Tuesday, 30 December 2008

I wonder what I will have written by the end of today?

Oh sleep! It is a gentle thing,
Beloved from pole to pole!
To Mary Queen the praise be given!
She sent the gentle sleep from Heaven,
That slid into my soul.

I should go to bed instead of doing this next blog bit, but after last night I cannot face it. Some nights I just can't sleep, and last night was a bad episode. I was awake until after 4 am. Dr P also had a bad night with shooting pains in his leg. So this morning there was a certain testiness on both parts, until I went out (after my breakfast) and bought him his Rice Bubbles. I hate going to the local Woolworths. There is never any parking, so I drive around for ages, and then have to stagger back to the car with the heavy shopping. He is ok - he has a disabled parking sticker, but I don't.

But it is revolting, not sleeping. I have never been a good sleeper. How is it possible for people to get into bed, close their eyes and fall asleep instantly? It never happens to me.

The father of my children was one of the instant sleepers. He also had intermittent jerks of the leg. Just as I was drifting off to sleep, his leg would jerk. I'd try to settle down but the jerk would happen again. And again. Eventually I'd be counting to calculate how many seconds interval there would be. Not very many. There was nowhere else to sleep so I just had to continue my fairly futile attempts to fall asleep. My children seemed to inherit their father's ability to fall asleep. Lucky things. I did try to ensure that they developed good sleeping habits, partly by expecting them to sleep when put to bed, teaching them that sleep is really nice, and then by being firm about them going back to sleep if they did wake. My son did develop a habit of climbing into bed with us from time to time. Of course I did my best to discourage that little habit, as there is nothing worse for a bad sleeper than getting kicks in the back from a two year old. Apart from the leg jerks, that is.

These days, since Dr P's recovery from spinal surgery several years ago, I do have a  bed to myself. And so does he. Although I never fall asleep quickly, generally after an hour or so I drift off.  But many things conspire to keep me awake, or to disturb me. There are streetlights nearby, so it is hard to keep the room dark. The street is a busy one, with lots of traffic. There are local parties. There is a pub a block away, so lots of carousers stagger past slowly and noisily. Last week there was a violent and weeping quarrel between a couple, which lasted half an hour before they drove off. Some noises make me think the graffitists are out there. One night the noises were from vandals smashing all the side mirrors of the cars parked in the street, mine and Bron's included. Planes fly over until 11 pm and resume just before 6 am. Helicopters fly over sometimes. Why? The night birds sing. Then the day birds wake up. The garbage trucks go past about 5 am. You can see why being awake until 4 am makes me a bit fraught.

So why, last night, after a few nights of good sleep, and a happy Christmas, did my demons sit on my chest, and  persecute and harass me?

They had better stay away tonight. Avaunt. Avaunt. And let the gentle sleep slide into my soul.


molly said...

My sister, also a very light sleeper, calls it "listening to the grass grow!" As for me, I DIE when I climb into bed! I'm glad she and not I, inherited our mother's sleep habits! Mother creaked up and down the stairs several times a night in search of cups of tea or cigarettes, anything to help pass the time, or make her sleepy......Hope you got your rest, and I wish you a very happy new year!

persiflage said...

I'd never thought of listening to the grass! I had a blissful night's sleep last night, thanks, and happy New Year to you too, Molly.
People are streaming into our suburb, on foot, as the roads in are closed, so as to get a good place to watch the fireworks on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It is quite an event.