Insomnia

My anxiety and worries are getting the best of me and they have succeeded in taking firm hold of my sleep cycle. As each day passes, I find myself spending more of the night awake.

While the world slept last night, I watched 2 episodes of Friends, 3 episodes of The New Adventures of Old Christine, 3 episodes of Roseanne and the early morning news beginning at 4 a.m. I found out that the vast majority of my Facebook friends are not very active in the middle of the night with the exception of one person who admitted to being manic at the moment. I played endless games, running out of lives and having to wait for them to refill, moving onto the next game, downloading a number of games only to delete them when they didn’t hold my attention. I read and read and read. And finally, meandering around Pinterest. It was on Pinterest where I decided to look up quotes about insomnia, which brings me to this post.

I would like to share some of my favorite quotes. I don’t know who said them because none of them gave credit so anyone. I only know that I did not say them myself.

  • “No one looks back at their life and remembers the nights they had plenty of sleep.”
  • “Do you know that awesome feeling when you get into bed, fall right to sleep, stay asleep all night, and wake up feeling refreshed?   Me neither.”
  • “Due to tonight’s lack of sleep, tomorrow has been cancelled.”
  • “That moment when tomorrow is here and you’ve been trying to go to sleep since yesterday.”
  • “Nothing cures insomnia like the realization that it’s time to get up.”
  • “According to the “you snooze, you lose” principle, insomnia makes us winners.”
  • “Didn’t sleep much, but I got a few solid hours of worrying done.”
  • “Legend says when you can’t sleep it’s because you are awake in someone else’s dreams. When I find out who you are, I’m going to punch you right in the face.”

I find it fitting that there are seven quotes. Normally I like to keep my bullet points to an even number but since this is a topic that has me feeling at odds, I like that it’s seven- a number that I don’t particularly like.

I anticipate that sheer exhaustion will catch up with me and I will get a full night’s rest….hopefully sooner rather than later. One thing is certain and that is- if I do get that much needed slumber, it will be on a night when I have to rise early the next day.

My love-hate relationship with sleep began when I was pregnant with my first child and could no longer sleep on my stomach. It has come and gone countless times over the years and although I have accepted that I don’t sleep as much as the average person, there are times when I really wish I could just lay down and fall asleep instantly. Especially when a toddler day follows that night.

It’s only slightly more frustrating when I know what’s causing it as opposed to those sleepless nights when I’m literally in the dark. I’ve tried it all. I’ve come to accept it and learned that if I don’t fight it too much and just ride it out, it does pass.

As I close, I would like to share the song that runs through my head on a loop when these bouts with insomnia hit-

How about you? Are you one of the lucky super sleepers, or a fellow sleep chaser like me, or somewhere in the middle?

Here’s hoping everyone has a pleasant night of sleep (me included)!

-Kat

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Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Colors that begin with B

Blues

Browns

And blues and browns

browns and blues

These photos are part of Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Colors that begin with B.

Have a great day!

-Kat

Detour

corner 1

STOP

My plans for the fall have come to a halt. Or maybe just had to be revised. Due to circumstances beyond his control, my son finds himself needing some assistance in caring for CJ (almost 8) and Beej (approaching 3). Working a 24 on/48 off shift means that he needs more than just “keep an eye on the kids for a few hours” help. It requires at least two overnights and now that school has begun, on the average of three mornings getting CJ ready and off to school and then picked up and homework duty.

Cross Traffic Does Not Stop

Crossing the road both figuratively and literally can be quite tricky. I’m dealing with two children, who are quite precious to me, and although I know them almost as well as I knew their dad at these ages, I just never know what we will find around the corner. (or across the street). Whether it’s teething, an inability to sleep due to excitement, or a classic case of missing Daddy, I have to be prepared for anything. 

Detour

My life has taken an unexpected detour. I have always enjoyed spending time with my grandsons, and this takes that togetherness up a notch. I am blessed to have a husband who loves our grandsons as much as I do and brings his own kind of grandfatherly goofiness and priceless assistance to our days and nights. We have easily fallen back into long forgotten routines from years ago. I am happy to give my son peace of mind while he works at a job that requires him to be alert and free from home distractions while on duty. I am lucky to have this special time with these guys! 

“See any detour as an opportunity to experience new things.”

-H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Happy Saturday!

-Kat

This post is in response to the Weekly Photo Challenge: Corner.

 

51 Weeks: 51 Songs from the Past: Week 33: Sergei Prokofiev- Romeo & Juliet: The Montagues and Capulets

Music is such an integral part of my life. If I was to keep count of the number of times it makes an appearance in my day, I wouldn’t be surprised how often it finds its way in. In his feature 51 Weeks: 51 Songs From the Past, Hugh shared a song that motivates him to write. When I’m writing, I have very specific preferences depending on what I’m writing. There is a novel that I have been attempting to write over the years which takes place in the late 70’s/early 80’s and I have a playlist that’s approximately 10 hours long filled with music from 1978-1982. Another story I was working on centered around kids in a high school jazz band, so most of my listening choices were jazz pieces.

