Category Archives: Just Can’t Sleep

Early Retirement

keep-calm-early-retirement-beckonsI started writing this blog, because I figured if I was awake maybe putting some of my worries and rants down in print might help me dish off some anxiety.  I hoped maybe it would allow me to work through some of the stress and tension I experienced on a daily basis. I certainly wasn’t having any success tossing and turning at night.  I usually ended up exhausted from the ordeal of attempting to force sleep.  So, I started writing down what bothered me, or stressed me out, or sometimes what interested me. When I first started this blog, I was living with a man that was a sorry mess.  As I look back on my life, there are a few episodes I wish I could completely erase.  This man was one of them.

As the relationship unwound, I found myself filled with anxiety and I brought that anxiety here. I also found myself awake at night worried about my career and supporting my family.  In those days, I was struggling financially, after a divorce where I ended up with ALL the marital debt.  That was my reward for marrying a man who never paid his bills. I worried about everything. It kept me up.  I ranted through it all here.  My life is in a very different place than when I began this blog almost four years ago. Read the rest of this entry

Summer Rains and Insomnia


Interesting weather we’re having here, isn’t it? While most of the country is burning up, my little corner of the world is experiencing a deluge that might become record-breaking. The water is pouring from the sky in monsoon-like torrents. The thing is, I live in a region not known to ever experience monsoons. We don’t have tornadoes either, so I’m hoping that’s not next on the weird weather agenda these days.

The rain is definitely good for us. Though my area is known to be a bit rainy at this time of the year, rains of this magnitude usually occur in January and are accompanied by colder weather and snow in the mountains. It’s raining like it is January, but it is 64 degrees out. And it’s the middle of the night.

I love summer rains. I love them even if they keep me up at night. I’m tempted to go brew a cup of coffee and sit out on my upper deck. Sitting in the rain soaked air with a cuppa joe at night, just listening to the rhythmic cadence of raindrops on roof, and on cedars sounds like a heavenly idea. Maybe if I took a blanket, I could fall asleep out there.

I won’t do it though. I’m certain to wake someone up. I don’t mind that I’m up at night. In fact, I’m becoming more and more accustomed to these late night rendezvous with my tiny iPhone screen, and the WordPress app. This does not mean others in my home would view wakefulness at this hour with the same charitable nature. So, out of consideration for them, and to save the neighbors from hearing the rest of the family yelling at me in the middle of the night, I’ll save the coffee-in-the-rain idea for a night when I am all alone.

The rain does sound so very nice…and far away…so does the rumbling thunder accompanying it.

Pain & Worthless Tenants

1:10 a.m. Tonight, every part of my body hurts and I cannot explain why. It just does. I haven’t done anything other than very routine activities; no serious exercise. And, I’m awake. Hopefully, not for long, since I did take a Unisom capsule.

The unexplained pain concerns me, as does the not being able to sleep. My oncologist told me that getting more sleep during radiation treatments was imperative. That’s going to be tough if things continue as they are.

On another note, today was the first and my renters who assured me they’d have the full rent plus any past due ($185) were not at the house when I stopped by to collect. I left a cancellation of the lease agreement on the door and will also mail them a copy. What are the odds I see any of that $750? I’d say, unlikely at best. Further, when I went over there, no one was around, but the front door was wide open. Now, I get to go over there daily and become a royal pain in the ass to them. Well, I won’t be a pain, but I will show up every day after radiation until I get an answer about payment. That’ll be fun for me.

Right now, I just want to not hurt and to sleep.

Global Warming and Insomnia

I love summer. I love it for a number of reasons, not the least of which is, I don’t have to punch a time clock and report to an office away from home. I also enjoy the things everyone else loves about summer: the blue skies and the warm weather.

Where I live, we usually have four seasons. The last few years, however, we have observed a reduction in the amount of the year allocated to Spring and Fall with an increase in time for winter and summer, with summer edging out winter a bit more with each passing year.

