“If you can’t sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there worrying. It’s the worry that gets you, not the lack of sleep.” ~Dale Carnegie
It is 1:35am and I’m wide awake. I am sitting in my great room alongside my three cats. I’m so jealous of them; they are all sound asleep. The room is still and dark except for the lone light of my trusty old laptop. I took two Xanax several hours ago to ensure I would get a good night’s sleep, but alas, sleep escapes me once again.
It’s not that I have any one thing on my mind, it’s that I have many things crowding my head like a stock ticker rolling through my subconscious. For starters, I spoke to a dear friend today about the recent passing of her dad; a man I loved dearly who I never had the chance to properly say goodbye to (except for me joking that between me praying to Moses and his wife praying to Jesus we had him covered; he chuckled). I know he’s finally at peace, but today’s conversation weighs heavily on me and I just can’t shake it.
I worry about my own mortality (as I sometimes do in the wee hours of the morning when things always look bleaker and much bigger than they do during the day). I know my lack of exercise (due to sitting on my duff all day writing) is the culprit of my worry. Or is that simply an excuse? Whatever the reason, it’s not a good one, and I need to make an active commitment to taking better care of myself.
My head is reeling with reading about different diet and exercise programs, trying to decide which one to begin. I’ve never been good with decisions, and I feel overwhelmed making this one. I wish I had a fairy godmother who would swoop down and tell me to follow a specific program, while assuring me that all of my health problems would suddenly disappear if I did. Where is that magic wand?
Now it’s 1:54 am and I’m still wide awake. One of my cats is snoring and I’m getting angry. Slumber. Slumber. How I miss you.
“Cats have it all – admiration, an endless sleep, and company only when they want it.” ~Rod McKuen
Perhaps a small bowl of cereal will do the trick. How much could one small bowl of Bran Flakes with raisins and milk possibly add to my daily intake of calories? What’s the old saying: if you eat in the dark the calories don’t count?
It’s 1:56 and I can’t decide if I should go for the cereal. They do say milk helps you sleep better. Well, perhaps I’ll have a small bowl…
It’s 2:00 and I’m full and need to use the bathroom. Do the steps to the powder room add to my daily overall count of steps? I’ll have to look that one up.
Maybe I’ll put on an old Mary Tyler Moore episode from Youtube to help me sleep. The old gang in Minneapolis always soothes my soul and calms me down. When Mary throws her hat into the air I always feel a lot better. It makes me feel all warm inside. Let’s see what’s going on with the gang.
It’s 2:45 and all is well. In this episode, Rhoda (Valerie Harper) says my favorite line to Mary, the one about using food as a form of comfort. Mary scolds Rhoda by telling her to eat some cottage cheese. Rhoda quickly responds by saying, “No, Mary, cottage cheese solves nothing. Chocolate can do it all.” You just have to love Rhoda.
Still wide away, I decide to put on one more episode. Cats still snoring. House still dark and quiet. Laptop battery running low. What’s a girl to do?
Finally – yes, finally – the Xanax kicks in. I can barely keep my eyes open to find out if Murray’s play gets produced. I know each episode by heart, but I’ll still want closure, so I’ve decided I’ll finish watching the rest of the episode tomorrow.
“A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.” ~Irish Proverb
Before I drag myself back to bed, I make a pact with myself to write a little less tomorrow and exercise a little more. Putting exercise back into my life (aside from my once a week yoga class) will not only help me sleep better, but will lessen the middle-of-the-night worries about my own mortality, which will help me manage my weight and make me feel healthier and more vibrant. Yes! I really mean it this time.
Nighty night, my friends. I hope you had a better sleep than I did. And, oh, don’t bother calling me till after 9am. I have a feeling the Xanax will keep me asleep a little longer than usual.
This post previously appeared on www.AnEmpoweredSpirit.com