Night Owl

November 17, 2014

Articles

I’m most naturally a night owl although, it isn’t really possible to entertain such hours when you have a family life.

Sleepless in Colorado

However, I have watched the sun come up more often than not over these past couple of months. It is much easier to maintain a regular schedule when you have children at home or when you work a typical job, because you kind of have to. But, if you don’t have those responsibilities or if they change, it can kind of feel like a death sentence!

insomnia

Don’t get me wrong, having the freedom to create your own schedule is a wonderful blessing and I don’t know that I’d ever change it! But just like anything else, it can have it’s draw backs too, so this is just one of those things I dislike about living alone. I must admit that night-time has always been a tough one for me though.

They say evil comes out at night
So it can’t be exposed by the light.

Don’t Let The Bedbugs Bite and Other Things That Go Bang In The Night

Growing up, night-time was always the worst in my home. I would try to have as much homework and extra credit as I could, so I’d have something legitimate to do that would keep me awake until the sun came up again (or at least until the activities in my house calmed down enough for people to pass out, then I knew it might finally be safe enough, so I could close my eyes and rest for awhile.)

abuse, hiding in a closet

More than once, I even tore apart the paneling from the back of my closet to make a hidden fort, doing my best to stay ‘out of sight ~ out of mind,’ but it was always to little, or no avail.

Sweet Dreams 

Then after giving birth to my girl, I made a vow that she would never know the terrors of the night like I did. So, we would always have some kind of energetic, fun playtime in the evenings like jumping on the bed, pillow fights, or chasing each other in the dark with light up swords (one of her favorite activities!) Followed by reading a couple (or several) books together right before bed. She always had to fall asleep holding my hand or one of my fingers while I sang to her. Then I’d pray over her (as I still do) to have a peaceful mind, calm heart, double her sleep and sweet dreams. Finally, after I tucked her in, I would go to my own room, and try to do the same thing for myself.

sweet-dreams-joni-mcpherson

“Coming back around after a short trip down memory lane…”

More Things That Go Bang In The Night

I have diagnosed insomnia too, which also means that I never enter REM sleep.

If you add that on top of my childhood, being a single parent and the only protector of our home plus, the training and hours I often times had to keep while working undercover, it’s no wonder I don’t know how to relax at night. I’ve mostly had to sleep with one eye open, which means that my mind and body have always felt like they’ve had to be on high alert at all times. Obviously, I don’t have to live like that anymore, but learning how not to may prove to be a greater challenge yet.

Sweet Moments

A few things that helped me sleep more during those years and maintain a healthy atmosphere for a family of my own, happened with lots of prayer and by creating a solid foundation of some very specific habits and consistent routines (especially when we had relocate so many times over the years.) I was also very intentional about raising my girl in a home filled with laughter and joy, because one’s home should be a total sanctuary, and a place you want to come back to.

The difference between a house and a home.

Being a mom while creating and maintaining this home life, has been the most important task I could have ever been given, and is something that I was meant to do. But, what about the rest of my life now? Life, for me, has always been about the service of others ~ family always being first.

The Boogie Man and The Night Owl

You know, when the lights go out and everything is quiet at night… When there’s nothing left to distract you from your own thoughts, memories and feelings… That’s where I find myself struggling again. My mind tends to race with all that I’ve seen and been through, so the only way I’ve found to calm it down at night is to close my eyes and picture the cross in my mind. But, that hasn’t been working as well now that I’m alone so much of the time.

When I’m all alone in the house, day after day like this, I’ve found that I don’t like the night-time again and have even begun to dread its approach. I dread the time the night takes, before it finally dawns a new light. Hence, feeding the night owl.

night owl

The clock always moves slower when we’re waiting for time to pass.

It’s Not That I Can’t Be Alone, It’s That I Don’t Want To Be Anymore

So, I have definitely noticed that when I’m at least in a trusted relationship living with someone, I seem to naturally relax and can even rest or sleep, almost without any effort. That is what I desire to have again. And besides, neither man nor woman was created to be ‘alone’ anyways… Just say’in!

