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Night Shift

Positively Speaking

There is a universal truth in the first world working community.   If you have had a fitful night’s sleep, fifteen minutes before the alarm is scheduled to go off you will find the most comfortable position you have ever discovered in your life and fall into a deep sleep.  

Ah! The first power nap of the day.  The rest of the day becomes a struggle to think, serve, execute, and compensate for those three to five hours you spent looking up at the ceiling, out the window and over at the clock while rearranging the bedclothes and pillows.

If you’re losing sleep in the middle of the night let me throw you a lifeline.  Research says 85% of the stuff you worried about while you were tossing and turning never comes to actuality.  True dat.  It’s just a waste of time. So rest your weary head.

I used to spend nights so filled with fear I couldn’t even cry.  Then when the fear subsided the endless mental process of rethinking things and making plans A, B, C, and D revolved in my brain like a hamster on a wire wheel.  I was exhausted lying flat in bed.  I never could figure out what my last thought was before sleep overcame me. Did it put me at peace enough to drift off?  If it did, I wanted to reclaim it. Then I would realize it was just the appearance of daylight that singled the end of the wrestling match.

Two things ended the battle of awake vs. asleep.  First I made a covenant with myself to say, “You can’t change anything or make anything happen in the middle of the night”.

Secondly, I agreed with myself when I felt myself waking up I would not open my eyes.  I could think all I wanted but I could not open my eyes. At least I would catch some dozing minutes I designed instead of just hours of wasted alertness.

Mind you in between I tried reading, singing, counting my blessings. I’m not a nighttime eater so I never found myself in the kitchen, but the bathroom had some good magazines.

And, as a writer, there were those nights when I would awaken with an idea that needed to be written down.  Those moments were followed by quickly dropping off into a satisfied sleep.

The agreement with myself began to take effect. Of course, me being me, there was faith stuff involved, some God stuff and then a 1 ½ year working swing shift and then three weeks in dull on night crew during my grocery retail period helped to destroy whatever vague rhythm there was to sleep.

But mostly I had made a decision not to give into sleepless nights anymore.

There’s a lot of weight on all our shoulders now whether life is going well or in the drain.  There is always something to worry about.  Let it go.  There are times to keep your eyes closed and ignore the urge to examine the worse case scenario.  Anyway, more creative solutions come when you are asleep. Better you should intuit them at breakfast the next morning.

It’s bedtime.  I don’t worry at night anymore. I can tell you it gives me more energy to be positive about challenges and obstacles in the morning. 

Toddling off now.  Sweet Dreams. Rest easy.