About an hour ago I woke up and couldn't get back to sleep. I have a personal rule that if I can't sleep, I will get up after 30 minutes of trying and do something else. Read a book. Watch TV. Read the scriptures. Visit blogs. Putter around the house. Pray. Tonight, I'm typing.
When I was younger, sleep evaded me on a regular basis. I remember spending much of my life staring at the ceiling as hordes of thoughts fought for my attention. Tonight was kind of like that. There are a lot of things in my life that deserve some time and reflection in my brain, but I am pretty busy, and just don't want to think about some of those things. So I do my best just to tamp those thoughts down until "later". On occasion, those neglected thoughts rebel, and fight their way to the forefront - demanding that I give them heed. I guess tonight is "later".
After I got married, the bouts of sleeplessness became fewer and farther between. Not only did I gradually become less high-strung, but my brain became more willing to give me a break at night. I credit my EC with this. She is a lovely, calming presence, and being with her has mellowed me, a bit. Thank heavens! If I had married someone just like me, we would have killed each other by our second anniversary.
So, as I type, I know that she is in the next room sleeping soundly, and it makes me smile. Not just because she is cute when she sleeps (she looks like a little girl sometimes) but because I know that when I decide to go back to bed, she is there waiting. Blissfully unaware that I am even gone. There is such comfort and security in that.
When one of us is traveling without the other, I don't sleep. If I'm the one that's gone, I am restlessly killing time. If I am home, I take on ridiculously difficult projects that keep me up all night - painting rooms, building things, watching lousy movies just to see how they end, etc. That empty bed just doesn't hold my interest.
For the first chunk of our marriage, my EC and I would turn our backs to each other and face the sides of the bed as we slept. Then I noticed a lyric in a John Mellencamp song that said "Sleeping with your back to your loved one, is this all we have learned about happiness?" Not a big deal, right? Nothing too profound, but somehow that line stuck in my head, and I began to wonder... Over the next year or so - it really did take that long - I taught myself to sleep facing the middle of the bed, rather than the edge, so I could hold my sweet wife close as we slept. I consider this simple act of retraining myself to be one of the smartest things I have done. It is also one of my favorite. I adore her.
Too personal? Probably. Sorry dear - it's very late. Or really early. I'll be there in a minute.
(Followup: It is now the next morning, and I just got back from driving carpool. When I got in the car and turned the key, the song that came on the radio was "Check it Out" by John Mellencamp - the EXACT same song I quoted a few hours ago. Really weird, considering the song is 25 years old, and is never on the radio. So strange! (If you want to hear it, here is a YouTube link: http://youtu.be/8qxDBiiVjlQ)