Therefore, I have decided to find another roommate since I’m not married and don’t have anymore pets either, lol. For me, it is just enough to know that someone else is in the house (or coming home at some point) although, the hope is to enjoy a genuine friendship. This has proven to be a struggle too though, because trust isn’t something I can afford to freely give. That’s why when I find people in life that are trustworthy, I cherish those individuals for their characteristics, and my loyalty to them is solid. Respect is another one too, because while I love doing things with people and don’t want to be alone, I enjoy having some private time as well.

i-have-a-feeling-my-guardian-angel-looks-like-this-oftenIn conclusion (as others have pointed out) perhaps I’m simply meant to be alone during this period in order to have the freedom for more travel and speaking engagements. Or maybe it’s in hopes that I’ll finally learn to quit struggling with God in the wilderness. Or perhaps it’s just as simple as learning not to settle in my relationships anymore. I’m not sure, but what I do know is, there are ways we could never grow without having to go through the storms, so I don’t doubt there are several reasons or good things that will come of it… I’m just stating (for the record) that I don’t like it very much, lol! :) As many of you know, surviving one storm after another can be purely exhausting!

I may be a night owl again for now, but that’s OK. Some day, I’ll be able to replace the nightmares with sweet dreams instead, and the falling of the night will signify a peaceful rest and just one more thing to look forward to with each passing day.

 

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15 Comments on “Night Owl”

  1. tonyasmithauthor Says:

    I’m praying for you Jess. I’m praying for you a great roommate to come into your life to give you a little more peace. For the time being why not get a pet? I know GOD has that right man picked out for you as well and it will be a perfect timing and place in your life. I am so sorry that you are afraid to go to sleep. Thanks for sharing your story and I know better days are ahead for you Jess.

    Reply

    • Jessie Jeanine Says:

      Thank you so much Tony. And we had pets our entire lives that always traveled with us too. They really were our best friends, but we had to adopt them out when we made the move to Hawaii :( We talk about them all the time and are huge animal lovers, but I don’t want that commitment right now either, since I don’t know what direction my life is going at the moment. I really think I’ve been freed of anything that could keep me tied down now for a good reason… I just don’t know what that is yet, and am feeling impatient, lol. So, in that sense, having even more freedom is a very good thing and could enable me to do more I think. It’s finding compatible relationships and opportunities that’s the hard part. I appreciate your kindness and for taking the time to read Tony, so thank you and many blessings.

      Reply

  2. Cherilyn Clough Says:

    I am very not found of darkness or night either. I often imagine Jesus holding me. I spoke to my grandma after Grandpa died (they’d been married for over 65 years) and I said I worry about you getting lonely Grandma and she said, “Oh honey-girl, I am never alone, I have Jesus and His holy Angels. She read the Bible every day and studied all her life to know more about God and I think that grounded her. Now, when I am alone, I talk to God and sometimes cry and sometimes read but I know even though sometimes I feel alone, I am never alone and neither are you! Hugs!

    BTW-A psychologist taught me we only need 4 sets of 1-1/2 hour increments for REM. So if you sleep for three hours that is likely two REMs and you can get up and go back to bed and sleep for three more and get 2 more sets. Of course the ideal is five sets so 7-1/2 hours sleep is best but you don’t have to get them in one shot. People before the turn of the 20th century used to have parties where guests came and they all played games, went to bed when it got dark and got up three hours later and played more games and went to bed again.

    It was so sweet what you did for your daughter! I pray you can sleep tonight.

    Reply

    • Jessie Jeanine Says:

      I used to think of Jesus holding me too… guess I’ve kind of forgotten about that one. In fact, a poem I wrote was birthed from such a night “If Jesus Spoke To Me” Thank you for the reminder Cherilyn. You are right… I know in my soul I’m never alone, but it’s super tough at times. It’s nice to be able to reach out and share with friends when that happens though :) Prayers and warm hugs to you as well and I appreciate all you shared!

      Reply

  3. Americana Injustica Says:

    Hugs Sweetie Chin up and Hugs!

    Reply

  4. andy1076 Says:

    I am much like you on Insomnia, never managed to reach REM sleep, it’s only gotten worse over the years too :-\

    Reply

    • Jessie Jeanine Says:

      It’s a tough one. Regardless of it being “diagnosed” or whatever (yes, I actually suffered through the sleep study, lol) I really believe mine will settle down once I’m with someone. At least, I know it helps a lot just having someone else under the same roof. I’m sorry it’s something you struggle with too :(

      Reply

      • andy1076 Says:

        mmmm It’s the want for the feeling of security then, is that fair to say?

        Reply

        • Jessie Jeanine Says:

          Yes sir, that’s what I mean. Most of mine I think is so much psychological for all the different reasons I wrote about – which all fall under that umbrella of simply feeling safe and secure. It’s like working a mission – I may have confidence in my abilities going solo, but how much more secure do you feel by being part of a team (if you trust them that is, lol) just knowing someone else has got your back and there’s another set of eyes. It’s that type of thing. I’m sure part of it is just being a woman too – it’s nice to think of a man as being your protector :)

          Reply

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