Wednesday, July 27, 2011

As if

I've been having trouble sleeping for a few months now, corresponding with the news that I was going to lose my job. When things are going well and my stress level is low, I'm good for about 6.5 - 7 hours during the week, and maybe 8 on the weekends. I used to think that I needed more sleep during the week, but shooting for 7 seems to work, and I don't feel like my body is run down for it.

When I'm tweaked out about something, or everything, I usually can fall asleep OK, and then I wake up every couple of hours. Sometimes I'm up for an hour or two tossing and turning. Worse is the sort of half-sleep buzz where my eyes are closed, but my mind is going going going, and I feel exhausted the next day.

You'd think, now that my job situation is secure for the next year, that I'd be sleeping like a rock. Or like my dog, who seems to be able to sleep anywhere, any time. But no, I've been beset by the same stuff. I know that part of this is nerves associated with the beginning of a relationship, and that's fine and expected. But by and large, there's this hum of... what? Anxiety, I guess, about finding the job after this one, and I'm not sure what else.

Ack! So I was up at 2 and 4 this morning, with my alarm set for 5:30 (as usual). At 4 I tried my Jedi mind tricks of visualizing punching numbers on a keypad and naming things alphabetically. These things sometimes work to occupy my mind so I can fall asleep. What do I name alphabetically? Well, for a long time it was (don't laugh now) the latin names of wildflowers. You did laugh, darn it. For the last couple of days, it's been spices. Any spices with the letter J? I'll have to get my Penzey's catalog at some point and see if there are any...

These things did not work, but I did get myself all worked up (tears included) over the frustration of being awake when I'm supposed to be resting. My mind, my enemy at that moment. Breathe! Yes, breathing, that's it. No, that wasn't it. More tears.

And then it occurred to me: how about I behave today as if everything is going to work out? How about if I proceed as though things will proceed as they should?

This ended up calmed me down. I'm happy to say that, at least for the moment, I feel much better.


  1. Here's an idea: We could phone each other (or e-mail at least) when we're awake at 2 and/or 4 or times in between! Gaining control of our emotions and minds . . . yup, that's all we have to do. But you put forward a excellent point . . . the fact that we can CHOOSE how to feel and/or react to any situation. Trouble is it's always harder to arrive at that wisdom in the middle of the night when you're feeling bird-bone tired and don't seem to have the strength to combat all thoughts thoughts bouncing off the inner walls of our craniums!

  2. Have you ever thought about trying meditation? It really does help calm the mind.

  3. It gets busy in there, that's true, Mama Pea.

    Mike - I've been dabbling. I think it would help.


Hi, sorry to make the humans do an extra step.