So tired today. Sleepless nights. It’s become a pattern and I contemplate what over-the-counter meds to try. There’s Tylenol PM that knocks you dead. Or more “natural” herbal remedies which make you vaguely drowsy, left to drift in and out of restless dreams.
The wakeful nights started when my son came down with a stomach virus over the weekend. He was up nights afraid he would throw up (he never did). Eventually he would go back to sleep. Then I would lay in bed. And what do I lie there thinking about? I don’t think. I worry. I’m a chronic worrier. I worry about all the things that could happen that haven’t happened, that possibly could never happen in our neck of the woods, like a tsunami washing away our house. Well, we do live on Long Island, a peninsula out in the ocean…
I think about the empty house next door, where our neighbor died last month. I imagine her home alone, one evening, dying in her favorite chair. Better yet, in a sound sleep, in the middle of a great dream, one of my favorites, about flying. I’m always disappointed when I wake up from dreams about flying – especially the ones when I’m soaring high above tree tops, and a sudden breeze drops me gently down into a cool jet stream. In some of these dreams, I am a child flapping my arms in the hope of flying, and I actually am able to lift myself up off the ground. I am in control of wide open, airy spaces.
There are days when I would like to take flight from it all. From my son whining all the way to school because he can’t have the goody bag he knows his brother is going to get at a birthday party; when the washing machine overflows. Again; when the credit card company calls to tell me my account has been breached by some small town in the Middle East, and I continue to make dinner, feeling violated; when I take my mother to doctor appointments and find myself talking over her to the doctors about symptoms she may have failed to mention; in the next moment, I am angry as if I am twelve again, when I didn’t want her telling me what to do; when I’m too tired at night to reciprocate my husband’s gentle, loving caress; when I regret firing the house cleaner, when the sun falls a certain way, and I see the accumulation of bacon grease on the stove; when my “clutter” baskets are overflowing, and every closet I open reminds me of my total neglect of household organization; when my children won’t eat their dinner, and I remind them of all the starving children in the world, as I make them scrape their own full plates into the garbage. When I feel far less than the perfect mother, the perfect daughter, the perfect wife that I shouldn’t aspire to be.
When I’m this tired and this sleepless, I contemplate standing out on the front lawn and flapping my arms wildly, in the hope of taking flight. If I could only go to sleep and at least dream about it. That. Flying. Soaring.