July 19, 2011...3:26 a.m.....awake, have been for over an hour. Sneezing woke me up, then the dogs began to scratch around and make noises, soon they wanted to go outside. I let them out and then back in and thought I would go back to sleep but no, one of them was hungry and barked and soon they were eating while I was coming alive in my head. The stream of consciousness emerged and the songs began playing in my head and now guess who is sitting up drinking coffee and writing this blog.
I used to get irritated if I had a sleepless night now and then. I thought eight hours of sleep was required and I tried my best to get that amount each night. Now, sleepless nights do not bother me as much as they once did. Time is time and if I have time awake when I should be asleep I figure I will make up for it later, with an afternoon nap perhaps once I get back home from work.
Maybe sleepless nights are a gift, a divine interruption to make us reflect at a time when we should be snoozing. I don't blame God for waking me up. I blame sneezing and dogs and having a psyche that becomes alert once I have reached a certain stage in the sleep/awake pattern. Others hear voices while I hear songs in my head, not hymns most of the time, but sometimes silly songs or the pop hits of the 60s, my own private jukebox singing to me. I don't know if others have songs in their heads as I do but the songs seem to play at the most inopportune times and often will not stop until I am able to change the dial to something else, maybe the talk radio of my head instead. That is almost as bad as songs because I begin to think about the news of the day or politics or something equally distasteful.
So, here we are at 3:34 am now. Part of me says to try to make an effort to go back to sleep but part of me is wired (two cups of coffee has helped to contribute to that too). I can hear the sounds of the freeway even though it is a mile away. I can hear the occasional train that comes through and insists on blowing its whistle at this hour of the night even though our town of 2000 most likely has no one on the streets except for police officers watching over us. I can hear the refrigerator humming and the ceiling fan turning. All that white noise is rather peaceful (except for the train whistle which jars me each time it passes).
So, what do you do with a sleepless night? Do you give yourself to the monotony of night time infomercials in the vast wasteland of television? Do you find a book to read and hope it will lull you back to sleep? Do you get on your computer and surf around, looking for anything to make you feel useful? Perhaps this sleepless night is what I need to teach me something I need to learn. I may not be sleeping but a part of me is content with what is. Maybe I need to learn to be satisfied in whatever state I find myself...even a sleepy one dulled by life and songs in one's head.