I know, I know. I’ve been gone awhile.
Before anyone gets really upset because they just missed me too much and simply could not go on without a KK post, let me just say that life is busy, man. I’ve had an incredible month of October with visits to New Orleans, Lynchburg, Charlotte/Salisbury, Charlottesville, and Memphis. A bachelorette party and three amazing weddings, all in one month and all for a person who really enjoys Valium while flying 34,000 feet above ground. But really, lots of late hours and celebrations for lots of really great people in my life!
So, yes, I’m still catching up on sleep. For a while there after returning home, I didn’t even need my Benadryl to fall asleep and stay asleep! It was GLORIOUS. My eyes would shut themselves at random times throughout the day.
7:30 pm and “napping” on the couch, who cares, not me or my sleep-deprived brain!
Arriving a little late to work because I just would have DIED if I had to operate without that extra half hour. I was just a little late because I was practicing lifelong safety techniques in making sure my brain has his fill of Z’s. Sometimes, it must be done.
So this was all really awesome until, you know, life, started creeping back in and all the worries and anxious thoughts along with them. At least most is anxiety, but some is just complete and utter general brain chaos, like “Can’t Stop the Feeling” by Justin Timberlake playing on repeat in your head (don’t ask me why this one, but it’s my current earbug), wondering where to find and how to stream Dave Chappelle’s latest stand up roasting Donald Trump, and who do the Hokies play this week again?!
There are plenty of other reasons, too. For instance, I laid in bed last night with my eyes shut but unable to sleep, thinking up this blog post and taking it all in, one reason at a time.
Tell me I’m not alone.
That one-foot-out scenario is no joke when it comes to being able to settle in juuuuuuust right. It is the absolute bane of my night-time existence.
Growing up doing sleepovers and such, there was no shaft or short straw quite like having to sleep in the middle of the bed.
No fucking sir, I’ll take the floor and a sleeping bag, please. Even just a small blanket will do. I would accept a small decorative pillow with lace that scratched my face to avoid the middle. The carpeted floor even is better than that dreaded place.
The only available real estate is the dog bed, you say? Show me the way.
Know why? Because the MIDDLE of the bed is perfectly equivalent to inserting yourself into a pot of boiling water, or going into a sauna, turning it up as high as it will go and sitting your ass directly on the hot rocks with no water to drink for a weekend, or spending a summer laying on the sands of Afghanistan dressed in ski pants and a parka. If you listen closely in the middle of the night, you can hear sizzling noises and see steam snaking out from under the covers just like fajita plates do at your favorite Mexican restaurants. It might not smell quite the same for “other” reasons, but it burns the skin identically.
It’s not that I don’t enjoy getting snuggly with my friends. But this is a level of heat that is unmatched, leading to severe claustrophobia when you inevitably wake up dying of heat stroke and thirst and there is no. where. to. go. So you climb your way out of the covers and kick the sheet all the way down, exposing your friends posing as hot dog buns for the night to the cooler air, then you alligator roll over them until you fall onto the floor in a puddle of sweat, panting and fumbling for something liquid.
This is how it ends for those of us who can’t take the heat. Being on the edge and having exposed-foot-access is like being on life support.
I am not sure why it is that the one foot out is the body’s most exquisite night-time temperature regulator and homeostasis mechanism, but it most certainly is. It’s science.
There is something flu-like about waking up hot and sweating. It’s a true day-ruiner. I bet that no less than 1/3 of people call out sick to work because they woke up sweating the night before. It throws your entire body off kilter and further impairs motor functioning. I’ve been through it, and even lived to tell the story.
However, some other factors can throw off your temperature, too.
For instance, it’s damn cold at night right now in Colorado, and sometimes we remember to turn our heat on at night, and sometimes we don’t. But being a hot-sleeper as I am, turning the fan on is never something I forget to do before bed. So between the fan(s) and the fact that WINTER IS COMING, I’ve been doing pretty good. Except for some other external factors that may sneak in during the night…
Though we have, for the most part, gotten the dogs to sleep in their own beds during the night, this is typically how the acting of going to bed and sleeping through the night works in our house at this point in time:
- Georgia lays in the bed and watches us brush our teeth, just really trying her chances and crossing her toes that tonight might be THE night that we change our minds and let her stay. She hasn’t figured out that if she would lay vertically and put her head on a pillow and just make herself look as cute as freaking possible while being efficient with space, we’d let her stay, every single time. She eventually gets down and goes into her own bed. Every now and then, she’ll still jump up into our bed a few minutes later. This is either because Sookie (the 40-pound Boykin) is greedily stretched out across both dog beds like a boss, elongating herself as much as possible and simply refusing to be bothered, or because Georgia just isn’t feeling the independence. We usually kick her out a few minutes later.
- The cat sleeps either on my lower back or between my legs. This little animal directly feeds into bullet number one above. She is a tiny inferno that I’m convinced has made my parasympathetic nervous system efficiently strong and able to handle most things that come our way. I have to maneuver my nighttime body flips around her. Sometimes I still wake up really hot, and I wiggle or try to gently kick her off of me. She has grown accustomed to this, and will not let me deter her from her Queen’s throne. So, she will go sit at the end of the bed, and wait, while I adjust myself and essentially fluff her featherbed and change her chamberpot, then she struts over to settle back in once I am still for at least 30 seconds.
- At precisely 5:30am, Georgia enters the bed
- At precisely 5:35am, Sookie enters the bed
- Someone gets kicked, or realizes they are limited to only the outermost 8 inches of mattress space because a critter is totally wedged in behind them, or has to pee and their spot gets taken over by an animal so they make a big fuss about it and we all end up getting up. (Also, nine out of ten times, this person is me.)
