Sleepless

Sunday’s run was a bust.  Sue and I covered 5.8 miles, but it was so cold and windy that we took a long walk break and wound up running only 4.4 of the distance.  After she went home, I hit the indoor bike track in the living room and rode 10.6 miles just to get rid of some of the extra energy (and to warm up).  It was a rough day for my daughter too, who could not seem to find her writing voice to work on her college essay.  There were tears and more tears, a whole box of tissues; a heavy veil of teenage angst draped all of us for most of the afternoon.  We managed to rally at dinner, eating a baked haddock dish inspired by something Sue had raved about from a local restaurant.  After we ate, the world somehow righted itself.  My daughter found her hook and her voice;  The Who performed at half time during the Superbowl (the only part we watched…), and I dozed on the couch from 10 – 11:30.

By the time I got into bed, though, my mind started playing its old game of what I call round and round.  A friend has been having a hard time with one of her children.  I could not stop thinking about how much she hurt and how powerless she was over the problem.  I also felt powerless to help her.  Sometimes the best thing to do is listen, which I did.  I thought through how much it helps just to talk about what is happening, how that can bring relief.  I thought of the few things I said, all the things I might have said.   I knew she had to trust herself and figure it out on her own.  Yet I kept wishing I could have said something profound to relieve some of her pain.

Thinking about her got me thinking about my daughter and how hard she is on herself, and the round and round circled the part of her sadness that I might be responsible for.  I tossed and turned, curling up beside my warm, drowsy husband, willing my mind to silence.  I counted my blessings.  I counted my breaths.  I counted my husband’s breaths.  I eased out of the bed and went into the bathroom, thinking maybe a good long pee would be the answer to peace.  I did that twice.  Still awake.  I considered taking a melatonin, but since it was already 2 am, knew if I did I would be groggy all day today.  I focused on feeling the fluffy soft duvet and the sweet sinking sensation of the memory foam mattress.  I moved closer to my husband, who, miraculously, was not snoring.

On my back, I pressed my left leg against his right, slipped my hand into his and felt him hold on loosely in his sleep.  I closed my eyes, and pictured the next day’s run.  I thought about the wind, the cold air filling my lungs, the firmness of the pavement through the cushioned soles of my sneakers.  I turned a song on in my head— Ben Harper’s “Better Way”— and thought of the lyrics.  “Fools will be fools, and wise will be wise, but I will look this world straight in the eyes, ’cause I believe in a better way…Take your face out of your hands, and clear your eyes, you have a right to your dream, and don’t be denied… I believe in a better way…  Let these words feel better as they rest upon your skin…”.  I could hear the guitar and sitar, the intricate string work backed by light drums, and the Indian tones and rhythms of the music painted  a picture of bright saris, open markets and hot sun in my round and round mind.  I pictured myself running on and on, legs, arms, and breath one motion, the ease that comes with tempo pace.  Running in my head allowed quiet to settle into me, and at last, I slept.

A cold fresh morning dawned and I dressed for my run.  Today no wind or worry could stop me.  I ran 5.3 miles.   The relief of the end of  my mid-night’s burdens outweighed the exhaustion; the sheer joy of movement propelled me forward.

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2 Comments on “Sleepless”

  1. Robin Says:

    Beautiful writing, Gazelle Girl

  2. Craig Says:

    Wow! The stuff that goes on in the middle of the night.


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