In general I have some standbys that manage to get the words flowing and one of those is Sergei Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet. There’s something about this piece- in its entirety- which both soothes and energizes me at the same time. I was introduced to this specific piece when my youngest was chosen to take part in a music program led by the conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The movement I am sharing is powerful and it’s a favorite because it features strong low brass.

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What music gets your creative juices flowing?

Thanks for stopping in!

-Kat

She is Back

Six years ago my then 18 year old daughter stood awkwardly in the doorway of the family room and uttered words that would change the course of our lives. Kerri said that she thought she was transgender and actually identified as a boy, not a girl like we thought.

If you had asked me back then where I thought we would be in six years, I would have probably done some quick math….. shocked to realize that my kids would be 27, 24 and 21. My youngest, Andrew, would be entering his last year of college! I wouldn’t be able to guess what Kerri would be doing but hopefully something in Anthropology, since that was her major entering her freshman year of college. And Michael, the oldest, would be full swing in his emergency services career, having completed his training.

I’m sure I would have felt a quick pang of panic, wondering where the time had gone and how had my kids gone and grown up on me! I know I would have gulped, unsure what my life looked like without the kids around for me to raise. Maybe I would be looking forward to an empty nest and some time to focus on myself.

But life has a funny way of taking twists and turns that you can’t anticipate and sometimes you find that you’ve wound up in a completely different place than you expected. Even more surprising is that this place holds a sense of familiarity despite all of the differences.

Last week, Kerri, now Kris, came home to prepare to leave for school. And because our time together is fleeting, I had to take advantage of the quiet time we had to touch base on where things stood regarding Kris and gender identity. If you’ve been with us on this journey, then you know that this is a valid question when it comes to Kris. And just to remind you, last time I checked in with Kris although they preferred they/them/their pronouns, their gender expression had been primarily feminine and they were not bothered when mistaken for a young woman. After confirming that they preferred that we (my husband, myself and the brothers) use they/them/their, when asked about grandparents or other unsuspecting folks using the wrong pronouns, Kris shrugged and said they did not care.

Mixed signals? Most definitely. But it was (and will always be) important to me that we are respecting Kris’s feelings and gender identity.

I opened the discussion by sharing a recent conversation Kris’s dad and I had with Kris’s grandparents regarding them being non-binary. As I described the blank looks on their faces (the grandparents’- not Kris’s) and lack of comprehension, their struggle to wrap their brains around this idea, I asked Kris (as I always have since the beginning), “What would you like us to do? We can keep trying to help them understand. And what do we do about pronouns? Should we work with them about using they/them their?”

I should clarify that all grandparents involved have always been fully supportive of Kris throughout this entire time. They accepted Kris- lock, stock and barrel- and we have never doubted their love for their grandchild for a single second.

After some thought, Kris shook their head and said, “No, it’s okay.”

Next I asked the question that I’ve only asked twice before (and it has only been twice because deep down, I already knew what the answer was). I asked which pronouns Kris wanted us (family) to use moving forward.

And for the first time in six years, I got the answer that had seemed so important at one time. Can you guess?

“She, her, hers.”

Back when it was all I wanted to hear, I imagined how I would feel if I could just use those pronouns again. But time goes on and priorities shift and perspective changes or maybe it just becomes more clear.

The truth is, I don’t feel anything like I thought I would. I’m afraid. And sad. And afraid again. And for the first time in six years, that’s all I feel. For the first time, I wasn’t feeling so many different emotions that they were difficult to sort out and identify. I spent years with piles of feelings that were a tangled mess and that glorious mess became familiar to me. I have shared some of my thoughts on this in posts- the most recent being- The Return of the Dress and Yesterday I Cried. 

I have yet to take the leap into using the new pronouns. I slipped once while talking to my friend, John, the other day. In the middle of a monologue, I referred to Kris as “she” and without missing a beat in the mid-sentence, I exclaimed, “Oh my god, I called Kris “she” and continued on.

My husband talked extensively about Kris when he arrived home from moving them into their apartment at school. He used “she, her, hers” the entire time. In my head, I was screaming, ‘Stop saying that! It’s too much! Too many shes!’

Today I’m having lunch with my best friend, Steph, who was the first person I texted when Kris gave me the answer to the pronoun question. Steph has been steadfast and committed throughout the years and her use of the preferred pronouns has been priceless. And today, at lunch with Steph, I’m going to switch. It’s going to be hard. I feel panicky at the thought of it. I’m scared. But I can do this!!!

