Wide Awake

There are a lot of reasons I’ve not been getting much sleep lately.  For one, I’m wearing a medieval sort of contraption on my left leg, known as a night splint.  It pulls my foot up slightly and is intended to treat that ongoing, pesky plantar fasciitis.  It does help with the heel pain in the mornings, but I find the pain is right back if I’m on my feet a lot during the day.

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Secondly, I’ve been working in the yard on a “project” I’ve talked about for years.  A section of the yard is being overtaken by English Ivy.  Anyone familiar with it?  Here’s the tangled mess it can get into:

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And…, when it’s allowed to grow at will, (i.e. the way it looks here) it overtakes everything.  I mean, everything.

This particular area also has a huge tree, with two massive trunks joined at the bottom and each section of it growing up, (I kid you not) about one hundred feet or so.  That tree is enormous.  Good ole English Ivy doesn’t care, though.  It has turned that tree into it’s own private trellis, and has worked it’s way up and it’s been allowed to do it long enough that some of the vines around the trunk are as thick as a finger.

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So, here I come, with my “loppers,” trimmer, wheelbarrow, rake and shovel.  I began on Monday.  As of yesterday, I am still cutting, pulling, snipping, chopping, loading all of the crap into the wheelbarrow and hauling it off to the street.  I’ve yanked until my arms feel like they are coming out of their sockets, my back is sore and even though I uncovered a long hidden brick border, put here by previous owners:

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I – AM – SO – TIRED.

But I can’t sleep.  Last night, I was awake from one o’clock until three.  I tossed, turned, flapped the covers, stuck my splinted leg on top of the covers, then back under, lay on my back, my right side, my left, all in vain.  This has been a nightly occurrence for some time.  Sometimes it’s from two until four.  But no matter, it’s generally about a two hour event featuring me staring at the ceiling, the wall, the clock, the backs of my eyelids.

I do all the things I’m supposed to do to sleep good, like having a darkened room, no t.v. on, a fan running on low (because I’m a light sleeper, and I hear any level of noise, no matter how small), yet, sleeping through the night seems to be a thing of the past.  It’s very rare that I get a solid seven or eight hours without waking up and staying up for a while.

Sometimes I use this time to think about writing.  I begin to nit pick at the current problem and try to come up with a way to solve it, or I think about various scenes I could add.   But what is it about the middle of the night that makes you want to think about stupid things, like some asinine way you’ve acted in the past instead of thinking about something useful?

Last night my brain was stuck on rewind/replay regarding an incident at a job I held years ago at a company called ITT (now Alacatel).  Why?  Why in hell was I thinking about that??   The night before it was stuck on a time my husband and I went on vacation and how I’d freaked out while feeding sting ray’s at Sting Ray City, in the Bahama’s.  (I have this strange fear of fish in the water – except the very tiny colorful ones)  I have no idea why I was thinking about that.

I suppose in some way, it’s the way our brains unwind.  Random, free flowing thoughts, that take us anywhere, and everywhere, whether we want to go or not.   They are snippets of the day, the past and the future.  Maybe there are pieces that can be used in future writing, some little bit of flotsam hidden away until your brain was on one of it’s nightly rambles.

What is it that keeps you up at night?

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