This year, we went straight from winter, to summer in April, and it happened this last weekend. I love that. Spring isn’t my favorite season anyway. But after experiencing the first dreadfully hot night where I tossed and turned till well past 3:00 a.m., I think I have come to appreciate the gradual lead-in to the summer heat which Spring provides.

Tonight seems like its going to be another hot one as well. I need the sleep. It gets tough to perform well on the job with no sleep, and it looks totally unprofessional when you begin nodding off in a marketing meeting with important clients that you really, really want to sign. Further, I started radiation treatment and the big concern about radiation is the fatigue that sets in somewhere around week three or four. I was hoping to be able to rest up in a feeble effort to avoid the fatigue and consequently having to take even more time off work.

What I need right now is a really dull movie.

Rain On

It starts softly
the barest, tiny tap
Of water
On roof, deck, leaf.
Followed by
Another, hesitantly.
Another and another and another
In quick rapid-fire succession
Until what started out softly
And sweetly
Turns into a
Loud continuous pouring
Of water
Over everything.

Pour on.
Soak through.
My day is not ruined.
It is 3:00 am.

Rain on.

One of Those Nights

12:30 am, 12:45 am, 1:20 am, 1:42 am. I’m exhausted and can feel the sleepies coming on, but between The Hesitant Boyfriend’s snoring, the cats playing ambush on the bed, my upset stomach, and the annoying ticking of something somewhere in this place, I know it’s futile to attempt slumber.

I’ve caught up on reading all my favorite blogs. I’ve Linked In, +’ed, pinned, Tumblr’d till I’m dizzy. I’m waiting for people to Draw Something. I’ve angered the birds and run the temple. I’ve photoshopped and edited every background and photo in my phone. There is nothing more to do except listen to the annoying tick tock, tick tock, tick tock of THB’s alarm clock.

It’s going to be one of those nights.

Not Sleeping Alone; Cats and a Crowded Bed

We usually sleep (when I sleep) pretty peaceably together, my four cats and I. I’m not a cat hoarder, nor am I one of those who will even remotely come close to having a million cats stuffed into tiny cages in my rundown shanty. First off, I live in a newer 1800square foot town home. There is tons of space and the cats have free reign to come and go indoors and out. Plus, they have several very large cedars to exercise their stealth climbing skills and to sharpen their claws on. Further, I don’t even like cats. Or I didn’t, until these particular four changed my mind.

It all started several years back when my youngest had a friend whose cat got out and played hanky-panky with a neighboring tom. This was about the fourth litter since I’d know the family that entered the world in this way. I must have grown weary of my daughter’s begging and of hearing how the babies were just going to be disposed of at the neighborhood humane society if homes weren’t found. I finally relented and allowed my daughter to choose a kitten. She was overjoyed. When we went to pick up her little fluffy baby, his brother caught my eye. He was jet black and so wobbly on his feet even for a kitten. I feared he might have brain damage, but I was smitten by the black kitten. Instead of leaving with one cat, we came home with two.

It wasn’t long after bringing the two brothers home that I realized that, other than the litter box, cats are very low maintenance critters. In fact, I was surprised to discover how well these cats fit into my lifestyle. It’s also a lie that cats are not affectionate. While less needy and demanding than dogs, cats are every bit as affectionate as dogs. They are just not as sloppy about showing it.

About six months after we brought the brothers home, a friend of mine found a stray kitten that she couldn’t keep. I agreed to take it for her and help find it a home. Right. My home ended up being the little guy’s new home. The last thing I needed was another cat, but he was a sweet thing and my kids would have hated me forever had I given him away.

A year later, I begin dating and eventually shacked up with The Significant Other. His cat brings the total cat family to four. Yes, I think we are done now.

I don’t know when it happened but somewhere along the way, the cats took over my bed. Now, I have a rather large bed, a California King, and I don’t use the entire space at night, so for a while, this was fine. It was even comforting at first. But then, the cats began sleeping on me instead of on the bed. Add to this another man-type human and the once expansive space begins to get very crowded.

But last night was the worst.

I think someone slipped my cats a full-strength dose of stimulants or else they discovered the Red Bull stash. It was a 4-cat high speed chase…all.night.long.

