Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Laying awake in the dark - Day 27

Day 27 (Wednesday 27th December 2017)
27 December 1977 was the UK release date for the long-awaited film, Star Wars.
Many would-be viewers queued in Leicester Square, or Tottenham Court Road,
London from early in the morning to secure one of the few cinema seats that had not
been pre-booked for months. It had been released in the USA 7 months earlier. Every
year since 1977 Lucas films has produced a seasonal card, above is 1977's (the first) and 2017's
is shown below (it is Rey and Kylo Ren on opposite sides of a “tree” illuminated from within by a tea light).

Today many are going back to work, the last few working days of 2017 - I hope they go well. I have a few more days' holiday. I am back on the road to Somerset to see my mother and sister this afternoon. I have been thoroughly spoiled this Christmas with wonderful gifts from family and friends. I particularly love Robert MacFarlane's and Jackie Morris' book, Lost Words given to me by a dear friend Simon - the book was inspired by words from nature that were removed from the Oxford University Press Junior Dictionary. I also treasure a beautiful hand-stitched and framed bee, made for my by Louise (Michael Carty's wife) - it is perfect and such a touching gift on so many levels.

Today's post is by Amanda Arrowsmith, known to many on Twitter as @Pontecarloblue. Amanda describes herself and an HR nerd. She works as an HR consultant and she specialises in change. She is certainly excellent with people and renowned for devising solutions that enhance the workplace. She writes an excellent blog, and is frequently available for HR related discussions on social media. She is highly engaging, a compelling speaker and a caring colleague and friend. She is also a bit of a domestic goddess - excellent at baking and producing preserves (she made amazing gingerbread men this Christmas). I envy her living in the Cotswolds, where she is easily able to glean sloes and brambles from the hedgerows whilst taking her dogs for a walk. Given all she does, she is a bundle of energy and encouragement, it may come as a surprise to some that she suffers from insomnia. 


I don’t sleep well. I haven’t for years. It’s not unusual for me to spend a few hours awake for no reason in the darkest hours willing sleep to come or accepting that it won’t.

I envy my partner, he has an ability to fall asleep at the drop of a hat. He’ll even wake up and talk to me, telling me he’s awake and not tired and then in the following breath be deep in the arms of Morpheus.

I wasn’t always like this, I’m told that as a child I ‘slept well’. No waking my parents every night, no needing to be driven or walked around. Until my late teens I could sleep anytime, anywhere.

My parents had parties, loud, laughter filled parties with dancing and drinking and folk coming and going and I could curl up on a chair and sleep; oblivious to all that was going on around me.

But not now. On no. I’ve tried all sorts - drugs, herbal tea, a bath before bed, no screen time, eye masks, ear plugs, hypnosis tapes - the works. But whilst I may get a few good nights. I’m always back here. At 3am wondering if I’m going to get any more than the 4 hours I managed.

But when I do sleep. Oh that’s magical. I joke about how the world should watch out I’ve had 8 hours sleep and I’m on fire. 10 and I can face anything! But reality is I get 5-7 of broken sleep most nights.

So what do I do with my time. Well I think, I plan, I consider. I try not to read or write as I don’t want to disturb himself or to get my mind overly active. Often as dawn breaks my mind and body will quiet and sleep will come again. A short burst leaving feeling hungover without the pleasure of the gins the night before.

However, I’m going to keep trying to break the cycle. More exercise, different teas, bath salts and oils. Who knows. Maybe I’ll crack it. But until then. If you see me just after dawn - bring me coffee; and if by chance you ever find me curled up on a chair snoozing. Cover me with a blanket and turn on my do not disturb.

I hope you are having a fabulous Christmas, wherever you’re laying your head. Sweet dreams.

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