Thursday, May 17, 2012

Z is for Zzzzzzzzzz

Z is for Zzzzzzzzzz

Catching a few delightful zees.


Asleep at the wheel.

It's how I'm feeling these days, quite often.

A victim of insomnia; though I am also sleep's bully, keeping it from its proper place in my life quite willfully.

For, you see, it's not so much that I can't fall asleep, it's that I won't let myself go to bed. Night-owl Ethan often does not go down until 10 or 10:30. That's when my "me time" begins. And there is so very, very much to be done.

When I do manage to put myself to bed at a decent hour? A nighttime's rise up to consciousness - whether to relieve a bladder or turn from an aching hip - will no longer be a brief blip in my slumbers; will now result in extended wakefulness. If you have gotten an email from me at 3 am? Yes. This.

And then there is unfortunate circumstance: a child's middle-of-the-night projectile vomit; my mother's ER visits, always an all-night affair, occasionally even 36 hours when hospital beds are scarce.

All conspiring to rob me of my rightful slumber.

I used to be a good sleeper, once.

The sandman and I enjoyed an easy, cozy relationship.

Before kids.

Before autism.

Before ADD.

Before peri-menopause.

Before elderly parents.

Before death.

Before blogging.

Aye, there's the rub: I confess I write best at about two am. It's not just the quiet in my household, kids tucked away in their beds. Even though I live in the city that never does, in this mostly residential, very family neighborhood, even though it is, yes, Manhattan, most of the people all around me are fast asleep.

Not all, certainly not that. Somewhere in my building there is surely a teenager chatting away on Facebook, an old man raiding the refrigerator, a new mother pacing the floorboards with her restless babe.

Yet still, it is enough. There is a psychic calm all about. Cars along Riverside swoosh by sporadically. The doormen are ensconced in lobby chairs, struggling to remain alert to the rare late arrivals, no longer jauntily calling out to each other from beneath sidewalk awnings. The brainwave patterns surrounding me are buzzing in the deep deltas of sleep. 

And my words, which serve such pragmatic purposes during the day, find themselves bubbling up from deeper pools in the dark; flowing into channels that delight and surprise me, swirling eddies carrying me along to places I have only glimpsed before, maybe in dreams.

And so, when I awaken at three am, having fallen asleep bolt upright on the couch while attempting to watch a movie on TV with my husband, I don't just pop myself into bed. I sit down at the computer: prime writing time has begun.

There's a reason I'm sleepwalking through my days sometimes, and its name is blog.

And I like this writing life so much, yes I do, that I'm willing to sacrifice a standard good night's sleep to it; catch my z's when and where I can.

And, please note:

Z is also for something really important to me... Zygotes.

Those are the earliest bits of us, what happens when a pair of compatible gametes meet cute, get happy together; existing for four days only before they become blastocysts, then embryos, then fetuses. (And then, eventually, if all goes according to plan: babies.)

I have zygotes on the brain right now because, having just realized that I've never truly told the tale here, I'm busy writing out the story of my twin boys' conception. Not a terribly sexy story I'm afraid, as it was a highly technical affair involving petri dishes, not mood lighting. Yes, IVF. Stay tuned...

This post has been inspired by and linked up to Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday writing meme, the letter of the week most obviously "Z." And yes, after this she's going to start back at the beginning with "A" again. Join in!


  1. I am with you on some of this, although, in general, I've been sleeping much better lately. I AM a nightowl, often staying up till 2. I am not in a sandwich generation anymore, however. Perhaps, I never truly was. I can imagine how tough that would be.
    Zygotes--a precious thing when longing for children.
    Here's to getting more zzzzs!

  2. I don't get enough sleep either. I keep telling myself I am going to go to bed early but often dont until midnight Then I am up with the kids at 6;30

  3. I write best in the wee hours of the morning, too.


  4. I am trying very hard to establish regular sleep patterns again, but it is hard. It seems like one thing or another gets in the way. The other day I slept 9 hours. Went to bed before midnight for a change and didn't have to get up early the next day. I felt kind of fuzzy all day as if my body didn't know what to do with that extra rest.

  5. Hello.
    I work long hours & sometimes,especially in the evening after dinner, I just can't keep my eyes open. I have to listen to my body & rest when it calls. Fascinating post. Thanks for sharing.

    Moonlight Zephyr

    If you're free or awake (smile), bookmark your calendar for June 2nd & come join me for Blog Hop Saturday!

  6. I lose all my energy about 8 pm and am usually in bed by nine. My poor husband has to take my glasses off, turn off the light and close my book almost every night!

    I'm glad you're creative in the wee hours and not just worrying! That can be such a curse!

    Thanks for sharing your letter Z with us!

    I always enjoy visiting you!



I am so sorry to have to turn word verification back on, but the spam-bots have found me - yikes!