Kansas Snapshots by Gloria Freeland - June 5, 2015

Notes to myself

I get to sleep pretty quickly at night, providing I doze off before husband Art starts snoring. But it isnít unusual for me to wake suddenly, sometimes after only an hour or so of sleep. Iím not sure what triggers this, but frequently my brain then goes into high gear thinking of all the tasks I need to complete the next day.

Art doesnít understand why it bothers me to awaken in the middle of the night. He said when it happens to him, he rather enjoys the quiet, sometimes spending time solving design problems or working on mathematical equations.

Not me! I ruminate - going over and over tasks, sometimes working myself into a tizzy.

I used to slip out of bed when that happened. Guided by familiarity and by any bit of moonlight coming through our bedroom windows, I would find my way to the door. Iíd wait for a particularly loud snore from Art before opening it so the noise wouldnít awaken him. Once in the hallway, the bathroom night light lit the way to the living room. There I would head for my laptop, illuminated by the blue light on its charger. Seated comfortably in my rocker, Iíd make lists of things to do, work on projects or send email messages.

But too often, Art would awaken and notice I was gone. Worried I might be ill, he would go looking for me. The main thing I learned from that experience is itís not good to have two people in the same house who arenít getting enough sleep.

When daughter Katie was a little girl, she sometimes complained about being unable to go to sleep. I suggested she think of a blank piece of paper to clear her mind.

ďBut then I just want to draw or write on it,Ē she protested.

I laughed - at the time. But I soon realized I must have that same propensity. So now, instead of wandering through the house at night, I keep a small note pad and pen on my bedside table. Whenever anything - and I mean anything - comes to mind, I reach over carefully so as not to disturb Art, and start scribbling things down. Unless the moonlight is particularly bright, I canít see what Iím writing, so I write by ďfeelĒ and hope Iíll be able to read it the next morning. Iím careful to only jot down one or two items per page so I donít overlap them. Then I tear the page off and drop it on the floor next to the bed. If more things then come to mind, I'll write another.

Among recent notes to myself:

Check Yahoo mail
RCHS (Riley County Historical Society) newsletter
Forces II
Larisa graduation
May b-days
Order more note cards
Email interns - portfolios, etc.
Coat to dry cleaners

Sometimes when I wake up the next morning, my feet come to rest on a virtual carpet of paper. The notes - a combination of errands to complete, work projects to handle and dates to remember - might be indecipherable to anyone else, but they are a sufficient memory-jogger for me. When I pick them up in the morning, I usually rewrite them to flesh them out a bit and make them legible.

But perhaps most important is that the transfer of these late-night random thoughts from brain to paper helps me relax and go to sleep.

I recently discovered that sister Gaila also keeps paper and a pen by her bed. She says she sits on the edge of the bed and uses her thumb to ďfeelĒ her way down the page as she writes things to do.

That made me laugh! This thing MUST be genetic.

A collection of notes to myself penned in the wee hours of the morning.

Comments? [email protected].
Earlier columns from 2015 may be found at: 2015 Index.
Links to previous years are on the home page: Home