with my coffee, present in my moment. It’s a better way, than older, other ways. It’s enough.

Bleary-eyed, content, and more or less awake, it’s time to begin again. 🙂

Weird morning. Restless night. I’m struggling to wake up fully. I’m feeling a bit uninspired by the day ahead – which is completely unfair to a day that is not yet started. There’s no knowing from this vantage point what the day may hold. I remind myself to give it a chance, and contentedly (if somewhat groggily) sip my coffee.

Rain-soaked park

The rain fell steadily yesterday. There is rain in today’s forecast, too. My perspective on rainy days sometimes changes, dependent on “having to” go out in it, or “getting to” go out in it. My hike yesterday, through the rain-soaked park, was lovely and I greatly enjoyed it. I’m less enthusiastic about my commute to work on rainy mornings. It’s odd that there is any difference in my appreciation for the rainy walk, considering I like both the walking, and the rain.

My wee container garden 

I spent some time in the garden, weeding potted miniature roses, taking note of winter losses, and planting some greens. I didn’t mind the steady drizzle then, any more than I minded on my morning walk. The sound of the wind-chime, and the musical ping of raindrops on the flue cover was delightful. I considered what the future holds for my wee garden, when I move to a home of my own… these roses have always been potted, except for one. I am eager to see them grow into the earth, and reach for the sky, once planted in beds and borders. What will I use the containers for, then? An unanswered question without any urgency to carry along with me while I look at houses, and consider each in the context of being my own.

The weekend is behind me, now. Another busy work week begins. I sip my coffee and consider what I can easily do to support myself today. Slow to wake up, and feeling sort of cross, still feeling some cold symptoms (that have still not become anything more noteworthy)… It seems a good day to treat myself well, and with consideration… How best to do so is the only question, now. How to similarly treat others well is another worthy question to consider.

One task after another, one question after another, one moment after another, the morning begins to take shape, and from there, the day. Today it’ll have to be enough to do my best, and to be considerate. We are each having our own experience. It’s a very human one.  🙂

Nightmares woke me early this morning. I sat trembling, drenched in sweat, for some minutes wracked with sobbing before I was entirely certain that I was awake, and that I’d had a nightmare. I let the Nightmare City fade from my recollection, content that in forgetfulness I would also find relief. My distress passed pretty quickly; I have made this space very safe feeling, and my bedroom walls are hung with art, my art, and I chose pieces with positive meaning – and a lot of glow. Even in the darkest times, I am easily able to re-orient myself upon waking, and I know I am safe, and at home.

Straight from waking abruptly in tears, to meditation, and then to a soothing hot shower; I am okay now. It’s a lovely quiet morning, and the chaos and damage amounts to so much less of my experience these days. Some nightmares are tougher to get past than others, and this was one such – not the nightmare of graphic horrors, rather it was the nightmare of bitter disappointment, cynicism, sorrow and loss. The nightmares of sorrow are sometimes much harder to get over, for me; they seem very real and difficult to dispute. It’s a very human thing to have a nightmare, and I am grateful to be awake, however early. I am grateful to have come so far that I can look my insecurities in the face this morning and admit to myself that I have them, and also observe that as with other constructs of my mind, they lack substance, and they lack factual support. I smile at the woman in the mirror, and make coffee.



By the time I have coffee in hand, with cream and sugar this morning, I am dressed for work and wearing a smile. Today feels good. My arthritis pain is there, but in the background and less immediately relevant to my experience. The apartment is nicely tidy, and I am content with the life I am living. I am able to smile over the weekend that didn’t go at all as planned, and look ahead to a lovely evening in the company of my traveling partner, and to a far future that is not determined and wide open with possibilities remaining to be chosen. I have succeeded in setting myself free of so many limitations I had held onto – clung to – for so long. I have no idea at all what the future holds, beyond the questions, and the choices; I have been choosing change long enough to unravel all potential predetermination on which I might have settled. The reality of it feels much better than the fear of doing so told me it would. 🙂

Fear isn’t a joke. It can become a crippling disability, stalling me from within, limiting me, fighting any hint that I may do or be or go or have…something. Every now and then, Fear will throw a consolation prize my way, and nudge me into making choices that ‘keep me safe from harm’ but it is by far more common that my fears merely limit me to no good purpose. Fear lacks a subtlety of purpose, and is something of an emotional dinosaur, and I find it is best not to indulge it.

