I’ve never been good at sleeping.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve had trouble sleeping for one reason or another. Maybe it’s time to just admit I’m a lifelong insomniac. But whatever the cause, I often find myself awake at night when the rest of my immediate world is asleep.
I’d love to tell you something lovely and romantic like “I’m a writer; of course when I can’t sleep at night I get up and write all the things that swirl in my head.”
But that’s not true.
Well, sometimes it’s true. Sometimes I can’t sleep because I do have things swirling in my head that beg to be written down and won’t give me peace until I acquiesce to their urging. But other nights I can’t sleep because the words don’t come and I worry if they ever will.
Many nights, I can’t sleep because my husband snores. Yup. Big time. Snores like a tractor. But on those nights when his snoring makes it difficult for me to sleep, I give him a shove to roll him over and remember how thankful I am to share this life of ours with him. I’d so rather have him snoring beside me than not.
Some nights I can’t sleep because I’m worried about something. Pick a topic and I promise you at some point in my life I’ve worried about it. Maybe my daughter is sick. Maybe I’m worried about a submission I’m working on. Maybe I’m worried about someone else in the family. Maybe it’s bills that need to be paid or laundry that hasn’t been put away. Maybe it’s whether the cat’s medication is working. There’s always something…
Maybe I read a book or watched a movie that was a bit too scary too close to bedtime. Funny at this age to be afraid of the dark and all the things that go bump in the night. But the mind is a powerfully imaginative thing and bedtime entertainment should be carefully considered.
Other nights I can’t sleep because my mind or body won’t let me. Living with ADHD has many challenges and the brain that won’t shut off is one of them. There are nights I would love to sleep, to close my eyes and drop off instantly like some people do. That doesn’t happen. My thoughts are awake always.
Or maybe I can’t sleep because some part of me hurts – a headache maybe, or my arthritis, or maybe I overdid that workout just a bit yesterday. Those nights are never fun.
I spend my sleepless nights in various ways. Sometimes, I do write. Sometimes I read a book or watch reruns of Frasier on the Hallmark Channel. Once when I was about twelve, I couldn’t sleep and my mom needed to so rather than keep her up all night, I watched a movie – The Glory Guys – in my beanbag chair in the living room. I still remember that vividly.
Some nights I walk around the house, counting cats and maybe quietly straightening up this or that. I make lists of things I need to do. Sometimes I sit by the window and watch the silent world, wondering who is awake and what they are doing behind the other lighted windows I see. Some nights I pray.
Sometimes I wonder if maybe I just like the way the world feels when everything else is still.
This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post.
This week’s sentence is “When I can’t sleep, I…”