I don't always sleep well.  I can usually GO to sleep ok, then when 2am rolls around I'm wide awake and thinking of every bad decision and awkward encounter I've ever had.  The next day's to-do list swirls through my mind like so many angry sheep.  It's not every night, but it's often enough that there are a few days each week when I think a mid-afternoon nap might be in order.  Sometimes I even try to take one, but something about my farm girl brain is hard wired to not allow sleep in daylight hours - ever.  

As a result, there are days I exist on coffee and a short temper to get me through until bedtime, when I get to try it all over again. 

Sometimes when 2am becomes 3am and then 4am and I just give up and get up for the day, I see posts from people on Facebook and Twitter about insomnia and I know it's not just me.  It seems to be a fairly common occurrence among the people I know.  As adults, we all seem to struggle from time to time with getting to sleep or with staying asleep, and the common theme that I see and hear it that for whatever reason, we cannot shut our brains off.

It really sucks that as a society we are all so busy and stressed and absolutely exhausted that we just can't sleep well.

It hasn't always been this way for me.  I don't even remember having problems sleeping when I was a kid.  I maybe had a few less than restful nights in high school, but only a few.  The same is true with college.  I stayed up late on purpose sometimes, studying for tests, but when it was time to sleep I could sleep, no problem.

My first restless nights definitely came as an grown-up.  Once I was on my own in the world, dealing with jobs and bills and people and things and just... LIFE, the sleeplessness really took a hold on me, and it's been there ever since.   Like I said, it isn't every night, or even every week, but when it happens, it happens hard.

One of the things I miss the most about being a kid is the ability to sleep totally unencumbered by life.  My kids are great sleepers, and can fall asleep at a moment's notice where ever they happen to be.  Cooper is especially notorious for falling asleep in odd places.

 He sleeps in cars.

He sleeps on the couch.

He sleeps on me (and other people).

He sleeps at the grocery store.

He sleeps... well, wherever.

I'm always amazed.  He will be in the middle of a sentence, the middle of a meal, whatever.  But if he's sleepy, he sleeps.

How amazing that must be - to have so few worries or responsibilities that you can just drop off wherever and whenever you feel the urge.  And how freeing must it be to know that if you sleep, someone will be there to look out for you, to keep you from falling, to keep you safe, to carry you to bed if you need it.

I hope he never loses this ability.  Sure, it might be a little awkward to doze off in the middle of math class or whatever, but the underlying feeling of safety and security and rightness with the world is something I hope he is able to hold onto as long as possible.

But I know it won't last long.  Just like it did for me, life will start to get in the way.  Realities will take over.  Uninterrupted, blissful sleep will be replaced by an occasional worry or problem or frustration and someday he will be the one who is up at 2am, then 3am, wondering why it's so hard to sleep at night.

So for now, I'm going to let him make the most of it.  If he needs to sleep in the cart at the grocery, I will  carefully put him in the car.  If he falls asleep on my lap as he often does, I will sit so, so still so I don't disturb him.  

This time of freedom from worries will pass quickly, and I want him to enjoy every minute of it, even though he doesn't even realize it's happening. 

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  1. All those sleeping pictures! I just love them. And yes - I fully relate to the 'every bad decision and awkward encounter' type of wake-up call. Why do our brains go there when we are most vulnerable?

  2. I wish I could sleep like he does!

    My husband has insomnia. I feel for him. I do have some days when I can't go back to sleep but it's rare.

  3. Absolutely! A clear conscious and an unburdened heart. You can see it in that sweet, sleeping face.
    3 a.m. is my bump in the road. If I make it past then, I am good for the night. But many are the nights my internal clock wakes me at 3 with some urgent thing that can not wait for daylight.

  4. I don't know, but it happens to me every single time I wake up int he middle of the night. My brain goes, "Remember that time someone said 'Happy Birthday to you!" and you said 'And you too!' even though it wasn't his birthday? REMEMBER?"

  5. Ugh, it seems to be such a common theme among so many people I know. I know I'm at my worst when I don't get enough sleep and I imagine most people are that way, so we have become a nation of people who stay grumpy from lack of sleep, I think.

  6. Yuck - I feel bad for your husband. My hubby and I seem to take turns with it but we seldom have it the same nights. If we did I guess we could stay up and play cards or something.

  7. My bump comes at 2am. If I make it past then I'm usually good, but sometimes I come wide awake and before I even look at the clock I know it's 2. Isn't it weird how our bodies do that to us?

  8. I loved it so much! It wasn't until the end that I realized it was loosely based on real people, and that made me have to research the Grimke sisters a bit. They were fascinating women! I'd love to hear what you think of it.

  9. OMG we are soul sisters. YES. This happens.

  10. Is that what it's called, farm girl brain? I think I have that.

  11. That's what I always call it. It's kind of an "up with the chickens, asleep with the cows" mentality :)

  12. I used to listen to them all the time when I was commuting, and the narrator can absolutely make or break a book. Some narrators I liked so much I would specifically look for other books they read.

  13. Oh that's a great idea - maybe I need to search by narrator!

  14. I've never listened to a book, but I loved the Lovely Bones when it came out. I didn't see the movie, though - don't think I could.

  15. That movie flew right over (or maybe under) my radar when it came out, and I'm pretty ok with that.

  16. The lovely bones one of my favorites!

  17. After years of not sleeping, i'm finally able to sleep! Hang in there!


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