Stolen Sleep

GoddessI have been home, in the house by myself, for two weeks and one day exactly while my children are at school.  I have always been a working mom, and my vacation days were taken around school schedules. So it is rare that I am ever alone in the house.  The silence is not deafening; it is beautiful, appreciated and welcomed.

I promised myself I would make use of this time wisely: designate certain days to my grant writing contracts and others to my homeopathy course work.  I would have more time for strategic planning and future TMR endeavors.  Most important, I was going to take time to sit and think.  We’ve had a spiritual metamorphosis around here the last few months, and I want time to think about it all.  This contracting stuff was going to be great – the best of both worlds.

And then reality kicked in.

I should say I did TRY to meditate before this life change.  What I realized was that the only downtime I had was Saturday morning (my day to sleep in).  And though I valiantly tried to focus as Doug brought the kids downstairs for breakfast, within minutes I was asleep, panic waking at 9am refreshed, but cursing myself for another lost opportunity.  So I decided instead of doing homeopathy homework or watching TV (Revenge and Scandal – guilty pleasures), I would retire to my bedroom early and just BE in the silence and comfort of my bed.  You can all guess what happened.  It’s that damn comfy bed with the soft pillows and silky sheets.  I can’t make it three minutes in it before drawing the covers up and drifting off.

But being home during the day, this was going to be different.  I am GREAT in the morning.  And yet . . .  What I realized the first two weeks of my new existence was how dirty my house was.  And not like the-floors-need-to-be-steamed dirty, more like – this bathroom floor tile grout, when did it get so dark?  When was the last time I washed the PBK anywhere chair covers?  There was thick dust on the tops of the framed art.  Scuffs on the bottom of the doors, and under the counter where the kids eat. Everything constantly needed to be picked up – did I really just let it lie there all this time?  How did this happen?  I got to work.  It took days, and it still isn’t done.  I should also say I kind of got a little distracted from cleaning by painting.

harry and gradyGrady, my oldest, refuses to sleep in his own room, and I don’t even try to separate the twins because it is pointless. So for the past few months, Grady has slept on the trundle in the twins’ room, and Harry and Reagan have been in the full-size bed, which is actually part of a twin-over-full bunk bed whose top languished unused in another room.  If Grady was not moving out anytime soon (and I’m good with this – they’re only little once and have plenty of time to spend isolated in their own rooms once they’re teens and can’t bear the sight of each other), I needed to get him off what is practically the floor, at least.  So I would reassemble the bunk bed.  But what if Harry jumped on the top and fell off?  harry and reaganWould netting work?  It would look terrible.  If I had a carpenter come in and put more rails in, he would probably tie it to the ceiling.  How would I ever move the bed?  In my sleep meditation – what I’ve now come to call the moment I try to focus before I fall asleep, it came to me:  bamboo fencing.  I would build a surf shack.  It would look cool, but it would also serve to keep Harry safe.  But I would have to do the bottom too, because otherwise all three would end up in one little twin bed on the top because it was cooler to sleep in the shack.  And I have my limits.  Of course, the room would need to be painted first, but I had time – I could do it!  And so . . . painting the bedroom turned into also painting their bathroom . . . and the hall . . . and my bedroom is next.

twins roomI love painting.  Not so much the rolling, but the cutting in and edges.  That’s the part I like.  I get lost in it.  I hire out for big rooms, ceilings and trim work, though.  I hate that expanse of never-ending white.  But a bedroom and bath?  Got it.  No problem.  And those dirty chair covers?  Well, they didn’t match anymore, but I could DIY those with a little Rit dye.  (Um, yeah, not so much.  Turns out PBK has some pretty resilient dye in their materials, even after the “color out” bleach packets.  Two orange chairs turned brown – they were supposed to be navy.  And a red chair turned orange – it was supposed to be pink.  New chair covers were ordered.)

beach houseAnyway, a few clicks on Amazon and eBay and voila: bamboo fencing, palm thatch, some surfing signs and one inflatable palm tree completed the room.  But I STILL have not made the time to meditate.  Today this blog popped out, and I had grant work to do . . . but I had forty minutes before the bus came.  Finally.  I could sit and think.