To make matters worse, the man-type was flopping around like a big fish just hauled in from the sea. One of the things I love about him is that we do sleep well together. In the past, sleeping with someone else in my bed doesn’t happen without a fairly long adjustment period. In my first marriage, that period lasted for 16 years. It was remediated through divorce. My SO is pretty easy to sleep with and to get along with most of the time. Last night being the exception.

So, between the cats and the Man Human fish-flopping all night, there was just not going to be any sleep. I’d just barely drifted off to doze when I felt him jerk again. I peeked open one eye and he’s sitting up in bed staring at me. It’s 8 o’clock and night is long over. I’d been out for maybe an hour. The cats were comatose finally. It was Sunday morning after a night of no sleep. It appeared it was going to be a day of no sleep.

Nights aren’t usually that rough for everyone in the house, just me. Last night was definitely strange, because for the first time I had company during my insomnia. Fortunately, I was able to catch a nap later in the day. There is a downside to doing that, however, because here I am…wide awake again.


Money, Cancer, Aging and Losing Forty Bucks

The cats are at it again. Sometimes I really wish I would have paid attention to the fact that cats are nocturnal creatures before I allowed my children to talk me into getting one. I really wish I would have realized how wild their behavior can be at night before I signed on to take in four of the homeless creatures. Tonight they are flying around the house like they’re on speed, claws fully bared, tearing the place apart and me with it. It’s not cracking up to be a peaceful night of slumber.

In addition to that, finances have me tossing and turning. My daughter needs to apply for financial aid so she can continue schooling and because my cash flow and ability to help is zero, it’s creating some stress. No, it’s creating a lot of stress. I’m filing for bankruptcy, which is a smart move, but the paperwork burden and getting the right documents to the right people in the right amount of time has me twisting up the sheets as I toss and turn.

Then this cancer thing, yes, it is cancer, gnaws at me. While it really is the least of my worries right now (early stage, non-invasive), it still has me wondering sometimes about how much time i really have left on this earth. I hate thinking about that. Then that thinking leads me to realize I have no life insurance, and that I probably couldn’t get any now anyway. Then that leads me right back to stressing out about money that I don’t have now,and the lack of it I’m likely to face after I can no longer work. If I live that long. Then, of course, that spins me into a cycle of worrying about the kids, which takes me back again to the money. And so on.

I swear this all giving me dementia. I forget things more often now. I can’t remember where I put things. I can’t remember entire conversations, sometimes. This is terrifying to me. Today, I had $40. I stuffed it in my pocket until I could get it into my wallet, which I wasn’t carrying with me at the time. Between then and an hour later, that money completely disappeared. I retraced my steps, searched everywhere. No money. Now my mind is obsessively reviewing my day trying to figure out where the money went. I didn’t spend it. This I know for sure. Where is it?

There appears to be a momentary lull in the cat craziness. Now the place feels like a tomb, and the silence is problematic. I can’t win here.

I think there are some of those pain pills left from my last surgery. I didn’t use them for pain since I didn’t really have any pain, but they were rather effective in helping me sleep. Something I can’t do when wearing a bra to bed and after breast cancer surgery, that’s exactly what one is instructed to do. In fact, I was instructed to sleep but also to wear the bra. These two instructions were really mutually exclusive orders. I blew through the pain meds using them as sedatives. I think there might be one or two left.

I think I’m going to have to go find out for sure.



3:27 a.m.  Wide awake, even after taking a vicoden that was prescribed for me a while back when I had pneumonia and a kidney infection.

Stress is not a good way to endure a day.  It isn’t a good way to end a day.  And my entire day was stress-filled.

Actually, my entire month has been stressful.

It was going so well, too.

But then, the creditors are calling…this will end soon.

And the mortgage companies are trying to call.

And the mortgage people are driving by and sending representatives to the door.

And the boyfriend lied to the guy and told him I was not living here (The truth?  I looked like sh** and was still in my pajamas. There’s no way I was going to answer the door.  What part of “Tell him I’m not available right now” did he miss?)

