Sleepless in Sunshine

First- I apologize for the austerity of my blogging. My I pad will not load images, and so I will show you my world on another day. Today I will take you to Janet's Planet with mere words.

I have not slept well in Florida. Can it be that I require the snuffling and wheezing of Mabel and Milly to sedate me? God, I hope not. Steve provides a soundtrack at times, but tonight I needed to vacate bed and inhabit the Corner of the sectional. Here I can prop myself up, reading until my mind shuts off. Usually, my brain goes into Park pretty fast.

Dreamland was elusive last night. I just stayed up. It was nice.

This habit was formed years ago. Our house was crowded, and I loved to claim a space as my own. This was only possible when the other seven were in bed. I stayed up until all hours, watching movies or reading in the den. I slept in my clothes, draped with Mom's blue afghan. I clanged to reality when Mom filled the tea kettle, usually around 6:30 in the morning. She would try to get me to go upstairs by giving me the "Jan, you cannot get a good night's sleep" on the couch scold. I would just bury my nose in the cushion and grab another hour.

I am a good sleeper. I am second born; my Mom mastered the art of letting me cry myself to sleep. Therefore, I have an excellent sleep muscle. I can snooze in noise or silence, neon light or obscurity. My sister Jennifer, first born and probably quartered in a dark nursery and picked up at a whimper, needed silence and darkness. Our bedroom sharing was a study in conflict resolution: our most violent quarrels involved who would pull down the light darkening shades, when the lights would go out, and the need for silence. In time, she wore a bonnet hairdryer to bed obscuring all noise, though occasionally burning her face in a coiled pattern. I read with a flashlight under the covers. If only booklights had been invented! I would never have been a snotty little bitch to Jen. We evolved to fight about who had more inches of closet bar, (Jennifer) and who was messier (me, no contest). She is still a wretched sleeper, and I am Rip Van Winkle.

Steve is a fitful sleeper, too. He cannot settle without me beside him. I view this as a sweet connection, but it is also a burden, since his late night routine involves sports recaps and TMZ. I do not have room in my brain for such clutter, and so off I go. To sleep, perchance to dream. Most likely, to snore. Or snuffle...that sounds more feminine.

My routine shifts when Steve is in Florida and I am home. I take a bath, shuffle downstairs, and return to my night owl persona. Six states away, Steve calls and encourages me to go to bed, call him, and say goodnight- a virtual "tuck in". It comforts him to go to bed together. But those late night hours are a winter gift to me. He manages this abandonment with an Ambien. I admit I feel guilty when the morning reveals an insomniac text circa 4 am, wondering if I am awake. Once I am asleep, I am done. Steve has never known 8 hours of uninterrupted sleeping bliss.

Tonight my rare episode of Sleepless in Pompano allowed me to finish my book- The Art of Fielding (wondrous, to be discussed later) - and watch the sun paint the sky rose then golden. Steve sauntered by the sofa, grabbed a treat and a water, admonished me to come to bed, and drifted back to the bedroom. I feel my youth and my present all tied together by hardwiring, love and history. Jennifer is in town, sleeping poorly in Dad's condo 3 floors below. I know the rising sun will awaken her. If I had a teakettle, I would fill it up. And we would tea-toast the gifts of every late night and early morning.

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  • fb_avatar

    Hi Janet,
    Wondering if you've checked out Pinterest. So.Much. Fun.But totally addictive. Love creating boards and love looking at what my friends and total strangers who like the stuff I like have created. I'm 48 hours in and quite smitten with the thing. For me, Pinterest is a kind of like modern day hope chest where women can store ideas as they plan for what’s next in their lives, whether it’s next weekend or next year. So fun. Worth a try if you can't sleep or focus to read. 80% of the people doing it are women...so of course they're trying to create a "man focused" Pinterest. But lets get serious. Sharing dreams and ideas with friends vrs. sports & porn. Think they're wasting their time trying to get men into this...

  • Hi Janet,
    Wow! Too uncanny! We went to St. Gabriel's this AM, saw Fr. Tony, thought of you (re: your dad and your faith), Googled you and discovered this site. We, too, are in Pompano Beach...552 N. Ocean. But, the craziness does not end there! I grew up Western Springs, remember Steve's show when you had Patrick and bought The Art of Fielding for my husband to read down here, which he is doing!
    Sunrises here are beyond wondrous!! At this point in my life, three married kids, grandkids, retired ....it's just great to see another day begin!
    Happy days in Florida!
    SusanQ

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