I can’t get no sleep.

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Yeah, yeah. It’s a double negative, but you know what I mean. Also, it’s a song lyric by Faithless. Remember that one?

As I type this, I am hoping that tonight will be the night I remember how to sleep well. It’s been a while. And I know why. It’s been the perfect storm of everything.

Often I’ll fall asleep exhausted and then wake up a couple of short hours later and just never get back to my slumbering. Or I’ll spend hours and hours trying to get sleepy at all, only to doze off way too late to rack up some decent hours.

It’s been truly frustrating. I’ve tried so many things. Being active during the day. Reading instead of looking at a blue light screen. Trying mindfulness and gratitude (something that usually works for me is taking note of how comfy my pillow and bed are and being so grateful to just be lying down). None of my usual go-to tricks have been working.

I kid you not, I’ve been waking in the night with Smashmouth lyrics going round and round in my head or one line of a TV show theme song repeating over and over. It’s literal torture.

Occasionally I’ll panic about something at 3am just for fun.

I think I know why I have been struggling. It’s a bit convoluted (and probably weird) but I’ll explain…

I have spent 2020 in this really frustrated mindset. It’s not ideal. It’s a nice change from my usual garden variety anxiety, I guess? The reason for my frustration has been my inability to express myself. I got told that it’s something to do with me being a Taurus, but I think it’s also something to do with me being me in general!

I am a creative mind living a pretty conventional life. I like that about me but it means I always have to check that I’ve got everything balanced. The creative part of me that must express herself to sleep well at night and the conventional side of me that must be responsible and who can forget to prioritise brain space for herself (or it just seems logistically impossible). I usually manage this need to verbalise or write down EVERYTHING I ever feel with my support network in my mum, husband or a select couple of friends. My blog. My social media (I’m such a dickhead on Instagram stories). My online (private) journal. By getting out and documenting the memories I/we make and finding inspiration in the life I’m living. I’m just wired to need that outlet. I have to find ways to channel that energy healthily (and as least annoyingly as possible) to avoid anxiety or depression.

But January has always been a trap for me. It’s the second part of the summer school holidays where the silly season quietens down somewhat and the kids get a bit restless. When everything hits a rut and a social life never seems to sync up (that’s just me isn’t it you social butterflies, you). When I can go ages without truly speaking to another adult in real life (it’s not that I lack opportunity but my toddler is a conversation blocker – noisy and demanding). Fun is had but I always find it a bit hard, this January business.

Over the Christmas break my laptop battery died. My precious laptop with my whole life on it. My writing partner. The device I express myself on the most. I had to wait and wait before it could be repaired (and I am still waiting – long story). My creative juices were absolutely overflowing as I’d had a chance to relax and process the year that had been. I felt like I had nowhere for those feelings/thoughts/ideas to go. I know that there’s such a thing as a pen and paper but it just wasn’t going to match up to the speed that my fingers could type it all. My laptop is also where I organise my life from. Ordering groceries and finding ways to make things run easier. Frustration.

I was so excited to get a chance to start fresh. A new calendar year. But dummy over here has ordered a very popular planner (and it’s popular for good reason) late and it isn’t going to arrive until most of the way through January. I have felt like I’m suspended in nowhere land waiting for a special place to organise my life and plan my year. Every time I’ve thought of a date in the future where something should be written down, I’ve been feeling frustrated. Every time I’ve thought of a new, important and awesome goal for 2020 I sigh and add it to a note in my phone for later. So unsatisfying. I know it sounds silly but not having the planner has made me feel like I cannot plan (I know full well that I could but it just won’t be the same). I have learned a valuable lesson about not hesitating next time: BUY IT EARLY, YOU DUMB ASS.

Frustration.

Some financial hurdles. Frustration.

Climate change. Bush fires. Despair and frustration (and helplessness and guilt for having these first world problems keeping me up at night).

My daughter entering the Terrible Twos, consumed by her own frustrations. My frustration on both of our behalves (did I just make that word up?).

My son having to get prepared to start at a new school this year and my worries about leaving him alone in a place he’s not super familiar with on his first day/week/year – worried like I would be if he were a newborn I was leaving for the first time and not a bright, resilient 8 year old who I am so proud of.

No sleep. Frustration about being frustrated.

I know some of this is irrational, but it is what it is! I’m typing away on a cheap laptop that will one day be my son’s for school projects and I hope that writing this down will help me to purge all the feels. I’ve bought some herbal supplements that are supposed to help me relax and sleep. My planner will arrive next week. I am clawing my way towards sanity.

Most importantly I need to be kind to myself and stop picturing the year racing away from me like a runaway train. It’s only January. I need to calm the fuck down. I’m gonna get a hold of this. And even if/when life inevitably throws me a thousand curve balls I have to believe it won’t be as bad as last year because I KNOW last year made me stronger.

When did I become such an unbearably impatient crazy person??? I guess I’ll have to work on this. Should I add it to my list of goals? Ha!

So wish me luck tonight. I hope you sleep well too x

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