To Sleep…

Little-dreamer-daydreaming-30420185-500-375There are usually a couple of reasons I can’t sleep. Very rarely is it because I am not tired. The more likely reason is that my thoughts are too loud.

I will lay there in the cool dark with the ceiling fan stirring the air, and instead of just enjoying the peaceful silence my mind starts to wander. I think about work and the kids. I think about all the things in life I could be better at. I feel guilty about the things I didn’t get done that day or the fact that I am making the dog stay outside in the back yard because she keeps peeing in the floor. (She will be out for hours and then come in and pee on the floor for no reason. I really don’t understand why.)

Depression closes in around me and I just continue to spiral downward for hours until I finally pass out or it is time to get up again. To bypass this, I often read before bed. However, this is a double-edged sword because I have a problem putting a book down once I start. So if I am not careful I will not sleep for reading too much.

There are over the counter sleep aids that I can take but I usually only go with those if I don’t have to get up early. Even if I try to go to bed early I am still groggy the next day. Often I end up feeling the same as if I haven’t slept.

I also have an autistic son that likes to wake me up after I’ve been asleep for a couple of hours. It is usually because he needs something so I feel guilty getting annoyed about it, but it is just so hard to go back to sleep once someone wakes me up. It feels like it is twice as hard as just going to sleep to begin with.

I am having trouble sleeping right now. I thought maybe writing a few words would clear some brain space for sleep. Here’s hoping it works. Sweet dreams everyone.John_George_Brown_-_Sleeping_angel

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Worries By Moonlight

moonlightIt is roughly 4:30 in the morning where I am right now. I have an alarm set to wake me up at 8:15. No, I am not sleep typing and I didn’t write this in advance and set it to post at dark thirty.

I am awake even though I don’t want to be. I imagine I will want to be awake even less around 8:15. I took a sleep aid, a warm shower, and read The Hobbit to my son for two hours. He fell asleep but I didn’t. I can seem to turn my brain off.

barrel-373040_1280I close my eyes and imagine barrels, heavy laden with dwarves, bobbing down a cold river and then my brain shifts to all the things I need to do before 2 PM and the imagination bubble pops. Out of desperation I am now trying cold cereal.

I agreed to go watch the new Jurassic Park movie after 2:00, so everything that I can accomplish needs to be done before then. I can’t put anything off because my son has plans on Tuesday and I go back to work Wednesday.  I can’t even say my to do list contains a lot of writing. It is more like doctor’s appointments and phone calls.

I really need to get this home schooling thing sorted before I have to go back to work. I need to return to the doctor for a follow up on some blood work.(I was supposed to last Wednesday but skipped out because I was exhausted.) I have to set up an appointment for my son. (I’ve forgotten that one for three weeks in a row.) And my daughter needs to get a shot before they will let her back to school this fall.

Really the home schooling is the one I am stressing out over the most. With doctor’s and things I kind of know what to expect. Home school is an unknown variable for me. I don’t have enough information to begin making a plan.

I even gave the poor dog a bath at 1 AM, thinking that maybe if I got at least one thing off my list I would sleep better. The dog was confused but didn’t fight me. He seems to be sleeping well too.

This sleeplessness has been a running theme for me lately. I am tired but I can’t sleep. My brain just won’t go into standby mode. However, my bowl is now empty and the house is two degrees cooler because I fiddled with the thermostat. I guess I will go give it another shot. Maybe writing down my worries has helped.

A Monday For Facing Fears

Hello. It is Monday again. The sky is overcast and the grass is still damp with dew. I have been up for a bit but I am just now sitting down to write this. I have been stalling.

You see, if I sit down and write a blog post that means it is really Monday. This Monday. The Monday where I once again have to do something that I don’t really want to do because it scares me a little.

Now before any of you get ideas of doctor appointments or tightrope walking into your heads, it really isn’t that big of a deal to the rest of the world. Once I go and get things over with it won’t seem like a big deal to me either. It is the time before I actually step out of my door that is the worst.

I have to go out into the world and adult today. Yes adult can be used as a verb. If you don’t think so, just wait. One day you will do a thing and it will be something that is necessary but not really something you want to do. In fact you would probably like to avoid that thing all together. However, you will take a deep breath and do it anyway. That is adulting. (In some cases “adulting” can be not doing a thing you do really want to do.)