This particular morning, I woke up around 3:45 am. Once this happens, my body decides it needs to pee. Once this happens, as stated above, I come back to animals in my spot, utilizing my pillow and snoring happily. It is a hard thing to disturb. So this is where I grab my essential oils and do breathing exercises and meditation….
SIKE, just kidding, clearly this is where the Indica comes in handy (perhaps one day I can insert affiliate link here). If you have to Google it, just don’t; you stay innocent forever! If you are familiar, to hell with it, I can say this given my current place of residence and the subsequent legality that comes with it.
Oh yeah, I’m also an adult, technically, on paper, and can make my own choices, however rotten they may be.
So back to my night-time disturbances.
I come back to bed and I can just make out Georgia splayed out in my spot in the bed with her feet and tail on my pillow. I can see Sookie’s brown body mass in the dark also splayed out, but wedged into Sammy’s back.
Do y’all know Sookie?! Let me fill you in: she’s a complete lunatic. I mean I love her, but she’s absolutely maniacal and quirky. Every body movement she makes is executed at no less than approximately 11,000 mph. When we come home from wherever we may have gone and walk in the door, we make her sit in lieu of jumping on us, and she sits there verifiably PULSATING with energy. I mean literally, she pulsates. She tries so hard to keep it all in, to remain seated, but she is positively gyrating and twitching the whole time. Once you pet her, it’s all over. She’s in your face (and usually your mouth) and back in her seated position with her tray table up before you even realized she moved.
When she’s laying on the ground, usually with legs extended like a frog (like in the pic above), and you speak to her, she picks her head up fast enough to give herself a small concussion. Then when she decides that she can chill and you are not asking her to do anything, she does what we call the “headslam” by throwing her head back down on the ground, because, ya know, she moves faster than a car! Faster than a plane! She’s…..
So when Sookie gets in the bed with you, you might as well just get up. Because this animal will not hesitate to kick you at the speed of light. She will make very fast movements about every 8 seconds sending ripples of Richter scale energy through your bed. And in addition, she may even do what she did to me last night, which is to lay like a nice dog vertically and with her head on the pillow, however, this puts her face directly in my face. She was cute, but due to the fact that this dog also would eat her own shit every single time it comes out given the opportunity, as well as anything in the bathroom trashcan or pairs of socks, or dead animals, her breath smells like rancid asshole.
Then, just as I turned over to avoid this terrible ass (figuratively, and literally) odor and started to get comfortable, I heard little tiny footsteps racing up the hallway into my room!
Two seconds later, my tiny tortoiseshell kamikaze fighter dive-bombs on top of me and comes walking up my back, purring with delight. Just another typical night in the Kliewer household.
Isn’t it lovely when an alarm gets set for early in the morning and you have time to mentally and physically prepare for it’s arrival?
It’s not so lovely when they go off at 5:00 am on your day off. Like Sammy’s did this Saturday. And oh by the way, he never has to get up at 5:00 am, so I still haven’t figured out why that was even a thing.
Or there was the time in high school when somehow my STEREO alarm got set for midnight. This was the night before picture day in tenth grade, so I was already feeling anxious and trying to get my beauty sleep. I went to bed at 11:00 pm, and when that alarm went off one hour later, I was in such a fog I got out of my bed and hit the off button my stereo. I did not pause to make sense of this, that it was my stereo I was turning off and not my alarm. No, no. Instead, I got up and showered, picked out my fly outfit for the pics and even put on my makeup. It was somewhere around 1:15 am when I noticed the time on the clock and made sense out of what I had done. I decided to just collapse back into my bed with a towel on my wet head of hair, and my makeup already in place until morning. When I got up, I didn’t give a shit about redoing it , so I’d go with “tenth grade” for $400, Alex, when choosing which of my school pictures was the most busted out of the whole lot.
Double check those alarms, kids. You can’t blame missing school or work on “accidentally setting your alarm for pm” forever.
4. Donald Trump
I’m just gonna leave this here.
Considering tomorrow is THE day, I don’t anticipate much sleep tonight or tomorrow night.
Good thing there’s wine for that.
And lots and lots of Indica.
5. Anxious Thoughts
Okay, I’ll do it.
I’ll use this space to tell anyone who isn’t on Facebook that reads my little blog that we are MOVING TO ASHEVILLE, NC at the end of the year! I am excited, and a little sad, but mostly excited. Colorado has been amazeballs, and I’ll miss the big mountains, but the smaller Smoky ones are pretty too 🙂
Along with the prospect of moving comes a lot of other worries and things you have to make happen in a very specific order.
Like finding a place to live, for instance, in a place where houses are going just now like hotcakes.
Finding movers, who maybe won’t show up shorthanded and “lose” a few things like ours did on the LONG road (sarcasm) from Raleigh to Charlotte, including one out of each pair of your 10, 15, and 25 pound weight sets. Who takes one of each??? Honestly, who does that?
Figuring out how to get two people, two dogs, and a difficult little feline across the country while simultaneously avoiding the application of cat piss in places it doesn’t belong. I can stop at rest stops and walk the dogs, but if you know my cat, I’d say walking her is out of the question. I am rolling laughing right this instant just thinking of putting a leash on her. IT JUST AIN’T HAPPENIN’.
But we will make it. Just like we made it out here to begin with, just like we found a house in Charlotte without ever looking at it in person, just like we always do, we’ll make it.
So there you have it, the November 2016 edition of “Why I can’t sleep”. December, I’m sure, will bring it’s own challenges to the table, but I hope you enjoyed this month’s top five. Some will likely carry over into next month, while there is one particularly loud-mouthed, arrogant, and orange one that I hope falls promptly off the list.
With sleep, any dream is possible.