For two nights in a row I’ve hardly slept at all. Last night started out well. I fell asleep at 10:30. But C. came into my bed at 11:15, calling, “Mom? Mom?” I blew my lid.
I hate yelling, but there I was, yelling, “Are you kidding me? I need a good night’s sleep! Unbelievable! Get back to bed!”
I believe in the future that yelling at children will be looked in the same way we look at hitting children nowadays — a relic of some misguided child-rearing dysfunction.
C. was just being a kid. She was teary. She was probably worried about returning to school after a couple weeks of Christmas vacay. I don’t know what was going on with her, because I didn’t listen. I had no compassion.
At 3 am, after tossing and turning, I tried to express my unhappiness to my husband but he was not as supportive as I needed. He was watching the movie, Mean Bosses. The crazy-ness of his staying up all night (due to his Parkinson’s) contributed to my sleeplessness and, I believe, contributes to the family sleep dysfunction.
“I need a retreat at a convent,” I told my husband in the middle of the night.
I haven’t been writing much. I’m unhappy. “Maybe I should get on anti-depressants or go back to therapy,” I said.
“I know I should work out.” I tried to walk home last night, but it was too cold and I hopped on the bus when it pulled up beside me.
I tossed and turned, my sheets wrapping around me and my melancholy.
I’ve said it before, Mommy needs a good night’s sleep. And last night it just wasn’t happening.
Here are some reasons:
I had worries about getting up early to buy and deliver breakfast to 22 kids at the church lock-in at 7 this morning.
I do too much.
Chris, my husband, is returning home tomorrow after a couple of weeks of being away. It’s an adjustment.
I am worried about the expense and commitment of getting Chris help with daily tasks of living for his Parkinson’s Disease.
It’s 9/11 weekend. It’s depressing.
I’m not exercising much, because of my foot pain.
I’ve focused too much on the kids and establishing their back-to-school routine.
My bedroom is too hot; the air conditioner is too loud.
I went to a MeetUp last night for writers who perform; had a couple of beers. Felt a little jazzed.
I did not write much.
I have anxiety about work and the possible downsizing of our agency.
I guess that’s enough. I finished Donald Miller’s Blue Like Jazz yesterday. I so identified with his discovery that we are open to forgive and love other people way more than we accept ourselves. The point of everything, every encounter — even our encounters with ourselves in the middle of the night — is love.
That is, instead of withholding love to change somebody, I poured it on lavishly. I hoped that love would work like a magnet, pulling people from the mire and toward healing.
This is tough. I have to find a way to love and forgive everybody, including myself; I need more help. Some problems can be resolved with more help and more love, and some with healthier behaviors. Here’s how I answer myself on last night’s worries:
You delivered the breakfast.
You like being busy. Being busy and happy pays off.
You’ll adjust to Chris’s return. You have your own travel plans.
Just spend the money to get Chris help.
This weekend will pass.
Exercise any way. Swim. Bike. Run. Do yoga. Do physical therapy for foot.
The kids are doing great.
Leave the air conditioner on.
Decompress with a book or herbal tea, not a beer.
Let go of the work worries; there’s nothing to be done about them any way.
Writing all this has helped. I need more coffee. Maybe later, I can sneak in a nap. (Or exercise.)