Friday, March 26, 2004

Sleep Patterns

You may be wondering why I've blogged three mornings in a row. Well, the thing is that I've been waking up at 7:30 every morning for the last two weeks, and I'm starting to get used to it. And I don't mean that my alarm goes off at 7:30... in fact, my alarm doesn't go off until 9, it has become more of a get-your-ass-dressed alarm than a wake-your-ass-up alarm. I mean that I am wide awake in my bed at 7:30 for no apparent reason. Cogent, even. It's weird.

So I usually loll in the bed for another half-hour or so before my bladder forces me out, and then I make coffee, and then I download my morning spam, and then I drink my first cup of coffee, then I read all of my daily reads (a fast-dwindling list, I need some new blood), and then I drink my second cup of coffee... and after all that, it's only 8:45. It takes me less than ten minutes to get dressed (I just now got dressed in about two seconds), and I don't leave the house until 9:45 at the earliest, but this week I've been going in at eleven (because I know I won't be able to leave work before 5), so I don't leave the house until 10:45. That leaves almost two hours with nothing to do... I can shower and fuck with my hair, that takes some time, but I can only shower every other day or else my skin and hair dry up and blow away; I can make and eat breakfast, but I'm usually not hungry in the morning.

And so I have been writing more, doing a diary entry on the mornings that I don't have to shower (yesterday would have been a shower-day, but as you can read, I wasn't in the mood to be fresh and clean, nor was I in the mood to eat).

Grandmother, quite conversely, has been sleeping a lot the last few days. Normally she's a very light sleeper, and in the usual practice of eighty-five-year-olds she only sleeps two or three hours at a time at night and has lots of little cat-naps during the day. But she was so deeply asleep when I got home from the office yesterday, she didn't even wake up when I called her name; when I left to have dinner with a friend, she was still asleep; when I got back from dinner two and a half hours later, she was still asleep. Then she woke up at eleven p.m., just as I was heading for bed. I don't know if she slept at all during the night, but she was asleep when I got up at a quarter to eight.

It has me kind of worried, all this sudden deep-sleeping. And I find I don't handle worries well... I tend to sublimate them, try to talk myself out of them, bury them deep and try to forget about them. Of course, when you do such things, the worries just pop out in other places, emotions and behaviors that are apparently unrelated but have their roots in the worries you're avoiding. Like feeling unaccountably sad, or going on mad credit-card shopping sprees (I only spent about fifty bucks Wednesday afternoon, but it was user spending, if you know what I mean).

But even admitting my worry doesn't help much. I don't want to talk to Grandmother about it for fear of worrying her, too... she has no problem worrying, she could get the gold if Worrying were an Olympic sport, but she tends to get very fearful when it's something about her health; such as, she gets dehydrated fairly easily because of her medications (hydrochlorothyazide for her blood pressure, which has diuretic properties), and every time she get dehydrated she thinks she's having a stroke... little realizing that she's essentially having a hangover, and since she never drank she has no experience of them. So I get her to drink a bottle of Pedia-Lite and she feels better, but the next time it happens she panics again and thinks her brain is exploding. It's very trying.

And then, worrying has always struck me as unbearably useless. It doesn't do anything, nobody ever accomplished anything by worrying about it. But pretending you're not worried doesn't work any better than worrying. What does?

I guess the answer is that you have to not fear in order to not worry. I worry about Grandmother because I'm really not prepared to lose her. I'm afraid of what my life will be like without her. And I may be even more afraid of her becoming incapacitated than I am afraid of her dying... it sounds selfish to my own ears, but I am not ready to devote more of myself to taking care of her. If she became incapacitated, I would need to give up a lot of my own life in order to take care of her. It's something I want to do, but not yet. I'm just not ready.

Prayer and meditation, prayer and meditation. I realize that I have always been able to do things when it comes time to do them. I may bitch and moan and freak out, but when the big changes do come down the pike, I always manage to adapt. Whatever happens, and no matter how ill-prepared I am for it happening, I will usually do the right thing and invariably survive. There's no need to be afraid. It's just the human response to the unknown and/or undesirable outcomes that litter our lives.

God, that sounded sententious. I'm going to go eat a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich now, have another cup of coffee, and go to work. I'm working on financial things today, our office finances are in such a mess and nobody understands the budget or the financial reports. So I am working on a user-friendly translation of the very confusing treasurer's reports as well as a "transparent" (meaning accessible to the densest mind) draft budget for next year. All this from the guy who flunked math even more often than he flunked PE. Hopefully the DSL is back up so I can surf beefcake while I'm juggling figures.

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