Thursday, October 16, 2008

One Sheep, Two Sheep, Red Sheep, Blue Sheep

Its ironic, the one thing I think about doing all day long is sleep, and when it comes down to it at night, I just can't seem to do it. Going to sleep isn't the problem, its the waking up and then staying awake that gets me... every time. Generally, I wake up thinking about work (go AWAY work!! I've dealt with you for TEN HOURS today, can't I just have a few hours for me time??) and then can't get my mind to shut down long enough to go back to sleep.

It is always worse when Ben is traveling - because then I actually have the option of not staying in bed. Tonight I played Bejeweled on my phone for a few rounds and then decided to get up and grab my laptop. That is when I took this picture of Jackson at the foot of the bed giving me the "you have got to be shitting me" look when I turned on the light. Please notice his scruffy appearance - I spent the evening brushing him, but he only gave me access to the right side - his left side is still all scraggly making him appear to be half Yeti. And don't say anything about his weight -- we are sensitive about that.

I guess I've always had issues with hitting dreamland. I would like to categorize myself as fairly chill, but I had issues even as a child. I don't remember what age I was, but I have been stressing since I was at least in middle school, if not earlier. Back then, I remember it was about doing something wrong and being sent to the "Trojan Pride Room" aka nice word for detention. Which would make sense if I was the hellion child of the fourth grade, bringing smokes to school and flipping teachers the bird, but I was a fairly mild mannered kiddo. I think even back then, my brain just needed something to chew on regularly, especially when I really just wanted to go to sleep.

I met with a nice lady who tried to reason with me (silly lady) and eventually decided that since I was holding on to my fears of the Trojan Pride Room like a dog with a bone (sorry, but Jack is still giving me the EYE from the bottom of the bed) she would teach me some relaxation techniques to help me sleep. Not counting sheep (which for the record, visualizing sheep only wakes me up more b/c I have to concentrate on exactly what the sheep look like, the movement, how many, why one sheep may be smaller than the others, etc.) but what she called "organizing my closet." It is a simple exercise where you visualize a closet with lots of shelf space and hanging areas, and you slowly but surely think of everything on your mind, and put each item in its place in the closet. And when you are all done emptying your mind, you close the closet door and walk away. In theory, you should be asleep before you shut your closet door or soon after, but sometimes it takes me a few tries. Especially now that I'm older, and I still use the technique, I come up with things that I didn't even realize were on my mind, but once they are fully OUT THERE I have to mull all of those issues over before I put them on their shelf. Sometimes I end up more stressed than when I was having a hard time sleeping, but those times are few and far between.

So there is something that I learned in the fourth grade that I'm still using today. Although not tonight, because instead I chose to turn on the light and anger my happily sleeping dog. And, I did that because I'm a little afraid to think about what might be lurking in my mind that I need to organize in my closet. To date, I've spent my entire pregnancy just bouncing through life feeling thrilled with the knowledge that we are going to have a baby. A sweet, cuddly, loving and sometimes irrational baby. A really well-meaning and caring friend recently sent me a subscription to Parents magazine, and the first two issues I sat down with and devoured immediately. There were so many tips, so many products, so many warnings. And this magazine had it all, from pregnancy to school-aged children. And in the back of my mind, I think I'm starting to realize that I'm not having a baby - no, I'm having a baby, that will grow to a toddler, that will eventually go to grade school, that will soon be a teenager and HOLY SHIT WHAT DO I DO WITH A TEENAGER!?!?!?!?!?!?

I'm still thrilled that Ben and I are having a baby. He is going to be an amazing father, and I don't think I'll do too shabby of a job either. I can't believe how lucky I am that I have a life growing inside me. I'm just starting to realize the weight, not just the joy, that comes with this little package.

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