Things That Keep Me Awake: An Incomplete List

©careerusinterruptus

One of my parenting groups asked, “What keeps you awake at night?” I found writing it all down to be rather cathartic, if only because it made me laugh at the theme park going on in my head. Sleep is for the weak! I mean, how else am I going to solve the universe?

  1. fear that I am failing my kids on any number of measures, take your pick;
  2. a child having a nightmare;
  3. hard decisions looming about Mum’s care;
  4. a different child – or possibly the same one – needing rescue from the möbius strip they’ve made of their blankets;
  5. unmet needs;
  6. well-meaning people telling me stuff I “need” to do which I already know but am not managing (see #1, #3, #5, and #19);
  7. things well-meaning people said about #1, #3, #4, and #5 that I strongly disagree with, but … maybe they’re right???
  8. processing – it’s the only time nobody’s in my face;
  9. climate emergency and guilt that I’m not doing anything to help;
  10. some of the other measures on which I’m failing my kids;
  11. wishing for a helpful professional;
  12. anxiety about having to admit my many failures to said professional;
  13. was that a noise?
  14. fear of my financial future;
  15. fear of my future health;
  16. PLANS. Plans to fix it ALL!
  17. Right. This isn’t helping. You can’t fix all that if you’re tired; better get some sleep now.
  18. BUT… The State of The World!
  19. hip and/or back pain;
  20. injustice;
  21. worries for family and friends going through hard times;
  22. words. Ohhhh allll the WORDS
  23. I should really get more exercise (see #5, #15, #19)
  24. I said, Go to sleep now, please.
  25. that thing I said in 1985 that was really fucking embarrassing;
  26. hormones (turns out not sleeping is a symptom of peri-menopause; who knew? And why doesn’t anyone tell you this stuff?!)
  27. I quite like making lists; this is fun!
  28. boy there sure is a lot of stuff on my to-do list. Don’t forget…
  29. trying to balance budget vs dreams vs practicalities; Being Sensible does not, ah, come naturally to me. Maybe we could …
  30. did I mention fear that I am failing my kids? Yeah? Pick another couple of measures. Haven’t aired them for a while!
  31. SLEEP! NOW!!
  32. the Great Undone – not the stuff I didn’t cross off the list, so much as the stuff I forgot to put on there in the first place which only surfaces when I’m driving or in bed;
  33. Oh, FINE – and the stuff on the list that I didn’t cross off;
  34. Great Ideas!
  35. that thing somebody I don’t even know any more said in 1993 that REALLY PISSED ME OFF BECAUSE HOW COULD THEY BE SO WRONG?!? AND YES I KNOW IT’S IN THE PAST LET IT GO BUT SERIOUSLY SO WRONG!!
  36. Excuse me? I can’t help noticing that we’re still awake. Listen. You’ll feel awful, if you don’t stop this now. Take some deep breaths… that’s right… Concentrate on relaxing your toes. Ahhh. Good. Now, relax your feet…
  37. No, but, seriously – THE STATE OF THE WORLD. I mean have you SEEN what’s going ON OUT THERE?!
  38. hungry;
  39. fat;
  40. maybe … maybe my whole life is wrong, and we should go start again from scratch on a remote island OH NO WAIT #9 SOON THERE WON’T BE ANY REMOTE BLOODY ISLANDS!
  41. c’mon Rebecca, don’t be over-dramatic, this is all just because you’re really tired. Sure your life isn’t perfect but nothing is, it’s fine, just make a list of what you can fix and start there – wait, no! Not now, Jesus, go to sleep! (Wait, where have I heard that before?)
  42. being too hot or cold and too whatever to realise/fix it before HELLO I’M AWAKE LET’S DO THINKING!

Sound familiar?