I have to put on my adult costume and go pretend to be something I’m not. I am an adult. I have bills, pets, kids, laundry and everything. It all gets paid, fed, or washed. But to the rest of the world I get the feeling that I am just not quite adult enough. I have to go confront the local school board over my son today. I may even be home schooling before the day is out.

(Summary of the issue is that they want my social anxiety afflicted son to move schools during his last year of primary because he is not zoned for the school he has attended since kindergarten. Makes sense except for the fact he has never been zoned for that school but it hasn’t been a problem until now.)

Sometimes I feel I have to over adult because once someone in power find out I am a single mom, for some reason my adult meter drops. I watch it happen. There is this little smirk that comes up in the corner of their mouths and their eyes say “Oh, that’s what we are dealing with.”

If they find out I am pursuing the dream of being a writer the meter drops even more. It is like I am a little kid dressed up in her mom’s shoes and no longer have to be taken seriously. I hate, hate, hate being humored or patronized. If you are going to look down on me at least do it in a way that gives me a chance to fight back.

I am not on welfare. I am paying my own mortgage. I work 72 hours in one week, then come home and do all the other stuff people have to do and be mom.  (Okay my incredibly wonderful mother helps me out with some of that.) Then I write because I am a writer. I can and I will pursue that dream. Just because I happen to not have a mate does not mean I have to give up on everything and go wallow in how hard life is.

I even have a freaking vegetable garden in the back yard! If anything I feel like they should be taking me more serious or at least trying help me out a little. But that is not the way it goes. Instead I am silently put into a stereotype box and anything I say from that point on will be viewed wearing shades colored by that box.

It is incredibly frustrating and I don’t like confrontation to begin with. Writing it all out here has helped. I don’t feel so uneasy now. I am going to go forth into battle before my courage fades. Wish me luck.

Will you, Won’t you, Will you, Won’t you, Won’t you join the Dance?

taffy_pull_machineLately I feel pulled in so many directions that I imagine I must look like salt water taffy by now. (with a lot of lumps.)  There is a Convention at the end of the month that I had planned on attending.  I have my hotel and ticket paid for. But then some unexpected bills cropped up and I couldn’t afford to go.  Travel expenses and food during the trip just could not be squeezed into my budget, and a few things that did need to go in got dropped.

Then my brother had a problem which, in a way, works to my benefit.  He was also handshake2supposed to attend the same Con but had no transportation.  He has gas money but no car, and I have a car but no gas money.  You can see where this would be mutually beneficial.

instantcoffeeSo it has been tentatively decided that I will drive and he will pay for the travel.  I still have to come up with food money but that is a lot more doable.  A person can survive off of PB &J and instant coffee for a few days.

The other problem is that my costume is no where near complete and I have only one day pink elephantbetween getting off of work and leaving for the Convention.  Still, it isn’t an insurmountable issue.  It is just one of the little things I am stressing over because I want to avoid looking at the real thing I am worried about.  That big giant monster I am afraid to glance at or even really think about.

Next week is my dad’s birthday.  The day after his birthday he has to go in for surgery on his face.  He has a quarter sized sore that won’t heal on his cheek.  It’s skin cancer.  There is a big long name for it involving scary words like malignant and melanoma and something else that starts with a C.

This isn’t the first time it has been removed.  A few years ago they cut it out, did skin grafting, and said they got it all.  Then it came back and now he has to go through it all over Patient-Centered-Careagain.  He also has four or five other smaller spots that have to be taken care of as well.

He is worried.  He hates going to the doctor even for check ups and this is way more than that.  My mom is worried.  She sees that he is upset and she knows that there is nothing she can do.  The doctor even quoted statistics to them at the last appointment.  They were not pleasant statistics.  Apparently a lot of people die from what he has.  My dad joked: “Was that before or after the operation?”   It made us smile but the smile was just the band aide on top of the worry.  It is still there and I am feeling lost.

mockturtle

“Will you walk a little faster?” said a whiting to a snail,
“There’s a porpoise close behind us, and he’s treading on my tail.
See how eagerly the lobsters and the turtles all advance!
They are waiting on the shingle – will you come and join the dance?
Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, will you join the dance?
Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, won’t you join the dance?

“You can really have no notion how delightful it will be
When they take us up and throw us, with the lobsters, out to sea!”
But the snail replied “Too far, too far!” and gave a look askance —
Said he thanked the whiting kindly, but he would not join the dance.
Would not, could not, would not, could not, would not join the dance.
Would not, could not, would not, could not, could not join the dance.

