What do you do when you wake up in the middle of the night? Do you lie awake trying to go back to sleep? Or are you one of those night owls who can’t go to sleep early and stays awake until the wee hours?
I have never been one to stay awake late into the night. Night is meant for sleeping and I used to do quite well at that. By nine in the evening I’m getting ready to at least be heading to the bedroom. If I’m awake at ten or eleven that’s the exception rather than the rule.
Lately two or three o’clock roll around and I’m not only awake I’m WIDE awake. Finding a place to BE AWAKE in a 40 foot long RV while your partner is ASLEEP is a good challenge!
I ’ve always been that guy who wakes up going full speed ahead. (Well almost always.) When we lived in sticks & bricks I had an office removed from the bedroom. If I woke in the middle of the night I’d go there to work on portraits and other images, or I’d write. Doing so in the coach is problematic. The office in our coach is in the bedroom! So, of a sleepless night I find myself at the dining table with my laptop trying not to wake Peggy.
My sleepless nights have been worse lately. Blame it on pharmacology. Afternoon naps may have their role to play too, but I’m smart enough to know that if I sleep too long in the afternoon I won’t sleep at night. And it is is that falling asleep is never a problem! It’s what happens after I have enough sleep to function the next day and when I wake up fully re-charged for the day — at 2 o’clock in the morning. Or 3 o’clock. Or 4 o’clock.
I have never had this kind adjustment to prescription drugs before. In the past the doctor gives me something, I take it, either I have an allergic reaction or not, and if not then I just take the drug and go on with my business. This time it’s a very different situation, I feel physically different — a sensation which is not constant, and if I’m talking about it a lot that’s because this may be my way of accepting that I’m not 40 years old any more, and maybe I really am getting to be an OLD man. Or Older? Or at least not young? It’s kind of like being dragged kicking and screaming into a new experience.
Once I start thinking (instead of dreaming) I’m awake. In my entire life I have rarely been able to wake up and fall back to sleep. Occasionally I can get up for an hour or two, have a cup of coffee, and go back to bed and fall asleep. For a while that was our Saturday morning routine — right after retiring. We were both still waking at 4 or 4:30, so we’d turn on the coffee pot, have a cuppa, and then go back to sleep — it worked for several years — usually on Saturday mornings. But we’ve gotten over that, and now, once I’m awake, I’m awake.
It might sound like I don’t like being awake in the middle of the night but that’s not true. In the 80’s when I drove truck I loved driving at night. (not that truck drivers have much control over when they have to drive) There’s less traffic and time to think, and in those days there was a world of conversation over the CB radio. It’s funny, I used to be able to drive down the road in the middle of the night and have conversations with other drivers — often people I had never met in person — and we would talk about anything and everything (other than sports or politics) and have really good conversations. But I digress.
No, now the night the night embraces me like an old friend. I love the quiet hours of morning. There are lots of things to think about. I plan routes, I write to friends, I work on the blog, I work on images,
There are few distractions. Early morning is the best time to get things done. Looking out the window doesn’t hold your attention — there’s not much to see other than the local cop driving through the campground from time to time.
I guess I’m coming to see those sleepless hours of the night as if they were another season. A short one, as it were. Perhaps a season that recurs every 24 hours rather than every 12 months. But a ‘season’ just as truly. As much part of life as Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter. As inescapable as the falling of leaves or the the blowing of snow.
Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.