3 a.m. Suddenly, calmly, wide awake for no apparent reason. This just isn’t fair.
The longer I lay there, the more I notice all the anxious thoughts fighting to rise to full consciousness. I begin to look back over things with regret. I start to look ahead with trepidation. I feel the apprehension and the unease rapidly swelling, and this, too, worries me.
And then, I allow myself to notice this familiar, endless loop of anxiety-filled processing and catastrophizing. I say out loud to the dark, “Stop.”
I turn my attention to my breath, noticing the ins and the outs of the air through my nose and down to my belly.
Eventually, I hear the little quiet thumps and creaks of the house and its inhabitants. I notice the soft sounds from outside. I notice the silence, too.
I feel the quiet ache in my hands, the little spot in my shoulder that wants rubbing.
I see the gentle light that filters in from the moon.
With a tiny jingle of his bell, the inky shadow of the cat jumps softly onto the bed. Purring unashamedly, he pushes his head against me, searching for my touch. I stroke his back as he happily nuzzles.
Sleep refuses to come. This night, however, my sleeplessness manages to remain in the realm of what just is. Not what might be. Not what’s already said and done. No, somehow I manage to let go of the endless trail of thoughts. I have just this quiet moment of awareness in the solitude of night.