“What matters it how far we go?” his scaly friend replied.
“There is another shore, you know, upon the other side.
The further off from England the nearer is to France —
Then turn not pale, beloved snail, but come and join the dance.
Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, will you join the dance?
Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, won’t you join the dance?

– From Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Balance and money

charles delintI usually post what is on my mind here, though sometimes I hesitate.  Today what is on my mind is the balance of my bank account.  I hesitate to write about it because it is so low and I worry what people may think.  I mean I know it is low and how it got that low and I am not really worried beyond making sure I have enough gas in the car to make it to Friday.  If worse comes to worse I can always borrow from my kids. (Yes it is robbing piggy banks but I always pay them back with interest.)

My night/day job doesn’t really pay a ton, but it is enough to get by.  I have had friends try no-moneyto convince me to find a different job, maybe one that pays more and that is a little safer.  I always brush them off because I don’t think they really understand where I am coming from.

Nothing against them. They love and worry about me and I get that. However, their lives run differently than mine.  The friends that suggest this are happily married with two incomes and two people to pull kid duty.  I just have me.  My ex-husband and I are on good terms, and he loves his kids, but it is still just me day in and day out when it all comes down to it.  I don’t know what I would do with out my mom to baby sit while I work.

mugging forkTrue I work nights. True it is some what dangerous, but I don’t see it as more dangerous than working elsewhere.  Also I get every other week off to be home, to help at school, to work on my writing. (Which is what I love to do anyway.)  I am here when my kids get home from school.  I eat dinner with them and help them with their homework.  I sleep while they are at school and work while they are asleep.  I am here to pick them up if they get sick or to go to school functions when they need me. (Even if it means giving up sleep.)

So yeah, my job doesn’t pay great and I am just scraping by, but the benefits out way the money.  The money problem will be helped by getting stuff written and published.  Then I snoopywill be getting paid from both jobs.  Or at least that is what I keep telling myself and those that worry.

 

The Adventure Begins

This is probably my last post for a week…unless I magically get computer access…anything is possible I suppose.  I am leaving tonight for a vacation.  My stomach has butterflies doing the mambo but it’s from excitement as much as nerves.

My kids are staying home for this one which makes me a big ball of worry because if something goes wrong while I’m gone I won’t be here to fix it.  I am leaving them in good hands.  I know they will be fine, but I still worry.

I get to drive for the next ten hours or so to meet my friend in Florida.  We are going to go on a two day cruise to the Bahamas. I have never been on a ship and I have never been out of the country.  I am not used to leaving my kids either.  Lots of knew things for me.  Lots of chances for new experiences.  And a brand new journal to write it all down in.

 

Waiting Rooms

Princess Leia sitting in the containment cell on board a Star Destroyer, must have felt a lot like someone waiting in a doctors office.  She didn’t know what was going to happen and her continued health was left up to two guys posing in white suits.

I have spent the last few days inside Doctor’s offices and the ER so I’ve had some time to think about this.  My son isn’t feeling well.  No one seems to know what is wrong.  He is fine, no fever or anything, but he throws up a couple of times a day and has been doing so for the last week.  He is eight years old, a good student, and a reasonably active kid.

Three weeks ago he got bitten by a tick at his Grandmother’s house. He pulled it off himself and seemed to be okay, except the bite took forever to heal.  The doc drew blood to test for Lyme Disease, but we are still waiting for the results.

My life is currently full of worry and stress. (Hence the lack of recent posts here.) Who has time to write when you’ve got a sick kid and doctor bills to contend with?  Well…actually, I didn’t have anything else to do during the eight hours at the ER.  So I pulled out a pen and scrounged up some paper.  None of what I wrote is at all usable but it did keep my fingers in practice and it kept my mind busy.

A friend of mine gave me a great complement yesterday.  She said my best quality as a writer wasn’t that I was “an awesome writer” but that I was a “dedicated writer”.  She was quick to assure me that she didn’t mean that my writing wasn’t awesome but that she thought that the dedication I showed toward my writing was admirable.

I was flattered of course and today while I was sitting in the doctor’s office again I thought about what she said.  Dedication is a good thing to have.  (Personally, I always called it stubbornness.)  Anyone can walk a mile if they take one step at a time and then just keep going.  Writing works the same way, just one word at a time and keep going.