Category Archives: What Keeps Me Up At Night

Cats

I’m angry with my cats right now. I have four of them. I am pretty frustrated with one of them in particular. This cat is obnoxious. Every night after midnight, until about 3:00 a.m., he decides to get active. It’s as though someone injected a high dose of stimulants into his bloodstream. It’s making me crazy and depriving me of sleep…a lot of sleep…for a long time now.

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How Do I Find You?

My mother used to say some things that were interesting when she told them to me as a child, but now, after her passing nearly a decade ago, I find them to be perceptive beyond belief. One of her favorite axioms was, “Most of life is boring.” She would usually say this in response to one of us kids declaring our boredom. She was unphased. “It’s life,” she’d say. “Only boring people get bored. Learn to entertain yourself, instead of relying on others to do it for you.”

My mother was right. So much of life is wash, rinse, repeat.

I get up, drag myself out of bed, and fumble my way to the shower. I go through my days doing mostly stuff that pertains to making sure my kids and I have a roof over our heads, food in the fridge, electricity and heat, and a vehicle to get us to and fro. My weekend activities don’t vary much. I’m a bit of a cyclist and spend lots of time out on my bike. I tend to go to the same places to eat and socialize. I have fun, but it isn’t a constantly changing menu of activities and events.

Today, or rather, yesterday, I got up and decided I would drive my fancy new-to-me car to a small trendy town nearby and have breakfast at a lovely little place that is always packed and has delicious, melt-in-your-mouth menu items. I went alone. I usually go alone. I like to go alone. I’m really okay with this most of the time, but lately, maybe due to the car wreck with my kid, maybe due to the fact that everyone else around me seems to be having success in the relational field, maybe because I’m just tired of being alone all.the.time. Most of the time I don’t mind being alone, but lately I’ve stopped going out and doing things, because I was getting tired of doing the alone thing. Today, I didn’t care. I wanted to have breakfast at a nice place. I wanted to drive in my car. I didn’t necessarily want to have to be responsible for holding up my end of a conversation, but I somehow, strangely wanted to immerse myself in a crowd of people and noise, and fragrances and life. So, I went out to breakfast.

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Trust The Struggle

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Limbo is the best word to describe this last week. I don’t deal with life very well when I’m in limbo. I know from much experience that bad times don’t last, but that realization doesn’t necessarily make the struggles easier or less painful. It might make it easier to simply just endure.

This week of limbo was tough. I have a couple of weeks of vacation (unpaid) coming up. This was the first of those two weeks. I spent the entire week, wondering what the verdict would be on my vehicle. Were they going to opt to repair it, or would they total it. When the estimated cost to repair the vehicle (and it was never certain that it could really be repaired) reached $18,000+, they called me and said, “It’s a goner.”

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Every Parent’s Nightmare

It happened Wednesday. I was in a meeting with 25 clients and colleagues. I never pick up when I’m giving a presentation, but this time I did. It was my daughter. She never calls, she usually texts. I went with my gut, excused myself from the meeting and answered the call.

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The Down Side To Vacation

One could say the down side to vacation is that it has to end. That is definitely a downside, especially if the vacation was an enjoyable one. It could be an upside if you were miserable the entire time. Tonight, after a two week vacation, I find, I cannot sleep. That’s my downside. I cannot sleep and I don’t know why. Morning on my job comes early.
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There’s No Place Like Home

Autumn was late in coming to my small corner of the world. Summer, with it’s wearing, energy-zapping heat hung around till well into October. We”ve had one night of frost, three days ago, and though the rain finally made an appearance, the temperatures during the day haven’t really dropped much below the mid-60’s. In fact, as I write this, it is pushing midnight, and I am sitting outside on my upper deck, in my anti-gravity lounger, wearing loungepants and a camisole, covered only by a lightweight comforter. The weather went from an Indian summer to late winter, verging on spring. I can’t say I mind in the least. It is cool enough to be somewhat reminiscent of fall, but not cold enough that I need to worry about winter. Today, the weather forecast accurately predicted rain, but the temperature remained in the 70’s.

At one point this evening, I decided to head outside to get the mail and turn on the one lonely, but very creepy jack-o-lantern light we have. I live in a neighborhood of townhomes, some of them connected to another, others are solitary buildings, houses, if you will. I happen to live in one of the larger ones, with three large decks rather than a yard. I am also not adjoining anyone else’s home. The best part is that my home is the remotest, most private in the neighborhood. I like i t this way. I’m one of the few in the neighborhood who have children, which kind of makes me an anomaly. Most people living around me are, empty-nesters, or not yet married with children. I also like this.

