Everything around me is out of my control. Sometimes, even my own body and mind are not mine. I wanted to sleep this morning until 9 am at least (it is my day off after all), except I awoke at 6:30 with my eyes wide open. I gave myself until 7 to go back to sleep. By 6:50, my mind was already filling with ideas. Sometimes, even my own psyche is out of my control. If I were a psychological guru, I suppose I could have forced myself back to sleep, or at least tried a little harder to relax. Wow, think about that statement for a moment: “try a little harder to relax”? Is that an oxymoron or what? It seems like many of us do a lot of that. We work at resting…hmmm.
I think part of our effort to “work at relaxing” comes from the fact that we misunderstand what we can and cannot control. For example, perhaps I was misguided about whether I had a choice in the matter of sleeping. How many of us have convinced ourselves that we can “will” ourselves to sleep with our cerebral cortex only, while forgetting the other parts of our brain. We can just think ourselves to sleep…yeah, right!
Also, let’s not forget about that circadian rhythm. In my case, my own sleep cycle complicates matters. You see, two nights ago I was called in to work all night: 7 pm to 7 am. I had the opportunity to nap during that time, but I had little meaningful sleep. When I returned from work, it was about 7:30 am and I was exhausted. I fell asleep on the spot. I awoke 6 hours later…not bad, but not that great either after being awake for basically 24 hours. I hardly felt refreshed by bed time, which turned out to be 1 am. Cycle–all–out–of–whack. Out of my control.
Sleep when tired.
So, even though I know I could have used more sleep, I only slept from 1 am to 6:30 am last night, and that’s that. So, that will be 2 rounds of 6 hours of sleep, in the last 48. Some people can live on this kind of sleep, but not me. I can accept this. Maybe I will get a little nap today. Notice the “maybe” in that statement. It is a very strong maybe; it implies a lack of control. I cannot control much of what the day has in store for me. I may have chores to do, my wife may have plans for me today, my children may need me right when I should be napping, or I may actually lay down to “saw some Z’s” and I won’t be able to get to sleep. Out of my control.
All things considered, I don’t feel that tired anyway…yet. At least I’ll get a full night sleep tonight. Oh wait, scratch that, it’s Christmas eve. Now there is something I can be sure about…that I WON’T get much sleep on Christmas eve, as a father of two young children. Up late playing Santa, up early enjoying their excitement.
Out of my control. Sometimes, like on Christmas eve and morning, it’s just fun being along for the ride. Possibly, I’m just excited for Christmas and that’s why I can’t sleep.
MAYBE that nap will be had tomorrow.