The Midnight Worrier

I'm doing it again. I'm up past my bedtime.

I can always tell when I have too much on my mind, because I can't sleep. That says a lot as a mother, because you'd think I'd covet the time that my little one is settled in for the night. Yet, more than once this week and many times in the last few months, I find myself wandering the house after midnight. I wish I could tell you what I'm looking for. It's something between a snack and mental solace.

So, what's going on? Change. Lots of change. While I've learned wonderful lessons, the fallout is that my life looks completely different than it did six months ago. New people. New house. New church. I mean, we're not even in the same region of the country any more. I still can't get used to the fact that they show Jeopardy at 7 here before Wheel of Fortune rather than the other way around. Freaky, man...

And I know, I know. Luxury problems. First world whining. Thank God we have the freedom and ability to get up, take a risk, and change our lives. There are those who would kill for such a chance.

But the wonder of it all doesn't always take away the worry. That's why I'm still up.

So, I have to remind myself of a few things when seasons like this come along and keep me ruminating through the midnight hours.

"Don't lay awake at night / Thinking about your problems" ~ Sade, "Keep Looking"

The line from this song never fails to come to me when I'm up in the middle of the night. Rarely have I ever come into great wisdom between midnight at 6 a.m. Sure, I've figured a thing or two out and perhaps discovered a different perspective. However, most of the time, my internal ranting is fruitless. I'd be better served jotting down my concerns in a journal, then leaving them there until the morning.

"Get up, get out, and do something" ~ Macy Gray, "Do Something"

Just the act of lying still in a pool of your own sadness should be metaphor enough for you to try a different position. For instance, the other night, I knew I had to do something to get out of my nocturnal funk. The answer was as simple as getting out of bed and going into the living room. At that hour, the television had nothing, but Latino game shows and small-time Baptist preachers. It was exactly what I needed to get my mind in a different space and remind myself just how sleepy I was... and how I probably need to learn Spanish.

The last thing I recall is this...


If you're like me, there's a good chance you're up because you just need someone to talk to. Maybe you're lucky enough to have a friend to call or a spouse who's a light sleeper and great listener. But if you don't, or your troubles are above his or her pay grade, talk to God. Even if you don't believe, do it any way. It's a deep thing, but on the surface, it's a symbolic gesture that reminds you that you're not really all that in control and that's totally okay. You may even feel your burdens lifted off of you just enough for you to turn over and get some rest.

Okay, so I sorta made this about you and me, but it's late and I'm tired. Writing this was my way to unwind and stop worrying. I hope you find yours.

'Till then, sweet dreams.


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