For the past few months, I've been having trouble sleeping and I know I'm not alone.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, 48 percent of Americans report insomnia occasionally, while 22 percent experience insomnia every or almost every night. Women are 1.3 times more likely to report insomnia than men. This leads me to wonder--what does everyone do in the middle of the night when they either can't fall asleep, or in my case--wake up and can't get back to sleep?
As for me, I have some routines that typically start with checking on the kids, going downstairs to fold laundry (lucky me: there's never an empty dryer in my house), and eventually, logging on to my computer, which, by the way, is one of the worst things (according to sleep experts) that you're supposed to do. Checking email, surfing, blogging, shopping online, etc. gets you out of sleep mode and back into working mode, and well, you can see how that defeats the purpose of trying to fall back asleep. Hopefully that sentence made some sense, as I am a little sleep-deprived today :)
Last night I found myself on one of my favorite home decorating sites and started browsing for pillows. Decorative pillows. Something to help bring out the raspberry, cream, and sage tones in the new rug in my family room. Don't ask me why I was doing this with a vengeance at 4:00 a.m., just know that I was. Crazy story of my life. Anyway...back to the pillows.
As I was filtering my search for 18-20 inch square pillows with cording, welting, or tassels (seriously delirious at four in the a.m., friends...) the pillow you see here came up. I have no idea why it did as it is fit none of my search criteria. Nonetheless, there it was. A simple message that packed a lot of punch, plain as day in black and white. Literally.
I read the pillow again and thought, Isn't that the truth?
And I immediately ran down the following list:
- The elderly friend of mine who is a recent widow after a 60+ year marriage and who is lonely and wondering what to do next;
- A mom friend whose amazing kid faces the kinds of physical challenges that would level an adult--except that this kid is a superstar who just keeps going;
- The sister of a college friend still trying to make sense of the loss of her sister--my then-closest friend--some 15 years after her death after years of substance abuse;
- My own mother, still reeling from the death of my dad just a little over a year ago
- Me, ditto, re: the above
- A dear girlfriend whose one-year-old daughter passed away several years ago, and who shall never be the same
If you are reading this now (and I'm so glad you are), how many more can you add from your own life and the lives of the people you know and love?
That's my point: not to depress anyone but maybe to remind ourselves that while we're getting ticked off in rush hour traffic because some "idiot" isn't paying attention or if someone we counted on to help us with something seemingly blew us off when we needed them, that perhaps there's more to it than our own knee-jerk assumptions of what happened. Perhaps that total stranger that we have no problem flipping off in traffic has just lost a parent of a job or has had a horrible event unfold in their life. Maybe there's a lot more to what we see in passing (and how much can we really see then?) All I'm saying is that while there are idiots who will text and drive and nearly get you killed with their recklessness, there are an awful lot of people just like you and me who are maneuvering life and all its ups and down, one day at a time.
Maybe if we take the high road now and then (a lesson my husband and I have been trying to teach our kids, but it turns out, they like they high road best when it is accompanied by a quarter for good behavior), over time, we might find more more wandering that very road with us.
Just thinking aloud.