Friday, January 14, 2005


For me falling asleep is not a problem. It was when I was much younger. I would often lie in bed unable to switch off. I never liked sleep. Even as a small child I knew I might be missing something. Wanting to rest due to fatigue was acceptable, sleeping as part of a routine was not. Even in kindergarden while others had nodded off at nap time I was often walking around, "helping" my teacher. My first real job, teaching in a junior high changed all that.

Now it is not the falling asleep, it is the staying asleep. Having to answer the call of nature in the middle of the night is a standing senior citizen moment. But since I am not quite there yet - work with me here - I would rather like to blame my blood pressure medicine, a diuretic. But what would account for my frequent inability to go back to sleep once nature is satisfied?

I have often heard that as we age our need for sleep decreases. I have also heard that there is no data to back that up. Whatever the reason I often return to bed fully awake with little inclination for further sleep. So it was last night about 4:00 AM.

After listening to the clash of a Canadian cold front and our recent stream of moist gulf air play itself out with wind and rain outside, I decided to get up. Sometimes I head for this computer, check out the news, read any email, and occasionally write something. Last night I just sat in the living room and listened to the sounds of the night: a passing train, Fang snacking, and those unidentifiable seemingly random household noises that used to scare me when I was a little boy with a big imagination. It was wonderful.

My mind often turns at times like last night to personal histories, memories of things done and not done. Profound commentaries on the issues of the day slide into what I didn't do yesterday, and what needs to be done once the sun comes up. If nature is kind I will drift to sleep, usually to awake surprised at the light outside the windows.

So it was early this morning around here.

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