Someday they say things will all make sense. Someday the reasons why things happen and why they don’t will become clear. At least, i’m told this will be so. There’s a reason for everything, or, so they say.
I sit like most people, wondering, and thinking too much, too often. I’m a deep thinker, which can make sleep difficult. I have a thousand questions or maybe more. I have a thousand ideas and counting. I think about about life on life’s terms. I think about man’s inhumanity to man and sometimes the inhumanity we cast upon ourselves.
In times like this, I am reminded about the old message that used to come across our television back when I was a kid. This happened whenever the television station lost reception. I believe this was due to atmospheric problems or conditions. A message came across the screen that was followed by a well-spoken voice which explained, “Due to circumstances beyond our control, we are experiencing technical difficulties. Please stand by.”
I think of this message when trying to sleep. I think of how this relates to the way I feel when trying to fall asleep. I think about the atmospheric interference I go through.
I think too much is what I think. Either way, this is insomnia.
One thought leads to another. Each thought bears repeating to the next and then another repeats and then so on. Next thing I know, hours have passed as I look at the clock and think to myself, “Man, I have to sleep!”
I am not sure if I wonder the same ordinary things as you or anyone else. Then again, the idea of an ordinary thought is relative to an ordinary world. Is my world ordinary? Is yours? Who knows? Either way, this is one of my bedtime stories for the insomniac, which is a title of mine that I use for one of my compilation of stories.
Everyone has their ideas about how to overcome insomnia. I have my own methods that help me. Maybe this can work for you too.
I go to a song and play this song out in my head, note by note and change by change. I think about a song that I enjoy. I think about a song that has meaning. I think about a song that gives depth to my memory, like say, something from a better part of my childhood.
Last night was one of those nights for me. I was sleepless but not tragically so. Yes, I thought too much. I considered ideas about circumstances that were beyond my control, which triggered a mild stream of anxiety. This kept me up because no one can sleep when they’re anxious.
In times like this, I find myself looking for a more peaceful focus. I started to think about a summertime from my childhood. I thought about the way my town looked when I was young. I thought about the 70’s and the rotary phone sin our house.
I thought about the fashion tragedies of our time and how we dressed ourselves back then. I thought about the music too. Everything was so new to me then. Everything was crisp as if life was a new toy that was just taken out of the box.
I thought about the barbecues and the picnics. I thought about the sky at night on the 4th of July. I thought about little kids holding sparklers and twirling them around, so happy and excited to see the white spraying light from the sparks that showered from an otherwise ugly gray stem. I thought about the wonderment of our youth and while although there were times of technical difficulties, in truth, there are memories kept here that can never be lived again but only remembered.
I thought about the first time I ever flew a kite. I remember the way I ran, screaming, happy as every. I ran with string in hand and kite flying behind me. When the wind picked up, the kite lifted upwards into the sky. It was beautiful.
I detailed all of these thoughts as best as I possibly could. All of them are very warm to me. I thought about Mom and the time she brought home a puppy we named Tammy.
I thought about the sound of cicadas in the backyard and the fireflies at dusk. I tried to recollect the first time I ever tasted fresh watermelon. What an amazing concept it was to taste something so cool and so refreshing.
My eyes were closed. Rather than thinking about the stressful whereabouts of things beyond my control and instead of worrying about the atmospheric interference, I went back to old memories that served me well.
I thought about the Old Man and the time he taught me how to throw a baseball. I thought about my little baseball mitt and my uniform. I thought about the time we walked through the town in a parade. All of us kids on opening day, marching through town in a parade. Neighbors came outside of their homes to see us walk along, baseball team after baseball team. There was a band too. Trumpets and trombones, tubas and drums, and someone marching in front with a baton. This was a time of innocence.
I remember the hot dogs from the ball field. I remember the sodas and the pretzels. I remember the gum too. Our town was so different back then. Life was different. And so were you.
Life changes due to circumstances beyond our control. We age and we grow. Life happens to us all. A smart woman once told, “Everyone is recovering from something.”
No words are truer than this. It is no surprise to me that life is nothing more than full of surprises.
We learn and we live and we hurt and we grow. We remember. More than anything we remember what we went through. We are trying to find the reasons why life happens. We just want to understand. And this is what keeps people up at night.
I had to stop trying to figure things out because whenever I try to make sense or find accountability for the unaccountable, I do things, like say, look at the clock at 3:00am and say to myself, “Man, I gotta get some sleep.”
When insomnia comes my way (and it does) I have to play a little game called replacing thoughts. Whether I choose a favorite song or a favorite memory, I allow myself to detail this to the best of my ability. And just as I am about to see this all clearly, finally, I drift to sleep.
Goodnight . . .