But tonight, as I returned from getting the mail, I noticed how many of the homes were dark and silent. I took a moment t to gaze around. I counted only two other homes that had lights on. It was uncertain if anyone really was home. I shrugged to myself, thinking this was an interesting thing. As I turned back to my own place, I noted how drastically different my place was, I  contrast. The decking above and below, combined with it’s unique and very private location in the neighborhood, set it apart instantly. But tonight, I noticed something else, something more. While all the homes in my neighborhood are well maintained, mine actually looked like someone lived there. I don’t mean this the way some might when they try to excuse the “kid clutter” or haphazard maintenance that characterizes their place. My home is as meticulously maintained as the rest of them. What was different was the element of warmth. My home appeared warm and inviting in a way that these other homes, even with their lights on, could not. 

“Someone who cares, lives here,” I thought. “And it shows.”

I walked back to my home, once again grateful that, in spite of all the challenges and difficulties I face, I have a warm home where I truly enjoy being. I have children who are great people, and I love spending time with them. I have four cats who annoy the crap out of me at times, but tonight I wouldn’t change a thing. There is just no place like home.

Bad Day

Today started out all wrong.  The problem is, I didn’t know it was going badly until it was too late to correct. Today I arrived at work 30 minutes late. There is nothing like walking into a meeting full of people, when your company has called in a consultant and designated you as a leader, with your boss present…and you are a full 30 minutes late.

I would have actually been on time, however, the competent individual who sent out the information via email stated an 8:00 start time.  Everyone else got the follow up memo with the time correction.  Everyone except me.

You know it is a bad thing when you are walking down the hall to a meeting, thinking that you perfectly on time, maybe even a few minutes early and your boss is texting you, “Are you coming?” That awkward moment when you feel the dread thickening in the pit of your stomach as you open the door, take your seat and discover, everyone else has been there for 30 minutes.

Embarrassment.

Anger.

Sudden, overwhelming insecurity and paranoia.

I, did, in fact check my memos.  All of them listed an 8:00 start time. There was no follow-up memo, at least, not to me.

How is it that every one else knew of the change in time, but me?  And then my next thought, Was this an intentional set up?  Who would do that?  Why?  Read the rest of this entry

2:00 a.m. Laundry

I’m up doing laundry at 2:00 a.m. Yep. This is a first for me. The truth is, I am not really up just because of the laundry. The crazy cats are tearing around the house like mad, keeping me up. Why, in all of the 1800+ square feet they have to roam here, they choose to cavort in my room and on my bed in the middle of the night, I do not know. I figured since I was up, I may as well do laundry. After all, I only have about three or four loads left. Then I can take my wet laundry down to the corner laundromat at 6:00 a.m. to dry it all.

That’s right, to dry it, because the latest greatest thing that happened is my dryer stopped drying. It still tumbles. No heat. I looked on YouTube to see if there was a DIY video for this repair. There was. It seemed pretty straightforward until I tried it. Problem Number One: my one and only flathead screwdriver must have left with The Gone Non-Boyfriend. Problem Number Two: I couldn’t go any further without the flathead screwdriver. I gave up. Read the rest of this entry

It’s Raining Again

Life turns on a dime. One moment, you are sailing along enjoying everything, even though everything might not be perfect. You’re thinking to yourself that, even though things may have been rough, they are now looking up a bit. You worked a little extra, got a little money set aside for Christmas; something that hasn’t happened in years. Then one wonderful day, as you finally, just barely, allow yourself to begin to believe that there might be hope for a brighter financial future for you and your family, you get an email. Read the rest of this entry

Neighborhood Dogs

Last September, I moved in to the home and neighborhood I live in now. I’d lived in my previous home for seven years. This move was a big change for me, I actually moved out of the city boundaries where I’d lived for almost 20 years into a smaller, bedroom community nearby. This meant a lot of things for me, and the move was a good one in so many ways. The one downside to this move is that there is one neighbor that has a dog. This dog is not a small dog. This dog has a bark designed to be heard from a long way away. This bark can be heard for several hours most nights.

Tonight is one of those incessantly barking nights.

I’ve looked up the non-emergency number for the police department, and am preparing to call. This animal has been barking for nearly two hours. What confuses me is how no one else seems to bothered by it. What confuses me further is how these people can just allow their dog to bark all.night.long.

Maybe I should just get on a robe and slippers, go pound on the door, and wake my neighbors and tell them to make their dog stop barking.

I just don’t understand how people can let their animals bark and bark and bark. They have to hear this. They are a block away from me and I can hear this animal through closed windows and doors.

It’s keeping me up. I’m putting the non-emergency police number on my speed dial.

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