Last night, finally, after 30 nights - yes - one whole month and a couple of false starts I moved. Not to another country, or into another apartment. Last night, I finally moved into the right time zone, 14 time zones and 30 days later and I'm here baby!!! New York, here I come! Bed at 11.20 - asleep by (lets call it) 12 and I didn't wake until 6am. For those of you that are just getting to know me, 6 hours straight is almost unheard of, and to wake gently feeling calm and refreshed is also a rarity.
Not that I normally wake in a panic - it's just that 4-6 broken hours is an average night. I wake up you see - and I mean I'm fully awake at some random yet specific time (eg: 2.12 or 3.46 or 1.28) with my mind running at full speed. Which usually results in the following options:
a. My brain has no intention of going to sleep:
i. Get up and do something (quietly so as not to wake the rest of the family - breakfast pizza (although a rarity these days) is a great option here and definitely the preference to laundry or other menial tasks. I tend to find that work is not a great idea before 5am as the hours spent in the middle of the night producing brilliance generally turns out to be wasted and the result is gobbledygook and unusable - unless you've pulled an all-nighter - then it's pure genius!) or;
ii. Lay in bed and process whatever is going through my mind (seems rational, but it's not - again, any thought process here is generally flawed, long winded and not fit for public consumption, and no - I did not write this in the middle of the night - seesh!) or;
iii. Bemoan my inability to switch off what is undoubtedly a busy mind.
Am I just really slow at processing? It's not like I wake in the middle of the night with a witty comeback that I should have had to hand hours before, nor that I finally get the punch line to that joke someone told me earlier.
Is it that there is just too much going on in my head and the world around me? They say we only use 10% of our brain - maybe, I'm accessing a little more, OK, 0.1% more and if I could only access another 0.1% would the time regulation then kick in?
b. Refuse to partake in the shenanigans taking place in my brain. I am the mistress of my own domain, am I not? Exhausted and determined to go back to sleep I either...
i. Slip quickly and quietly off only to re-awake some 20 minutes later (cycle then repeats until the blessed relief of the alarm calls an end to this somnial challenge or;
ii. Toss and turn, clear my mind, try meditation, try berating myself, try reading, fighting the lack of an off switch for hours, usually drifting off at 6ish for a 6.30 alarm.
iii. Curse my genetic makeup and wonder which ancestor I am a genetic throwback to. Why did my grandmother not tell me stories of this family legend? Am I secretly a vampire and I don't know it yet? Is my yet to be convinced mind still clinging to the mortal notion of sleep?
iv. Watch TV to help me drift off (long slow and fraught with danger if there's a series or a movie that you get into).
At it's worst, there can be tears - but that would be once or twice a year at most, no really, I think I've just learned to adjust. At it's best it's almost like a game of peakaboo or hide and seek, where I drift off and my brain catches me 20 minutes later with an "Ah-ha! Found you". You've got to laugh right?
Anyway - none of that happened last night. That's right - I slept a whole 6hours and I feel great!! Ok - it's now 7.49 and it wouldn't take much to convince me to drift off but then I won't be up until 11 and the sun is going down by 4.30pm. Excuse me - the door is buzzing... UPS with a package - it's a sign. No - he's not delivering a sign, he's delivering a package, the sign is that it's time to get up and face the day (chilly as it may be) up and at 'em!
Life's a-wasting my friends - see you on the streets of Manhattan.