Everyone Has A Story

Life flies by, days mesh together, events and people skim past, barely breaching our periphery. We exist in a state of self-centeredness, driven by a compulsion for the security of routine; barricading ourselves from those who are seemingly insignificant or who have the potential to precariously tip the balance of control one way or the other. Avoiding those who irritate, their presence a friction, rippling the order.

I’ve been victim to this; I am a victim of this. Grasping to the routine, to the known. Head-down in the daily business of my life and my family’s purpose. It’s an addictive comfort, until it consumes you and, all of a sudden, you realize that days, weeks, months have passed; nights thick with insomnia.

And then, boom, something happens. Be it as big as tragedy, as delightful as serendipity, as random as reading.

You are shaken awake; your eyes prised open, heartbeat racing, high on perspective.

Suddenly, it’s not about you anymore. It’s about everyone else.

And this is how it should be.

whim

My 2013 To Do List

I envy people who are uber-organized. I’ve tried all manner of systems and apps but none ever sticks. Ultimately it’s my non-stop-brain-ticking that keeps me and my life somewhat organized without any formal prompts or processes other than random neurons sparking and daily holy crap moments that remind me to do stuff. As I’ve written before, I exist in “wing it” mode and, so far, it’s worked. Aided by random to do lists hastily scribbled and purposefully left in places where I hopefully cannot fail to find them (in the shower, on the kitchen counter, affixed to my computer screen, stuck to my iPhone) and actually cross off some of those items.

These last few days I’ve read blogs and tweets and FB posts galore about folks’ New Years resolutions—or the fact that they aren’t making any. If your resolutions are always the same (eat less, exercise more, blah, blah, blah) do they even count, I wonder? So I thought I’d try a different approach and make a 2013 to do list, right here on my blog. Yes, I know it’s a cop-out as I’m not truly resolving to do these things. But, to quote a colleague of mine, let’s consider them “directional”. Maybe with this approach, some will actually get done this year.

  • Get back to France
  • Host lots of dinner parties with varied friends—and make more lunch dates, too
  • Get out more (figuratively and literally and socially and exercisingly—yes I made that word up but I like it)
  • Listen to NPR less and my music more
  • Get my U.S. citizenship
  • Conquer insomnia
  • Book a personal stylist session at Nordstrom
  • Buy new bras (TMI? Sorry.)
  • Go to the theatre more than once
  • Dance (who’s with me?)

So there you have it.

Insomnia Sucks

I love sleep. Almost as much as I love eating. I’ve never had much stamina or stay-up-late superpowers. When my brain says it’s time, I don’t simply drift off slowly to sleep, I crash into it. I plunge off the cliff of consciousness deep into the land of nod and usually stay there for at least seven hours of zzzzz. And now that my kids are older, their night time interruptions are few and far between, fortunately.

But the irony is now I am my own night time disruption and it is so, so annoying.

It started a few months back and happens roughly every five nights. I crash into sleep as per normal but awake about two hours later – and cannot fall back asleep. I usually lie there staring at the ceiling for about three hours until, somehow, sleep welcomes me back for what little remains of the night. It sucks big time.

Often what prompts my waking is my active digestive system or a cramp in my foot or calf (or the twitchy threat of it.) My heart starts to race as I stress about whether I’m getting sick. My mind plays cat and mouse with the cramp that’s threatening. It says “Don’t move a muscle.” But muscles ignore it and twitch.

Then my brain kicks in. And the opportunity to roll over back into slumber evaporates. Sometimes even there’s a tune running on repeat in my head and I can’t find the off button. Of course, like an idiot, I then turn to my iPhone, to Facebook and Twitter for distraction.

I’ve read many advice columns about insomnia and how to deal with it. I only drink one cup of caffeine a day, first thing. I try to eat dinner before 8pm. I know more exercise would probably help but I’m a yo-yo exerciser. I should probably snack on a banana and milk before bed time to boost potassium and calcium intake and ward off the cramps.

I don’t want to take any medications. On the rare occasion I’ve tried a Tylenol PM or similar, it has the opposite effect on me and makes my heart race. I’ll probably find a herbal remedy of sorts.

But seriously, this sucks. All I want to do is sleep and sleep well. I welcome any advice.

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