Insomnia & Horses in the Middle of the Night

I spent some time on the couch last night. I know, I know. It sounds like I was being psychoanalyzed. It was nothing as dramatic, just some good old insomnia visiting me again. Promptly, at 3 a.m., I was awake. I resisted getting up. But finally, knowing that I was having problems returning to the peaceful slumber my husband was enjoying beside me, I gave in.

Out to the kitchen I padded, carefully avoiding the creaky spot in the floor between our bedroom and the living room. I had a banana. I sat on the couch and after a few minutes, returned to bed. Nope. It wasn’t going to work. By now, just before four o’clock, in the wee hours of the morning, I was fully awake. The initial trip to the kitchen had cooled my flannel sheet warmed body, and returning to the bed only made me much more aware that I was now wide awake. Again, I crept out to the kitchen.


My mind took various twists and turns as I waited for the tea kettle to boil. Being that sounds are much louder in the still of the night, I avoid using a microwave so as not to wake my sleeping family when I am the only one awake. I crept into the laundry room, where a variety of lights can be used indirectly, and jotted down a few thoughts. It was mostly a to-do list for myself, as well as for my sons.

It went like this:

  • return movie to Red Box (Incredibles 2 was incredible!)
  • visit bank to inquire about duplicate debit card (result of a stole wallet)
  • order next semester’s books
  • pay tuition
  • study for the ACT
  • check school email to see if I passed my comprehensive exam (turned in 12/10/18)
  • order new id for school (result of a stolen wallet)
  • finish laundry

I returned to the couch after writing my reminders and pulling on some sweats.  As I prepared to lay down, I was careful to not use the pillow my son has been using all week to lounge while he had a head cold.

I waited. And, I waited some more.


I put my tea on the ground without taking a sip. After long while, close to 5 a.m., I felt sleep finally drifting over me.  I knew what this episode of insomnia was about. We’ve had a great Christmas break so far. But the insomnia was about transition. And transitions always, always catch up with me! I knew that today my oldest son would return to school. We were grateful to have him home for over a week!  I knew that within the next week, I need to make decisions about a professional aspect of my life. I knew there were several conversations that needed to take place and unwanted advice to be given (even if it is not taken, I think it should be given). I knew there were things to follow-up on (see the above list), things to clean up (holiday piles and piles of journal articles in my office), and things to start (cleaning closets, cleaning carpets, and planning some home renovations).  I knew, at four this morning, that I cannot, and do not want to be, a “fixer” I think I am making progress in getting over wanting to be one.  But, I also know that this revelation doesn’t mean we, as parents, friends, and adult children, don’t get to give advice.  There is some wisdom that comes with age and experience. Deep down, I think it should be shared.


I know you cannot make the horse drink the water, but you can show them where and what it is.  Insomnia following a wonderful Christmas Day! I had a feeling it was coming. Insomnia doesn’t want to leave me alone for too long. With all the practice I have entertaining it, maybe I am learning to use it well; Insomnia certainly gave me a fresh perspective last night!


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