Losing Sleep

I love to sleep. I mean, LOVE it. When it actually happens that I get some good sleep, I practically dance a jig.

Mostly, it doesn’t happen. I am a raving insomniac, and have been since childhood.

I don’t know for sure, but I may have done it to myself, back in those early days when I was scared that I might miss something if I closed my eyes for a few hours. I outgrew that fear, of course. Nothing much happens in the middle of the night in a houseful of sleeping people, be they siblings and parents, spouse and children, or even grandchildren.

None of the above ever even bothered to do any significant or interesting talking in their sleep, so what was I awake for?

For years, I told myself it was fine. I read. I wrote. I folded laundry. I lied to me and said I would sleep later, and being busy was good.

The truth was, and is, that all I really wanted to do was go to sleep. Go to sleep, and stay asleep for at least six good hours.

Funny. Not much to ask for, is it? But…no.

I have this brain that never shuts up. Usually it is mundane stuff. Lists. What will I make for breakfast, lunch and dinner? Do we need anything from the store? Did I give Dad his medication? Oh, good, I did.

Sometimes it will be more stress-inducing thoughts, like worrying about medical test results or wondering why my daughters have turned out to be as dumb as their mother when it comes to picking partners. (Sorry, girls.)

I put the television on so the dialogue will distract me. Sometimes it works; actively listening to a voice other than the one in my head gives me a break, at least. But there are times when that stupid voice is louder that the tv. Then ensues the battle between running a coherent thought through my head and trying to outguess House as he contemplates the next elusive diagnosis.

(Speaking of “House”, I am getting pretty good at figuring out some of that medical stuff. Apparently all that reading for my coding certification was good for something.)

I haven’t been very distractible the last few weeks. This pandemic is scary.

Right now, I am in a small Wyoming town, where one would think people would be less inclined to panic-shop and stress out. Still, we are on the I-80 corridor, with literally thousands of people driving through every week. Heaven knows where they have been.

A couple of days ago, I learned that a young man I have known since he was a baby is in ICU with COVID-19. That hit home in a way that the empty toilet paper shelves did not. He doesn’t live in Wyoming now, but he is the child of a dear friend and a member of a family that has already seen more of illnesses than any family should have to deal with.

Things got personal.

Then, our first local case was reported, and any hopes that it would pass us by because we’re a small community went right out the window.

Luckily, self-isolation has been the norm for quite a while now, and it isn’t hard for my parents or me, because we hardly ever go anywhere in the best of times. Hopefully, it will keep things safer.

But it does have my noisy brain in overdrive. The kids are not able to go to work. Do they have enough food? Never mind toilet paper, you can’t find that anywhere! What has broken down, fallen apart, been stolen or disappeared? Are the kids okay?

Food, water, clothes, toilet paper….

Homeschooling, lost jobs, internet….

No money… how are my book sales? Practically non-existent? How can I help anyone when I don’t make enough to deal with my own stuff?

Do they have food? Toilet paper? Is the power on?

It’s tornado season, too. Good Lord!

And what the hell is up with all these earthquakes?

Are these the end days? Am I going to hell?

Are we there already?

That would explain a lot.

I could go bananas, and rant about politics and incompetency, but you get the gist of the worry game.

One who already has insomnia now has even more reasons not to be able to sleep. And, damn it, I LOVE to sleep. So I am not a happy camper.

I thought this “Stay at Home” would mean I would write more, but I feel like I am getting less of that done, because I keep looking at the news. Silly me.

If you, too, are losing sleep, why not drop me a line in the message board and we can share the pain.

In the meantime, wash your hands. Call your loved ones and let them know how you’re doing. Wash your hands. Eat a cookie. Kiss your dog/cat/bird/other pet. Wash your hands.

Stay home, stay safe and know that while I am busy NOT sleeping, I am putting out the good vibes for you and yours and hoping things are back to whatever passes for normal soon.

Sleep well!



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