As I look at my life now, I see that life is almost as I thought it would be, but different in an awesome way. Andrew is starting is senior year of college, as expected, and he has worked hard to reach this place. Kris took a detour for a few years but is also beginning senior year as an Anthropology major so we aren’t too far off track there. Michael has been working full-time in his chosen EMS carerr and he has a beautiful family with two boys, who have brought the joy and happiness of youth back into our lives. And me? For the time being, it appears that I’m needed in a few places so I will be learning how to take advantage of the time that I do have to focus on writing and “me” time.

Thank you for remaining part of this incredible journey!

-Kat

 

 

51 Weeks: 51 Songs from the Past: Week 32: Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell- Ain’t No Mountain High Enough

This week I am sharing Ain’t No Mountain High Enough. The song was written in 1966, becoming a hit when it was released as a single by Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell. It would become a hit once again when Diana Ross sang it in 1970. Both versions are well known throughout the world.

Why does this song come to mind?

Back when my kids were young, I bought many workout videos, hoping to drop the “baby” weight. Having three kids five years apart in age, I did not have much time to actually use the videos much but when Hugh talked about favorite songs to work out to in his post for 51 Weeks: 51 Songs from the Past    I was swept back in my own time machine and found myself somewhere in the 80’s in the middle of a Sweatin’ to the Oldies Workout Video with Richard Simmons, fitness guru. The first time I became aware of Richard Simmons was when he made a guest appearance on the daytime drama (soap opera)- General Hospital.  His energy and positive attitude were quite contagious and it wasn’t long before I was purchasing videos and attempting to sweat along with Richard. If you haven’t guessed, Ain’t No Mountain High Enough was one of the songs featured on his first video. If you aren’t familiar with Richard, I have a video here for you-

Did you ever try Sweatin’ with the Oldies with Richard Simmons? Or any other popular workout videos? If so, which ones?

Since most of my exercise these days includes a toddler and a smallish dog, I’m limited to chasing them or taking them for walks….. I’m off now to round up Ari and explore the neighborhood on an early morning walk. Maybe I should be dusting off those old VHS tapes instead?! Thanks for the walk down memory lane, Hugh!

-Kat

 

 

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Beginning with “Ap”

This week 2 year old Beej is sharing his favorite photos for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Words beginning with “Ap.”

apprentice
Uncle Andrew’s eager train track building apprentice
appliance
Favorite appliance zapping some signs
applesauce
“I love applesauce!”
apprehended
The rogue sippy cup has been apprehended! 

cee's fun foto badge

Thanks for stopping by!

-Kat and Beej

Live and Let Die

When Paul McCartney came to town, I was reminded of all the things I still wanted to do….. I guess some might call it a bucket list but I am feeling resistant to calling it that. I wish I could have seen the Beatles perform live. Time keeps passing and sadly, a day will come when none of the Beatles are alive so I had to seize this opportunity to at least see one of them while I still could.

I’m not a big concert goer but I was happy to brave the crowds just to have this chance. When one man in front of me proceeded to shove earplugs deep into his ears, I felt some apprehension and asked my husband how loud was it going to be. If I had given it some thought, I would have realized that- hey, it’s Paul McCartney- it’s not like people are going to be screaming and the music is going to be deafening loud. The audience was a beautiful mix of people all ages, shapes, colors and sizes. Some of the older crowd had actually seen the Beatles perform way back in the 60’s and I thought it was especially cool that 50 years later they were still able to see Paul perform. One woman waved a sign that said, “I was there 50 years ago and I’m here today. Still love you, Paul!”

Paul McCartney

When he started singing, the entire audience sang along with him. He was on the stage for over two hours without a break. His encore lasted another 20 minutes. In between sets, he would lean on his piano and share anecdotes with the audience. When he spoke, there was complete silence and you would be hard pressed to believe that the place was sold out to thousands. You could hear every word he said. He was charming and friendly and he poured his heart into songs that he has sang thousands and thousands of times. I swayed and bopped and sang along- savoring every single moment along with everyone else.

 

The icing on the cake was when he sang “Live and Let Die”- which was spectacular. I wasn’t able to take pictures or record the song because I was either surrounded by giants or I’m shrinking….. either way, I was unable to see anything during this song. I did find a video that someone else posted from another of his concerts.

live and let die list 1This experience inspired me to work on my “—” list and in honor of the concert and the song that motivated me to jump back in and stop letting life pass me by, I’ve decided to call it my- “Live and Let Die List.” I realized that there is so much that I still want to do in my lifetime and lately I’ve been pushing those things into the background…waiting for a better time. Well, time isn’t going to stand still and wait for me to catch up so it’s up to me and start living!

Do you have a bucket (or comparable) list? What have you crossed off your list lately? I can’t wait to hear what types of things other people have on their lists!

-Kat