This weekend, having the use of my traveling partner’s car while he was out of town, I used it to drive across town to the concert on Saturday. Ordinarily I would eschew the highway in favor of quieter back roads, side streets, anything to avoid the freeway; that’s Fear talking, right there. I am actually very uneasy about freeway driving at this time in my life, largely because of the number of people I can easily see are actually on their cell phones and don’t have their eyes on the road – which I do find quite terrifying, honestly. Still…this particular weekend, I put my fears aside quite willfully, and took the freeway, both directions. As it turned out, it wasn’t a big deal at all, and definitely  shortened my drive time. Small choices to disarm my fears make big differences in my day-to-day experience of my life – and of myself, but I lack the vocabulary to describe the change easily. Is it enough to say that the less power Fear has in my experience, the calmer and more centered I feel? The stronger I find myself? The more willing I am to tackle other things about which I feel uneasy, or reluctant?

Choosing change isn’t always ‘easy’ – and it isn’t ‘effortless’, ever. Choosing change requires a certain vulnerability, and a willingness to be aware, and accepting, of that thing that I am inclined to change. The fun of it is that these are my choices to make, fully my own, and if they go poorly – I can make other changes as well. Living is not much about permanence. There’s very little of that to go around. It’s not the point at all, is it? Change, though, and the will to choose change, is a thing that gives us some say in the impermanence of our lives and our experience… There’s plenty to consider there, for a Tuesday morning.

It's a journey with a lot of stairs to climb...

It’s a journey with a lot of stairs to climb…

Are you sad? Unhappy with circumstances? Mired in tedium? Bored with ‘everything’? Frustrated with feeling stuck? Sorrowful? Wrapped in ennui? Chronically angry? Tragically wounded? Just spinning your wheels in life, metaphorically speaking, and going nowhere? There’s hope! There is change – and it is always always always within reach to choose it. (Having said that, I will also observe that it isn’t always the change that I think I want most that is most easily within reach, and sometimes the menu isn’t full of options I favor highly…but those things do not stop me from choosing change.) Change is, regardless; if I don’t make choices based on meeting my needs over time, pursuing the life I most want to live, and move forward on my journey with my will intact, I will nonetheless experience change. In the choosing lies great power; I am my own cartographer. At each intersection in life I choose the direction of my journey, myself. How about you?

...And there's no rush; the journey remains worthy when I take the time I need for me.

…And there’s no rush; the journey remains worthy when I take the time I need for me.

Today is a good day to choose change, and to embrace a future built on my choices. Today is a good day for practicing the simple basics, and embracing The Big 5 (Respect, Consideration, Reciprocity, Compassion, and Openness) in all my relationships. Today is a good day for deep listening; we all have our own desire to be heard. Today is a good day to change the world.



I didn’t sleep well last night. Actually, I didn’t sleep last night. I went to bed in the evening feeling fully prepared and ready to sleep. I even fell asleep with little effort. For about 2 hours. Then I woke, and dozed, and woke again. I got up around 12:41 am and prowled the house quietly. Then back to bed; there were no monsters. I woke again shortly after 2:00 am, did the trip to the bathroom. Back to bed. Heard my partner wake and move about the house. Another sleepless being. Shortly after, I got up, and got more water. I kept trying to sleep. I kept dozing off, waking, and not sleeping. I figure I may have gotten about 3.5 hours of sleep. I am not rested. I am not alert. I am highly volatile, and likely to be easily irritated. I’m not making predictions or making assumptions; this is my now.

When I got up with the alarm and recognized my state of being for what it is, I made a point of alerting my partner – still awake, himself – and letting him know I’m high risk for tantrums and nastiness this morning. He shifted from delight at seeing me, to concern and tender caution. He made it easy to retreat to my own space, where it is at least quiet, and unlikely that someone will haplessly piss me off, without remembering the fragile state I’m in.

