Boy, am I cranky.  Oh, didn’t you sleep well?  No, as a matter of fact, I didn’t sleep at all.

The great physician, Sir William Osler, once said, “The man who is well wears a crown that only the sick can see.”  I have always been struck by that quote, because it just goes to show that whatever you don’t have, you can find somebody who has it and envy the heck out of him or her, because you have just identified the luckiest person in the world.

The man who sleeps in bed next to me looks like freaking royalty.  Every night, my husband rolls onto his right side and instantly it’s lights out for a good five hours, at which point — usually between 4 and 5 in the morning — he rolls over onto his left side and sleeps equally well.  I know this, because I have lost the ability to sleep.  I used to be one of the great sleepers.  Anytime was potentially nap time for me.  I could drop right off and be out like a light for hours — and still get a good night’s sleep that night.  I pitied the people in the Lunesta commercials.  Even now, I know people who can’t sleep without medication, and I have vowed I will never be one of them.  I don’t want to be addicted to anything.

And yet, not sleeping gets real old, real fast.  At 5:15 this morning, I officially thumbed my nose at the night and gave it up, figuring that sleep was not going to be happening for me.  The good news, by the time everybody else got up, I had washed a load of dishes and was on my second load of laundry, so as Bill Murray said in Caddyshack, “I’ve got that going for me, which is nice.”  A big thumbs up there.
What have I done to cause this?  Was it the glass of wine I had last night?  Was it the coffee I had in the afternoon?  Yeah, sure, maybe.  I am so tired — so to speak — of wondering what particular rigid rule of “sleep hygiene” I have broken.   What one single thing I have done or not done that is keeping me from sleeping on this particular night.  Even when I do everything right — none of which I used to need to do, by the way, to be able to sleep — I’m still quite capable of not sleeping.  I can go for a three-hour hike, or run a couple miles on the treadmill, and be unfazed by the fresh air and/or physical activity later.
Melatonin?  I’ve tried it, I had terrible dreams, so I stopped.  But I’ve had terrible dreams without it, so maybe I should revisit it.  Menopause?  Uh, no, thanks for asking.  If it is, I’m being doubly screwed, because I’m still treated to that delight once a month.  Is it hereditary?  Well, if that’s the case, I’m screwed, too.  My dad is a terrible sleeper, has been for as long as I can remember, so that’s great.
As I lay there last night, I remember thinking, “well, this is it, and it’s going to be this way for the rest of my life, and then I’ll die.”  I have positive thoughts like that because I’m a people person.
I even listened to a hypnosis tape last night and it didn’t help.  Au contraire, it revved me up!  Instead of letting go of all my worries, as the hypnotist softly and creepily urged me to do, I started listing them and thinking about them.  My brain was going a mile a minute.  So, I failed that.  I’m going to try it again tonight, though, just in case some subliminal thing is happening and deep down I am learning to retrain my brain.
I don’t want medicine.  I just want what every child and teenager has — the ability to sleep and sleep and sleep.  Is that too much to ask?  Apparently, it is.
This post and all blog content Ⓒ Copyright Janet Farrar Worthington.

I have been meaning to write about procrastination for a while, but I kept putting it off. I’ve been procrastinating for years; one of these days I’m going to have to get some help for this problem. No, really, if it weren’t for the last minute, I wouldn’t get anything done. As Mark Twain said, “Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.” Or, as somebody else said, I like my work. It fascinates me; I can sit and look at it for hours. And drumroll…the best part about procrastination: You’re never bored, because there are all kinds of things that you could be doing!

For years, my writing method has been to think of a bunch of other stuff — doing laundry is a fine example — that’s suddenly very important.  Then I waste copious amounts of time, hours, days, or weeks, doing that, until the torment of not doing the actual work is so great that I just have to do it.  My friend, Scott Price ( recently wrote about this in a newsletter:  “Procrastination is wanting or even having a plan, but not working it.”  It’s amazing, to one interested in words, how often the rear end figures into discussions of procrastination:  I need a good kick in the pants; to poop, figuratively, or get off the pot.  As Eliza Doolittle shouted at Ascot:  “Come on, Dover!  Move yer bloomin’ arse!”  And yet, as countless bathroom graffiti wits have written, “here I sit, broken-hearted… ”  Got work to do, can’t get started.

I blame spiritual attack.  I do.  Laziness — guilty; fear of success or failure — definitely; resentment that I have to do something I don’t want to do — yeah, there’s that, too….  But call it gremlins or the devil — the bad spirits in this world want us not to succeed.  Therefore, in administering myself this butt-kickin’ I think I am moving in the right direction.  Forward, even if it’s just one small, reluctant step at a time.   New goal:  Actual momentum.

P.S.  About the picture of my To Do list:  I don’t know why it’s sideways.  I have spent 20 minutes — wasting time is my destiny — taking that stupid picture and every time I upload it to this website, it goes sideways.  This pretty much sums up how things are going around here.

P.S.S.  The picture seems to be fixed now.


This post and all blog content Ⓒ Copyright Janet Farrar Worthington.