The 40 Year Old Bat Mitzvah

Defensive Busyness

Posted in Uncategorized by Juliet on April 23, 2012

I am TIRED!  I am limp like a wrung-out rag.

I have not been sleeping well.  Part of my problem is (self-diagnosed) nighttime defensive busyness.

This is a condition I just made up this evening while out walking the dog.  (In my pajamas with a sweatshirt over it to make it more of an “outfit.”)

I fear just sitting down and doing NOTHING for a few minutes or an hour or even an entire evening.  What if I get bored?

So instead, I hoard several days’ worth of classifieds with their New York Times crosswords and word scrambles and Sudokus.  I always have a book or three.  A notebook and a journal.  Fun projects and work projects.  Kids’ homework assignments to supervise and the mail to sort.  And of course there is my Droid phone on which I can do everything including read a book.  (You know, in case one of the three I brought with me explodes or something.)

I was thinking about this defensive busyness as I walked Mo, and something interesting occurred to me:  I should try bypassing ALL of my busyness to cure my nagging insomnia.

(I have had insomnia on and off for most of my life.  The current form I have is a bad pattern where I fall asleep on the couch at about 9:30 or so, laze there for a couple hours drifting in and out of awareness until Scott wakes me to go to bed, which I sometimes do easily but other times I re-wake and watch TV for an hour or so, sometimes until 12:30 or 1 a.m., then I get into bed and CANNOT FALL ASLEEP.  Very frustrating.  And all my life, no matter if I’ve gone to bed at 9 p.m. or midnight, I’ve always woken up without an alarm clock by 6 a.m.  I can’t make up lost sleep on the other side of the clock.)

So anyway…

I was thinking about how when we’re on vacation and we deviate from our usual boring couch pattern, I love sitting up in bed reading for an hour or so before shutting out the light and getting to bed at a decent hour.  Say, 11 p.m. or 11:30.  It is heaven, I tell you!  And I never have insomnia in a hotel, ever.  I wake up feeling refreshed and ready to see the sights.

So I’m going to give it a go.  I’m not going to stop watching TV (heaven ferfend!  Or whatever that word is.  Forfend?  Forfent?)  But at least a couple of nights a week I am going to try heading up to bed with a cup of (herbal) tea and a good book.  Tonight I have an updated edition of Salem’s Lot which hopefully won’t defeat the purpose of relaxing by giving me nightmares.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

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