This is the first day this week I have not had to go to the computer store to work a shift after my day at school. This is also the morning I got up earlier than usual (4:30) to take Ginger to the airport to go help out a friend who recently suffered a minor stroke. I stopped at Fullsteam on my way home to meet a couple of friends, got to the house, greeted Rachel and fed puppies, and then came upstairs and fell asleep. Ran out of gas on the couch, surrounded by Schnauzers, which is a great way to be reminded you are loved.
I was reading something online the other day about people’s sleep habits before electricity and how they would often have a “first sleep” from dark until about ten or so, wake up and do something for a couple of hours, and then go back to sleep for the rest of the night. The idea of eight hours at once is a relatively new one. OK, those of you who know me also know eight hours has never been a part of my pattern; six is the basic aim. I realized, as I read, that I had never thought about sleep patterns being different in other times. That just seemed like something that had always been. The truth is there is very little of our lives, whether big or small details, that has always been, and we live in a time when that change feels as though it is accelerating.
In the midst of that change, I am grateful for some of the staples in my life: a wife with a big heart who takes care of her friends, friends of my own on a sunny afternoon, and Schnauzers who are as loving as they are demanding.
And now for my second sleep.
How ironic. Mark and I stay up until midnight each night to perform Stross’ medical cares before officially going to sleep. He can fall asleep prematurely, take care of Stross’ needs and go swiftly back into a second sleep. I cannot. Last night I accidentally fell asleep on the couch shortly after 11 a.m. – so did he. Fortunately, we awoke around 12:20 a.m. and Mark took care of Stross and I readied for bed. Unlike Mark, I cannot move into a second sleep as swiftly. Premature sleep brings on insomnia, and I saw 2:30 a.m. before I fell began dreaming. And, of course, everything I thought of while lying in bed awake formed into a nightmare. The ONLY time my “second sleep” instances work are when I give myself permission to get out of bed and do something. Debated that last night, but chose to stay put. (I blame winter cold.) Now I will tell myself it’s the pioneer thing to do and allow myself to feel union with generations who lived before my time. Thanks, Milton!