The saga usually starts with having to go to the bathroom, as I roll over crack my eye to register 2:16 A.M. on the alarm clock on my bedside table. I get up and do my business, and return to bed, eager to fall back under the mysterious spell of sleep. Until I start thinking.
This past week, it was unexpected lightning keeping me up. Sometimes, it’s the next day’s big task, or the scary and/or intense movie I watched the previous evening. Sometimes, a sin that is weighing on me. Any way the chaos slices itself, the thoughts sift through my head until I realize that has to be at least twenty or thirty minutes since I first woke.
The sound of trains and traffic rolling outside my window hound me as my head spins. Sometimes, that waking time can be spent prone on the bed, as I mull whatever’s troubling me and pray it out. But once I’ve become conscious of that I have a phone with limitless access within reach that may have updates on its screen.
Oh, the beckoning phone. Sure, sometimes it’s necessary to get up and distract myself, but the burning of brain cells in the darkness to my iPhone can do as much to do as much to make me anxious as it does to burn time, especially when it sends me down the path of old mistakes.
Even as I lie tossing and turning, I long for the bright dreamscapes of my mind’s eye. Sure, there are nights when I have nightmares that drive me to keep my eyes open for fear of a revisit, but on most nights, I relish the bright worlds I go to. And I’m cranky and fail to think straight when I don’t sleep enough.
The choice of whether or not to get up is always an angsty one. Watch some TV or read some article, or walk a bit to get rid of some of the anxiety. No matter how I shape it, if I do get up, I’ll have lost an hours’ sleep, likely more. And it’s burdening.
But sometimes that extra time in thought or prayer is enough to convince to take a new road in life, or to change courses. Usually, the revelations aren’t big, but they are meaningful enough to get me going in the right direction. And most of the time, I’ll block out any incurred sleep deprivation over time.
Down and Out…