These Summer Nights

I don’t know if its the long days, or the pile of stuff in our garage that we moved from Winnipeg, but something is keeping us up at night. We’ve been taking turns getting out of bed. Clarence covers the two to four shift, I take over until six. After that, we try to get some sleep. This is a relatively new thing, because in the past we almost never had insomnia at the same time.

We know all the tricks. Don’t turn on lights when you get up to pee. Don’t think about anything as you stumble back to bed. And never talk to your partner. This is my husband’s idea, because I am more than willing to let the complaining portion of the night begin. Faking sleep sometimes tricks my brain, but not lately. We’re thinking of trying my friend’s trick, where you and your partner switch sides. For Sonia and Tom, this is a completely normal thing to do. To me, it’s the wackiest thing I’ve ever heard. And yet, I will probably give it a try.

We’ve had a busy time, lately. That might be part of our problem. Come the fall, I’ll be more than ready to settle into a new routine. The garage, by some miracle, might be empty. Ideally, we’ll turn off all our devices by nine, be in bed by ten. This will leave us a good hour for reading. I know the feng shui-ers frown on books in the bedroom, but it’s a childhood habit I plan on keeping.

The worst part about not sleeping is that every problem gets blown out of proportion. Even the stuff that’s not a problem. Gardening, dentist appointments, weight gains, worrying about weight gains because you know that lack of sleep is a contributor. The brain starts looping from one thing to the next until life begins to feel like a dystopian novel. As John Travolta sings, ‘Summer dreams, ripped at the seams.’ That’s for sure. I can’t even go outside and stand in the middle of our lawn to stare up at the starry sky. It’s always been my favorite thing to do when I can’t sleep. But that’s been stripped away and we haven’t got our new sod yet. Sigh.

The minute the sun goes up, though, I’m able to shake off all the night time wackiness and revert to normal thinking. ‘What was that about?’ I ponder as I prepare my morning cup of tea. The oceans aren’t rising all that fast. Clarence does not have to start building a raft from our left over deck lumber.

Today we started meditating with Oprah and Chopra, free online and very relaxing. I sat in a yoga like position while Clarence rested on the sofa. He started snoring about half way through, but I’m assuming that’s because he was really into it. As we chanted quietly to ourselves, I pictured us having a restful night.

Yes, I’m willing to change from my side of the bed to his, if that’s what it takes. But I’m hopeful that Deepak Chopra is right. Staying in the moment will ‘unstick’ me from this restlessness, sending me into the child like sleep I often experience in winter. As for you, dear friends, I wish you no ripped seams, or floods, no nights of dark planning. Just pleasant and restful sleep. So be quiet, now, and please, don’t turn on the light.

Published by Judith Pettersen

Judith Pettersen is an author living in Canada. She blogs about her life in the north and the ups and downs of being a writer.

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