And…while I know all this will end…the question is when and how long?

I know I’ll have to move…the question is when…and how long…and will I be able to rent anywhere…because I sure as heck am not buying.  I won’t have the credit to do that again for a while.  That’s okay. I haven’t needed my FICO score at all for the last 4 years.  Everything I do these days is on a cash only basis.  I’m stressing about the where to move, the when to move and the “will I even be accepted” parts of that picture.

A few months ago, I made the decision to radically change my life.  Well, it is radical for me.  I have a great job, but I’m taking yet another pay cut.  I have great insurance, but soon, I’m going to be paying more out-of-pocket for that insurance.  I’m already kind of getting overwhelmed with the existing out-of-pocket expenses created from the insurance changes last year, and now this year is going to add more to that part of my adult plate.  When the real estate market collapsed, my house, which I purchased on my own (read not with the aid of a spouse’s income), decreased in value just like nearly everyone else’s.  Problem is, I could work for the next three lifetimes and never earn back what I owe on it.  Result:  I can never sell the thing in this lifetime for what I owe on it.

It’s a no-brainer, right?

But the financial transitions are not the stressful part.  Okay, they are part of the stressful part.

The boyfriend telling the mortgage company that I no longer live here was kind of stressful.

The ex serving me papers ordering me back to court so he can have more parenting time with our child (not a good thing, in this case, and I’m usually an advocate of dad’s rights) was VERY stressful, because this means, I’ll have to cough up another $3K-$10K to deal with that issue.  Wonderful timing.

Impending responsibility changes at work are stressful because I just don’t know how or if I will be successful or if I will be provided adequate support in order to even attempt success…or is this a carefully designed “set up to fail” plot?

And then, there’s all the stuff on the home front.

Moving, even if it is in the foreseeable-but-not-certain-when future, is a great time to ditch crap that has accumulated.  I’m still digging out from the crap accumulated by my last ex.  He seriously could have been the star of that TV show “Hoarders”.  The junk he left behind has taken me four years, countless numbers of trailer loads to the landfill, thousands of overflowing garbage canisters, and endless trips to Goodwill to dispose of it all. I’m still digging out from under it.  Mostly, though, I’m down to the place where I’m getting rid of the excess, the broken stuff, the no-longer-used stuff.

Anyone want to buy a juicer?  How about a table saw or a lawn mower?

But try to get my kids to go through their cluttered rooms and actually part with anything? That’s got stress stamped all over it.

First, it’s the fight and the whining about having to do something even remotely akin to “work” when it is “their” summer vacation.

When did my kids become so resistant to cooperating?

Then it’s the mere organization of the task.  Get a garbage bag and put all the trash and broken stuff in the bag.  Get a box and put all the stuff you no longer use or want in there.  The whole process required that I stand guard over them all day.  The minute I went to try to work on anything else, they were suddenly done with the job.  Wait, just a minute.  It took them almost 8 years to create that mess and they are done sorting through it in ten minutes?  No.  I don’t think so.

Arguing with my children, especially my son, who is having the most difficult time with the impending transitions lately, is the worst.

Then one daughter, while at work, sprains her ankle, ends up on crutches and I happen to be the world’s least nurturing parent for things like that.  Add negative image of self as parent to the whole stress pile.

Then the boyfriend begins criticizing my kids again (his are perfect, you know, since they only ever have to be told once and they don’t make messes).  So, then, I begin thinking…that along with all the other stress that we are having to manage with no definite end in sight…that this critical demeanor…can’t go on much longer either.  In fact, it needs to stop really, really soon.

Of course, not sleeping at night is not healthy nor is it good for my weight loss program…so, of course, I worry about that now since I’m up and thinking about it anyway.

And when is that Vicoden going to kick in?  I took it three hours ago.  With my luck…it will kick in at about 3:00 tomorrow afternoon (I guess it is today now)…when I have to take the youngest to her dentist appointment. Great.  I’ll be falling asleep in the waiting room.  Like that’s not going to screw things up at all.

Stress.  Not a great way to endure a day.  An even worse way to spend the night.

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