Night before last, I couldn’t sleep. I tossed and turned. I fretted. I wrote letters in my head, held imaginary conversations and stumbled over problems and possible solutions. When worry brought me to the verge of a panic attack, I assessed my symptoms to rule out heart attack. Finally, I got up and made tea. Paced the floor. Fretted some more.
When I was much younger, I often stayed up all night. Sometimes it was worry that caused it; often it was just wanting time to myself, to finish a project or read a book. Now, though my thoughts will often drive me out of bed to walk and think and drink herbal tea in the middle of the night, it is rare when I get no sleep at all.
It’s funny, though…I think I function better now, without sleep, than I did twenty years ago, when a sleepless night would have required a day at home to make up for it, or a day of barely functioning at work.
I was tired yesterday, no doubt, but did not even consider calling in sick to work. For one, we are short-staffed, and if I were home sick, someone else would pay for it, either in having to work alone or having to come in on a day off. Second, I can’t afford to miss work. At this time, this job is contributing to several other endeavors that are not paying their own way. It is also paying my bills. Third, still stressed out, nerves on edge, a day at home would not fix the problem. If I slept, my schedule would be even more messed up; if I didn’t, well…I’d might as well be at work.
Though I was dragging – in body and spirit – I went to work. I took care of customers and answered the phone. I was not cranky. I did some office work to get a pile of discontinued and old merchandise off the current books and out of the way. I put away a new shipment of dog food. I cut glass. I took a short break to go to the post office, bank and re-sale shop.
I picked up some necessities for Aunt Katie and dropped them off on my way home. We had a good visit. Home, Rosa Parks and I went for a short walk through cold rain. I deposited the mail on the desk, fed the little dog and tidied the kitchen. I had cereal and milk for supper. The box toppled, and spilled cereal onto the floor. Rosa Parks looked pleased, and able to handle it; I didn’t go for the broom.
I was in bed by eight o’clock, nodding off over my book within minutes, and had the lights off by eight-thirty. Sleeping well.
Now, here is Saturday.