One of Those Nights

I’m just recovering from one of those nights.

At this point I pause, wondering if anyone else actually suffers from this sort of night, or if I’m about to reveal too much about my life.

So, here goes.

I woke around 5am, which I consider early. At that time of the morning, even when it’s clear that sleep isn’t an option, I tend to stay in bed. Or, to be more accurate, at that time in the morning I tend to get up, take a trip to the bathroom, reflect on my age, and then go back to bed.

We need a new mattress, but I’m trying to last until winter before buying a new one. It’s psychological – winter is the time to think f sleep, spring should be the time to think of skipping through meadows of wild flowers.

Awake, bad back, semi-darkness, and the doubts begin to creep in.

How is Number One son doing in his new job in Malta? How is Number Two son doing in his Finals, and is his plan to work in Canada a good one? Are three part-time jobs providing the life we want? Am I going to die of a heart attack before I sort my affairs out?* (Business affairs, that is, I’m not much in favour of infidelity and, to be frank, even if I was, I don’t have the energy these days). What have I done with my life? Where has it all gone? What did I do wrong? Could I have spent my money better? Why can’t I budget properly? Where did all this clutter come from?

And then I descend to the smaller incidents and embarrassments, the times I said or did the wrong thing, the times when I couldn’t think of the witty reply that would have turned things round and made me feel better, the way that things went wrong on the farm.


If it is, I sympathise with you, but I’m glad to find I’m not alone.

If it isn’t, you are very lucky.

I’m going to post a few cheerful photos now and try a spot of optimism.

Is it working for you?

*The doctor seems to think I am.

38 thoughts on “One of Those Nights

  1. Clare Pooley

    Yes, I have those nights most nights. As I come-to I am aware of the problem list starting to grind on its clanking way through my head. Most nights I don’t manage to get back to sleep. I tend to go to bed very late (much too late) in the hope that I might wake later in the morning. Not good for my heart either. Get the mattress now!

  2. tootlepedal

    Towards the end of my working life, I had nights like that every night, mostly worrying about work but about anything else that might turn up in my mind too. Going to bed was a nightmare. Retirement has cured all that though. Let the others buggers worry is my motto now.

    1. quercuscommunity

      Sounds to be a good approach, and a good motto. I’m going to adopt it, as I too am beginning to dread bedtime. Nice to know that I will achieve inner peace in a few years. 🙂

  3. Donnalee

    I think this happens to everyone I know, and each one frets that s/he is the only oneit happens to, especially those of us who are Not That Young Anymore. I consider that the Tibetan Buddhist monks wake up on schedule every three hours during the night to meditate, and figure that that’s their solution to it. I try to switch my addictive bad thoughts to hopefully-addictive good thoughts, and thus occupy my brain in ways that tire it out but freak me out less. I am into making mental lists of everything I love, and eventually I fall asleep. “I love this cat, I love that it’s nighttime and I’m tired and in bed, I love this clean sheet, I love that it’s reasonably cool in here, I love the dinner I had tonight, I love that part in the Terry Pratchett book I am reading where he says…” It’s worth a try!

      1. Donnalee

        May you have plenty of forks and knives and napkins as needed! I used to buy myself a whole nice cake on birthdays and walk around downtown giving slices of it to friends, but have slacked off on that. There is a decent bakery in town, but my birthday isn’t for months. I suppose I could do a little quality-control testing earlier–

      2. quercuscommunity

        How will you know which cake you want for your birthday if you haven’t put in the hard yards doing the testing? Don’t be a slacker, get testing!

  4. Laurie Graves

    Sweet pictures, tough reflections in the early hours of the morning. Yes, I have had those kind of mornings. I suspect many of us have. We never stop worrying about our children, no matter how old they are. And, darn, how we miss them wen they move far away. Unfortunately, for those of us who live creative, unconventional lives, money is often a constant worry. So, Quercus, this is just to let you know you have company across the pond.

      1. quercuscommunity

        I stand by what I said. If necessary I will write a post tomorrow titled “A Note About Laurie Graves”, and then you really will be noted! 🙂

      1. quercuscommunity

        I was talking to someone today who is now doing a job he loves for less than half the money he used to earn and thinks this has improved his life.

      2. jodierichelle

        I’ve been a freelance bookkeeper since 1996. I walk into my client’s office/store and work until I am done. Then I leave and I bill them for the time I was there. At this point it would drive me NUTS to sit in an office and try to keep myself busy from 9 – 5, even if they were paying me twice as much. I am unconventional by nature, but I have only nourished it by my life choices.

      3. Laurie Graves

        Yes, yes! I’m surprised those pennies don’t scream. 😉

  5. derrickjknight

    You are most definitely not alone, Quercus. 5 a.m. would be OK for me if I’d got to sleep by 10.30 p.m. which is par for the course. My worst time for such thoughts (going all the way back to childhood) is about 3 a.m. BT, British Gas, computer problems, French banks, all provide current material. We both got up at 6 this morning. I had only been awake for 20 minutes.

    1. quercuscommunity

      Comforting to know it’s not just me. I’m going to start getting up sooner and being more industrious. I’ve always known you to be an early riser from the relies you make to my 6.30 am posts on Sundays. 🙂

  6. The Snail of Happiness

    Many, many nights…but usually 3am. For the past 20 years.
    I do, however, have a solution. I pop my headphones on and listen to a talking book. This seems, usually, to have the effect of switching off my brain, or at least distracting it. Nothing too serious, and if it’s familiar or not too gripping I often fall back to sleep (often around the time I should be getting up).
    Oh, and get that new mattress… life is too short to wait until winter not to have a bad back. You might sleep better too.


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