In my parent’s house there was a small grandfather clock that hung above the fireplace. It was the kind that had to be wound every so often and it was loud enough that people who came over noticed, but those of us who lived there no longer heard. Except for in the wee small hours.
I don’t know if I struggled with insomnia as a child also but I do remember hours of lying awake listening to the tick of the clock. It would chime on the half hour once, and on the hour the number of chimes would correspond to the hour. But more than the chimes, I remember the ticks. I could see it as I lay very still, eyes shut, desperate for sleep, that pendulum swing back and forth.
I would count those tick and tocks, loosing track when my mind wandered off. The refocusing my attention on the tick, tock, tick, tock.
I awoke at 3 this morning, my body is exhausted, 3am, it’s the hour the insomnia strikes. If I can drift off by 4 I’ll be fine, but by 4:15 my mind has taken control and my body will lose this battle. “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak” I think. . . or maybe it’s the opposite in insomnia, the flesh is willing but the spirit is weak, can’t give up the fight. “I should write that down” I think. The confession of “What we have done and what we have left undone” comes to mind. Yes, I think I’ll write that down. “I’ll blog about it” I say in my most demeaning voice.
“What should I call this post?” I ask my over functioning brain inside my terribly exhausted body desperate for sleep. She starts singing Sinatra. “Perfect.” I think.
There is no grandfather clock in my house so I try to pray. . . Nope, God’s not helping me out of this one. No warm fuzzy feelings to guide or sooth me tonight. I try to meditate, slow my breathing. I match my breath with my husband’s who is snoring softly next to me. My breathes get longer, slower, and deeper to match his rhythm. After a few minutes I give up.
I know as soon as those feet hit the floor I am defeated. I will be up for a few hours only return to sleep at five-ish and then I’ll miss yoga and be cranky and exhausted all day. I debate if I should go anyway, or maybe go to 6am yoga and take a nap all morning. “SHUT UP!” I yell in my brain.
At 4:20 I give up the fight, I throw the covers to the side and slam my feet down. The only question at this point is tea or coffee?