Only I fell asleep and woke up at 3:02 – TWO MINUTES LATE FOR THE BUS – and scrambled out the door to find Grady and Reagan about to ring the bell.  Crap.  At least they’re resourceful.

I swear I do not have narcolepsy.  And I get a good amount of sleep each night.  We do not have night wakings for the most part.  I might be catching up for missed sleep from years past, but I am not tired during the day. I don’t think my adrenals are shot or that my thyroid is completely off.  I just fall asleep when I clear my mind.  It might not be the worst thing as I get good ideas and I’ve had some killer dreams lately, but I need to get better at this.

all three

So I would love to know:  When you guys steal moments to stop and think, how and when do you do it?  Give me pointers wise ones so I don’t have to throw on a shock collar designed to keep me awake. I want to do this, but have not had any time to myself for so long, I’ve forgotten what to do (besides the obvious, which I’ve done more than enough of!).

~ Goddess

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8 Responses to Stolen Sleep

  1. Joanna says:

    Who cares if you keep sleeping – I am AMAZED at what you’ve gotten done in 2 weeks. Seriously. I would take two weeks off work if I thought I could be that productive.

  2. Gammy says:

    Kiddies are adorable! I love the surf shack – you could go into business.

  3. pammypies says:

    I steal a little time each day at the end of the day. I make sure the family is fed, baths taken and then I’m done for the day. I usually turn on TCM. If nothing ‘s good there, I have scads of DVDs. I’m already in my pjs, I turn out the lights, get under the covers and watch a movie on my portable DVD player. I will milk a late rise as much as I can on a Saturday morning with the kids popping their heads in the door. I close my eyes and don’t breathe for a few seconds. I’ll get up when I want to and I am usually up by 9:30 a.m.

    And, as I am in peri-menopause, there are times that I have to shut myself away from everybody. Sometimes, even my husband can tell that he should leave me alone! LOL! He has learned to take the kids with him sometimes because I am never home alone. I am debating on whether or not to tell him that I have Veteran’s Day off…

  4. Donna Powers says:

    I read a quote by the Dalai Lama somewhere “Sleep is a form of meditation.” I could have kissed him! Gave me lots of permission to sleep…even while meditating.

    And I love my bed too…I wake at 5:30 most mornings and just lay there…listening to the quiet and appreciating me, my life and everything and everyone that is in it.

    I am redefining what it is to meditate. Painting is a form of meditation…you get into the hum of quiet…plus the satisfaction of a job done.

    Sounds like you are doing pretty well to me!

  5. AmyinIdaho says:

    I’m like a cupie doll when I get horizontal – eyes close, start snoozing. I’m at home all day too and it’s a challenge separating the professional/personal/family obligations and goals. As much as I would prefer having time to myself in my own house, that just doesn’t happen very often so I take my ‘me’ time outside. I walk or I go for a bike ride and then I sit in a park or somewhere quite and have a little think-fest.

    There are so many distractions in the house and so many “I should be cleaning (fill in the blank)……” that it’s hard to clear the mind of just THAT! I’ve found removing myself from the home environment helps with focusing my own thoughts.

  6. Christina says:

    I do my best thinking when I’m driving. We live in the country and I also drive ALOT for work so I have plenty of think and quiet time. However I’m like you if I sit down I’m down for the count. 🙂 Enjoy your time of rest! Your body obviously needs it.

  7. Gilded Thinker says:

    The only time I seem to be able to steal is during laundry and litterboxes and showers. I often just let my mind drift during those mundane and mindless tasks. It’s usually during that time that I have my best ideas, epiphanies, inspirations.
    I tend to have trouble getting to sleep so I also do this while waiting to fall asleep.
    Another way, if I get the time, is making Zentangles ( ). Something about the mindless doodling allows me to clear my brain and just be.

  8. I joined a fitness center and it has an infrared sauna in it that requires you to sit still in a little box basically, for at least half an hour to an hour. I meditate or take a book in with me and read. It’s detoxing, relaxing and 100% me time, I don’t think another person could fit inside it if I tried! 🙂 I get distracted at home too, so I made the decision to get out of the house and out of my head for a while.

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