Thursday, August 7, 2008

Inspired Insomnia

Since early childhood I've dealt with constant insomnia and the curse of being a light sleeper. Like my father, I toss and turn and often finally give up completely and simply read the night through when sleep eludes my grasp. I've always been jealous of both my older brother and my mother who fall asleep as soon as their heads touch a pillow (the fact the Prime Geek can fall asleep in the time it takes to draw a breath in a sentence is a bit of a pain as well!). My usual routine during times of unrest is simple enough : 1- 3 hours of sleep for a week or so, crash and burn (often spectacularly) and sleep for 12 hours, repeat.

I've tried prescriptions (which I now know to avoid at all costs due to my wonky system), over the counter pills (not much good for the long term, once you find yourself taking 8 a night to sleep even 4 hours you know you're in trouble), teas that taste of horse piss, and herbal remedies that smell even worse.* Mostly to no avail.

No matter how tired I may be, how far nerves may be stretched thin and jangling by living on the border of exhaustion – it does have its uses. There will come a point (usually near the end of the cycle, often mere hours before the aforementioned crash and burn) when I can't take laying in bed staring at the ceiling for one second more and I end up propelling myself headlong into a massive project that had been left simmering on the back burner for far too long.**

To that end?

For months the Prime Geek and I have struggled in a losing battle against our carpets in the bedroom and dining room. From cats who have preformed some pretty horrid acts of social disobedience during fits of pique, to guests who honestly don't know why my jaw clenches as they casually spill soda onto the floor***, and previous owners who must have never cleaned it a day in its life - to name just a few reasons why our elderly carpets had reached horrific levels of grossness. I've steam cleaned, sprayed, scrubbed, and sobbed – all doing little to help in the long term. We've meant to pull it up for months and one project after another would stall out the plan.

Well, a few days ago, after staring blearily at a ceiling for what seemed like hours – I went into action. Leaving a snoring husband curled up in bed and armed with nothing more then a steak knife, a pair of old scissors, trash bags, broom & mop, and three cats determined to help in this new “game” I ripped through 40 years of nastiness. Three hours, two broken nails, and six trash bags later I had uncovered an old linoleum floor that will serve us until spring when we can replace it. Another hour spent scrubbing years of filth and ick off and we have a new floor. Not perfect by any means, I've already started the rag rugs we'll need to scatter over the floor to cover old paint spills, digs, and divots – but serviceable. Added bonus? The whole downstairs smells fresh and new. I shudder to think about what we've been breathing in all these months. Even better? Seeing the PG's face when he stumbled down the stairs that morning to be confronted by a remodeled home.

One day I hope to conquer this sleep cycle, but until I do... I'm getting a heck of a lot done!

* I've come to the conclusion that Valerian works not by helping you sleep - instead its smell (a lovely mix of rotting flesh and cat pee) simply renders its victim unconscious.
** What occurs is simple - I start a fevered project that I refuse to leave half finished and work myself into a stupor. But at least its productive, right?
*** Don't get me wrong. I love my friends and enjoy having company. Its just few of them have their own homes (many living in group dens) and therefore don't really care if they spill red wine or hot cocoa on the floor. No doubt to tweaks me more due to having a mother who owns her own cleaning business.

1 comment:

Mark said...

I have a sleeping problem myself, with pets and kids, I'm starting to tear all the carpet in the house, out myself. I hope to put in laminate floors, and linoleum in the high traffic areas.