The weekend is a blur. I took yesterday off in observance of Veteran’s Day, so that someone else on my team could take it off today, comfortably. We’re both veterans. I will work today, fuzzy-headed, slowed-down from lack of sleep, irritable, and doing my best to be patient with random people thanking me for my service. (The temptation is always to explain very carefully why it wasn’t worth it, and how the price is too high; I already know they don’t understand, and I generally don’t bother.) They mean well, and generally in the moment they say the words, they are indeed attempting to communicate something heartfelt and important to them. I try to accept it, graciously. I can’t actually offer them absolution, if that is what they are seeking. There is no way to ‘validate their parking’ ethically on matters of war.

I can hear the family, on the other side of the door, talking and laughing. I feel a surge of pointless anger. I’m so tired. The anger isn’t rational, and there is no blame-worthy object at which to direct it. I didn’t sleep. I fell asleep dozens of times, never achieving a deep enough sleep to survive foot steps in the hallway, coughing, toilets flushing, trucks passing by, occasional nose-blowing, drawers, doors, or the noises of the pipes cooling, or whatever it is that pipes do that causes that knocking they sometimes do. These are all everyday sounds. Generally they are not sufficient to keep me awake, or to wake me. Last night I wasn’t sleeping well. Returning to a calm resting place wasn’t too hard. Even if I hadn’t been actually sleeping, and tired, and very much inclined to sleep, there’s always meditation to bring me to the edge of readiness to sleep, and from there it’s usually just a choice. Last night my experience was different. I didn’t sleep well.

Now I’ve been on about it for more than 500 words; it’s hard to think about anything but the sleep, and rest, I desperately need to function well when I didn’t get it. I dread going to work today.

Rain-drenched autumn substitute for sleep.

Rain-drenched autumn flowers…no substitute for sleep.

I hurt this morning, too. I wonder if the pain kept me awake? I don’t recall now. I know I hurt.

Lovely blossoms, just less frequent than spring.

Lovely blossoms, less frequent than spring; even pain doesn’t hide autumn’s loveliness.

I’m almost numb with fatigue. I hadn’t slept well for a few days, although I had at least slept. It wasn’t enough to prepare me for this. I giggle slightly hysterically, frustrated by the rampant typing mistakes this morning, the inappropriate expression of amusement somehow my response to the internal seething. Yep. Tired. It’s going to be an interesting day at the office.

Sometimes the truth isn't grand, or illuminating.

Sometimes the truth isn’t grand, or illuminating.

Today isn’t wasted, in spite of the rough start. There’s always more to learn, and the challenges I face – when I face them well – show my strength. When I am less successful facing my challenges, I learn more, grow more, and find new questions to ask along this journey of discovery. Today is one day I’ll do so from the perspective of great fatigue, and limited resilience. The day is far from wasted; it has the potential to teach me something truly new about what I can do with my choices and my will, and where my values really lie. Today, as days go, is ideal for putting new practices to the test, and for seeing progress and growth in action. Tired isn’t synonymous with poor treatment. I still have choices. I still hold a standard of behavior in my treatment of others – and myself – that puts abuse out of reach, and challenges me to do more, better, on a day like today. Where might that take me? No idea. I know I am loved.

My traveling partner comes to me with a smile, and although my initial reaction is one of caution and suspicion (because I am, frankly, not entirely clear-headed), he reached out with love, wrapped me in his arms and held me, touching me gently, stroking my skin, rubbing my back in places he knows reliably hurt, and folding me in his love. Am I still tired? Oh yeah. Do I still hurt? Yep, unquestionably. I am loved, though, and that goes beyond pain, and beyond fatigue, and touches my heart. Even today.

Lovely autumn roses; more beautiful because they are unexpected.

Lovely autumn roses; more beautiful because they are unexpected.

Today is a good day to do my best. Today is a good day to avoid making assumptions. Today is a good day not to take stuff personally. Today is a good day to be impeccable with my words. Today is a good day to savor pleasant moments with my full attention. Today is a good day to let small stuff go. Today is a good day to be patient with myself, and with others. Today is a good day to take care of me, and mind the basics of good self-care – even if I didn’t get enough _______. (Today it’s ‘sleep’, tomorrow I might forget my vitamins. lol) Today is a good day to build a world that cares for me, by being one person I can always count on to do so.