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Jun 7

How to not lie awake at night

Posted on Thursday, June 7, 2012 in Philosophy, Something to think about

I lie awake sometimes at night and think of all the things I should have done or said. Thoughts of embarrassing moments cross my memory and I shudder and cringe and re-live horrible moments in intimate detail. Torture. I take things too seriously sometimes, maybe. It’s good to force those feelings out they say, focus on the positive. Guilt is a useless emotion.

Easier said than done though is that lark, focusing on the positive I mean… it seems easier to beat oneself up.

But then adults are always hard on themselves, it’s in our programming. We’ve been told to be responsible and to support ourselves or the book will be thrown at us and it’s that, probably, that forces us to rebel on some level. I’m thinking to myself though that that’s where we’ve been going wrong.

I’m an adult, yes, but I shouldn’t have thrown away childish thoughts. I shouldn’t have assumed that every birthday should be the funeral of the years that have gone before, they’re still there, still within me, looking for approval and acceptance. We’re like trees, you and I, with rings inside counting our age… but trees don’t let their inner rings die, they keep them inside and it’s those rings that strengthen and support the adult tree as it grows, and we should be the same.

We should be allowing that inner two-year-old or thirteen-year-old to take part in everyday life, and we should embrace our five-year-old selves and love it and educate it and let it take over now and then. It’s natural. Feeling guilty is pointless. Blame the kid inside and be done with it.

When you walk into a room and you’re on your own and you spot a tea-cosy, put it on your head. When you see an errant traffic cone, rob it. If you see a patch of grass with daisies on it, plonk that arse down and start making chains. Sleep with a teddy-bear. Make mistakes.

Try it, if you feel like you know what I might be phaffing on about… feel your past ages and remember them, and remember how you felt at each stage. Let that kid judge you for a change, let it ask questions and answer them as honestly as you can because nobody else is listening. Listen to it cry and hug it, and let it giggle and make rainbows with garden hoses. It’s not lost, you just can’t see it anymore but it’s still there.

I sleep better sometimes, spooning with my inner seven-year-old me. She’s a messed-up kid and she has no idea what she’s talking about but then again, neither do I.

Bring on the comments

  1. Ginger Mick says:

    Conratulations! You’ve done it again. Left me flabagasted, in a good way.

  2. Nelly says:

    I had such a sleepless night recently. Now the next one? Bring it in!

  3. Brianf says:

    Sometimes I lay awake trying to get to sleep and I beat myself up just like you described. On the other hand I have a small note taped to my ‘fridge door that says,”Remember to act like a fourth grader”
    ps. You’ve been nominated for an Irish Blog Award

  4. Jo says:

    You’re exactly right. I so do this too, the lying awake recriminating – there’s a beautiful UA Fanthorpe poem about it.

    Irish Blog Award?? I thought they were ended?!

  5. Baino says:

    GooD advice, I have a fridge magnet also, it reads, ‘YOU ARE ONLY YOUNG ONCE, BUT YOU CAN STAY IMMATURE INDEFINITELY’

  6. K8 says:

    Sorry! Completely neglected commenting AGAIN. I’ve good excuses though! Free movie night hosting at the school, random babysitting of random kids, first aid exams etc… yada yada.

    So anyway…

    Ginger Mick; Apologies for flabbering your ghast. There’s cream you can buy for that.

    Nelly; I’m not promising anything!! I hope your nights have been peaceful though.

    BrianF; THANK YOU! For letting me know at least, I wasn’t sure that they were hosting that anymore. So a gang of ladies have taken over! That should be VERY entertaining! As for the deservedness… this blog, and its record… scattiness I find isn’t so awardworthy but I don’t mind :) The blog itself is a kind of award.

    Jo; Googling Fanthorpe. So un-edumacated.

    Baino; This in itself isn’t probably a good thing. Finding the balance. That’s the challenge.

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