Sleeping Through the Fireworks

Fourth Of July Fireworks
As everyone knows last night was the Fourth of July. We decided to be brave and take our boys via bike to the waterfront in Portland to watch the bombs bursting in air. Quite the production when you have an exhausted one year old and three year old, yet we loaded them up into the bike trailer and headed down. On the way there my three year old, Jack,  fell asleep. My one year old, Truett, who had not slept since his afternoon nap was wide eyed and ready to party.

We found our spot and got ready to watch the fireworks. We left our Jack conked out in the trailer and I took Truett out to hold him for what I anticipated would be a frightening and loud show for him. As the first works started I blocked the babies ears and assumed Jack would wake up in terror. Not so. As the lights started exploding above, Truett bravely pushed my hands away from his ears and watched the show in awe. Sadly, Jack never awoke and missed the whole show.  As we rode home, it dawned on me that Truett must have inherited my insomnia gene and Jack clearly inherited what could be perceived as his father’s narcoleptic ability to sleep anywhere and through anything. I am not sure which is worse constantly being awake or missing spectacular things like fireworks, comets, and full moons?

I am not day sleeper, in fact I am not really a night sleeper either. Sleep often eludes me and it sucks. I have long been jealous of those that can fall asleep on a plane, in a car, during a movie, or even in the comfort of their cozy beds let alone sleep through fireworks.  I have had bouts of insomnia in my life were I have gone days without sleep. I have tried prescription sleeping aids and they have the opposite effect on me, they send my mind spinning even further. I have tried early morning exercise, reading before bed, warm milk, meditating, praying, Valerian root, Melatonin, and counting sheep.  People have asked me what I am thinking about or stressed about, and most often the answer is I don’t know, I just can’t sleep. I have not found any method that is a match for the fireworks that take place in my head during a bad bout of insomnia, they just have to run their course and leave their smoke trails. I have come to accept it. Sometimes I think it is a curse but truthfully sometimes I enjoy the quiet and peace that only a silent home at 3 or 4 or 5 am can bring.  The Internet or music are often my only pals to lean on and get through those long lonely sleepless nights. It is also most likely when I will find my temporarily misplaced self, get clarity, or come up with an new idea.

So imagine my surprise this past Sunday, as I put my boys down for a nap, I decided to watch a movie, something I rarely have time for, pressed play and then I just crashed. Like really crashed lights out good night in the middle of broad daylight. My husband came into the bedroom, in what seemed like five minutes later to me, and said are you feeling OK?  I said yes, why?  He said because it is 6:30, you have been sleeping for 4 1/2 hours!  It was astonishing to both of us. He has long put up with my tossing and turning and inability to sleep. Good thing for him, he is a heavy I can sleep through a train crash kind of guy.

I guess my body just crashed from the weight of life and it resulted in one crazy long nap.  I have been going and going non-stop lately amongst the all the fireworks of our boys growing, summer activities, networking events, writing for this blog, maintaining my other blog, taking pictures, working on my career and the occasional late night celebrations with friends.  I think my nap in broad daylight was my wake up call to slow down, take in some more fresh air and quiet and ultimately that I need some time for reflection on my priorities and what I truly want to be when I grow up. A over-tired me is not a good me and is often when I make poor choices, so I am going to try to give my soul a rest from the social fireworks for a bit and try to take at least one nap a week for the next few weeks so that the next flame I ignite can burn even brighter. Ha, wish me luck!

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