Thursday, 28 April 2011

Unless the sun explodes

I'm very tired today. Feeling lethargic and sleepy.  Possibly some of this is down to a day out with Bryan and the girls and a long drive, but mostly I'm sure I could just do with a Good Night's Sleep.  The elusive aspiration of parenthood.  Every Mum or Dad longs for one, some more than others, depending on the way that their little ones are made. The fact that Elizabeth is an early bird is something for which I blame you, by the way. I'm just waiting until my girls hit their teenage years and then with any luck they'll be in bed till lunchtime and I can catch up on some of the sleep deficit that their preschool years have left me. Please don't let me down here.

I remember when I used to go to bed when I felt tired; if there was a late film it didn't put me off that it continued after nine o'clock and quite frequently the time changed till tomorrow and there I was on the sofa, alert and still able to follow a plot. Secure, indeed complacent in my knowledge that I could sleep till I woke up in the morning. Now it gets to half nine and I start to calculate how many hours are left until I need to get up, taking into account getting ready for bed, time taken to nod off, nocturnal visits to the bathroom and the likelihood of disturbances from small people in the small hours. Rarely does that equation reassure me.

So here I am writing this with an eye on the clock and knowing that I am so tired I could sleep for a week, but I haven't brushed my teeth yet, Katy is still whimpering in bed (we went to the National Space Centre today and although we all had a lovely time Kate is now lying awake afraid that the sun will explode) and I am in no doubt that I'll need to go and see her again before Sleep time.

Sigh.

I wish I were designed to be cheery, energetic and function smoothly on 5 or 6 hours a night.  I'm not. I reckon I need about nine to be ok, more to be feeling in great form. I seem to remember the last time I took this for granted was around the end of May 2005.  I might have had difficulty getting comfy being nearly nine months pregnant but once I had myself surrounded with pillows and dosed up with indigestion remedies I could stay in bed till lunchtime if I felt the need.

Sigh.

Funny how black everything looks when I'm tired.  I know that right now I'm bad tempered and cross.  I know that I'm scowling even as I type this.  I'm just feeling irritable and I thought I'd mention it to you. In the mood I'm in right now, it feels as if nothing's going my way, I can't see an answer to any problem I think about and there isn't anything that's going to cheer me up. And if you were having a good day so far then you can stop because if I'm not, you can't either.

Well, I didn't mean that exactly how it sounded, Lord.  Well, I did, but it was just an expression of frustration, really, not meant to offend. I don't suppose you have good days and bad days, do you?  Only good days?  From what I know about you it seems unlikely that occasionally you get out of bed the wrong side - it's just a human thing.  When you were here as a man, Jesus, did you have bad days?  Cross at the world days?  Days when you couldn't be bothered?  No, I thought not.  Or if you did, you must have risen above them in a way that I rarely find myself capable.  I snap at my family, I contradict everyone, I refuse to be cheered up, I pick holes in everyone's plans and criticise and generally spread gloom and dissatisfaction.  What a lovely person I can be sometimes.

Sigh.  Here's where you could interject with something reassuring and helpful, if you wanted.

Now I'm feeling guilty.  I should apologise to everyone, really, but everyone's asleep.  Even Katy. It's hard comforting a four year old who has been spooked by news that the sun will explode in several billion years when she doesn't understand what a billion is.  Could you give me the inside word on that one, please, God?  Then I can tell her definitively.  The scientists just have an idea that it will one day explode but you know exactly what your plans are for the sun. Perhaps it wouldn't put her mind at rest if I told her that there was a chance the sun and the earth and everything in it (including us) might end much sooner than a billion years.  Maybe I'd best not go there. We said a little prayer, Katy and I, and we asked Jesus to come and help her feel happy and sleepy and give her lovely dreams, and so I'm sure you will.  Take away from her little head the fears that she's found. It's so strange the things they find to latch onto. You can never predict what will capture their imagination.  I sort of thought the section on how astronauts use a toilet in space might have been the most memorable part of the day for my two little girls but it seems not.

I pray that you would take away her fears and worries. And from me, take away all the rubbish that I'm hanging onto right now. Help me, too, to stop poking at hurts and irritations and worries, step away from the computer and get some much needed sleep.  Help me to leave with you the minor annoyances of this evening and not store them up.  Help me to sleep till morning and start tomorrow fresh and bright, not hung over from a night's worth of analysis and over-thinking.  Take away my self pity and self absorption and selfishness and give me self control and self awareness.  Help me to look outwards instead of inwards; to look after other people and not so much myself. Help me to love more and unconditionally. I haven't been the person you want me to be tonight, Lord.  I'm sorry.

Well, time to go to sleep.

Tomorrow's another day. Well, it is unless the sun explodes.

Over to you, Lord.

.

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