“I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you know?” (Ernest Hemingway)
Not too long ago, a blog reader said she noticed I do my posts in the wee hours; she wondered if I had trouble sleeping.
I thought it was interesting that she had noticed that. But I’ve noticed it too. It seems like such a little thing, yet it is one of a few big changes brought on by the unexpected life.
I remember the good old days, pre the unexpected life, when I could sleep at night, as well as the last night I slept: March 17, 2009. It was the morning after that night, when I woke up and my life fell apart.
Since that time, I’ve had a lot of sleepless nights. I don’t know the sole cause for my insomnia, but it probably had something to do with shock, trauma, grief, stress, strain, worry, fear, financial devastation, life loss, divorce, sleeping alone for the first time in 20 years, and feeling so alone. At first, I couldn’t help but count my troubles like I had once counted sheep. However, that type of score keeping is not sleep inducing. In fact, it is not conducive to anything.
Life’s too short to engage in unproductive activities or behaviors. Time is too precious. So I had to let that go.
Now, instead of counting my worries before I attempt to rest, I count my blessings. I keep a little notebook by the side of my bed and try to take a few minutes at the end of each day to write something I’m grateful for. Every day there is something. You just have to look, and let your eyes see what is right in front of them.
For example, “When we were children we were grateful to those who filled our stockings at Christmas time. Why are we not grateful to God for filling our stockings with legs?” (G.K. Chesterton)
Most days, I have to stop myself because my hand gets tired from writing so much, or because my eyes begin to blur or because I’ve fallen asleep for a few minutes with the pen in my hand.
And now you have it.
My cure for insomnia, developed under the tutelage of the unexpected life.
“Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.” (Brian Tracy)