I have a complex relationship with my bed.
Sometimes, at around 8 or 9pm, I look at it and I just wish the day was over and I could climb into it and read my book. It’s not the sleep I crave, it’s the peace.
I just want to read. I don’t want to tell someone to do their homework, clean their teeth or come off their iPad. I don’t want to listen to The Simpsons blaring from the TV, put more washing away or give someone another lift. I just want to be on my own. I just want to unwind. I’ve done enough for one day, I deserve some peace and quiet.
But it doesn’t happen.
There’s always the homework, the teeth, the iPad, The Simpsons, the washing and the lifts. Plus countless other things.
I eventually get there around 11pm, by which time I’m too tired to read for long. I get to sleep quickly and, for that, I’m grateful.
If I wake up at 5am, I’m pretty pleased with myself. Because it often starts with a 4. There have been a few times recently when it’s started with a 3. OK, so it’s closer to 4 than 3 – 3.44 or 3.52, but it’s still 3. And 3 is wrong. Very wrong.
And, before I know it, a thought has slipped into my head. Not a worry as such, but a thought.
Why is my email suddenly costing me money? I’ll need to get a new email address. But what about all of those things I’ll have to change and cancel from my old email address? Should my son really do the Sport Relief run when he’s got football a couple of hours later? How will I fit all those phone calls in I’ve got to make for work? What time I should set off for that appointment? I hope my daughter is OK after she went to bed with a headache. I mustn’t forget to put the recycling boxes out…
And that’s it! I’m awake.
I try to make the thoughts go away, but then I’m just thinking about the thoughts and they’re whirring round and round even more.
I used to be able to count to distract myself and would usually be asleep before 100. Now I hardly make it to 10 before the recycling boxes and the phone calls creep back in.
And all I want to do is go back to sleep. Or, failing that, I want to get up. Because the world seems a better place when I’m up. The bed that I wanted to be in so much has now lost all of its appeal.
The thoughts can be put into perspective. They’re completely pointless. If I can do something about them, I will. I’ll change things and make sure that thought doesn’t come back the next night. But there will always be another thought.
I don’t feel tired in the way I imagine tiredness should feel. My tiredness manifests itself as a feeling of sadness. Sometimes barely discernible somewhere on the edge of my consciousness. At others a feeling which is quite overwhelming.
And so the day wears on and the cycle begins again. Ready for another long night.