Posted: March 22, 2010 in Life
Tags: , , ,

Some things are designed to fail.

Right away you’re thinking of that car or gadget you own, that has a one-year warranty, and you’re recalling how, one or two days after the warranty ran out, the ass end of whatever it is you’re thinking about fell off.

While that’s funny (if you’re not the one who owns the thing) this isn’t what I wanted to talk about.  You can, though.  Down there in the comments.

I was thinking about how you can be your own worst enemy, and that sometimes, failure can be a good thing.

Ever since I was a youngster I’ve been more alive at night.  I have no idea why this is, but I’ve grown to accept it.  Some of the best ideas come at night, and some of the best passions present themselves in the late night/early morning hours.  There’s just a clarity there, a shining sharp-edged knowledge that you can’t ignore or pretend isn’t there.

Lately, having come to terms with what I think might be an ADD issue, there has been acceptance of the fact that when my mind gets going – usually in the early morning hours – it’s pointless to stay in bed, tossing and turning.   Sometimes it’s possible to fool myself:  I’ll pretend that someone has come into the bedroom, someone I don’t want to talk to, and I’ll just lay there mimicking sleep.  The mimicking part is what does it:  time after time, the pretend-sleep has turned into real sleep.   (Man, I’m so happy when that happens).

Lately though, it hasn’t been working.

And sometimes I stay up long past the time when I should be dozing off.   Take this past weekend for example.

I knew full well that the limousine would be arriving at 7:15 a.m. Monday to take me to the airport.  I knew this, yet made the choice to stay up very late on Saturday night.  In fact, I didn’t hit the sack until 4:00 a.m. Sunday morning.  (What?  I was thinking, and writing and having a blast)

So of course I made a point of going to bed on Sunday night at 10:00, figuring I’d get up at 5:00 a.m., thus allowing a seven hour sleep.

Yeah, right.

10:00 came and went, and I hadn’t gotten around to crawling into bed.  I forced myself to go to bed at 11:30.  I thought “Ok so that’s five and a half hour’s sleep.  Not so bad.”    Something inside told me that wasn’t enough, so I set the alarm for 5:30.  That should provide enough time to pack and be ready for the 7:00 a.m. ride.

Well, wouldn’t you know it?  The bed was uncomfortable.  I scrunched up and made sure the pillow was big enough and sitting just right under my neck.

Then I had to turn over, and do the same thing again.

“Wait” I though.  “It’s too noisy in here.  Damn it.”  I forgot to wear my ear plugs.  (Have to keep the window open because the apartment is too warm.  This allows some fresh air in.  The street noises all gang up and saunter in that same window and set up a party in my room.)

I threw the covers off, and went looking for the ear plugs.  Ew.  I had used those ones too often.  Seemed like a good idea to get some new ones.  So off I went into the kitchen and found a fresh pair.

“There” I thought.  “Much better.”  And once again I situated myself under the sheets.

I thought about the next day, about meeting my new boss, and what I would tell him.  I wondered if he would understand some of the pressures our virtual team would face, and what I could do or say to help him understand.  I played around with different approaches, imagined his reactions, thought about how others would factor in, and what new ideas they would bring.  And….

“DAMN IT”  I threw the covers off.  It was hopeless.  I wandered out to the living room and started to watch the last half of Desperate Housewives.  (What?  Are you kidding me?  It’s got Teri Hatcher and Eva Longoria Parker – two of the hottest babes on TV these days.  Not to mention Julie Benz, of Dexter fame, who recently joined the cast.)

I shut the TV off and went to my bedroom, a little sleepier than before.  Then I got on the computer, made sure all the comments on my blogs were answered, then checked MySpace and Facebook to make sure everything was answered there too.  And then checked out all the MySpace blogs to make sure I read and commented on them.

Finally, at 2:30 I fell back into bed.

Today I’m dragging.   Clearly, normal human hours aren’t for me.  A rock star’s schedule seems more fitting.

May have to do something about that.

Oh, and P.S. – if you have an ADD thing and you’ve had no sleep at all I can tell you that the very worst thing in the world is to get a seat on an airplane right next to a wide-awake guy with apparent ADD.  He showed all the symptoms and none of the restraint:  his leg wouldn’t stop jumping up and down and oh dear Lord he was LOUD.   Like ALL THE TIME.  He had no filter either – whatever he thought about came out his wide open mouth.    So there was no sleep on the plane either.

I blame myself.

  1. Hey Wolf,

    My wife, you know, the sputtering spouse, found a way to go to sleep that works for her. She closes her eyes and consciously watches the visuals on the inside of her eyelids. She says it works for her every time….It works for me too most of the time…but just about anything works for me. Just tell me to go to sleep and bam, I am off to dreamland.

    Oh, re your last sentence…Always blame someone else. That may hamper self awareness and honesty but it saves a lot of self punishment. 8)


    • Thanks for the suggestion Rogers – I’ll have to give that a try.

      I blame myself all the time for things, but don’t suffer from regret. :) That way I have no hard feelings for myself. One less item to keep me awake at night.


  2. planet jeff says:

    at least you’re finding ways to entertain yourself. I had just the opposite problem this winter…couldn’t get enough sleep. I’d sleep all day if I could. Not fun!


  3. Randy says:

    heh-heh-heh Been there, done that! My wife can fall asleep anywhere, anytime. Drives me nuts.

    Strangely enough, I’m not having trouble sleeping any more. Maybe I’ve reconciled with life. I don’t know. I’m not on any meds. Sure is nice, though, climbing into bed ‘knowing’ I’m going to fall asleep. Took me over 40 years to get to that point though!


  4. Carrie says:

    How coincidental that you wrote this blog now. I didn’t sleep one bit last night. Not. at. all. I’ve had insomnia for a whole week now. Nothing helps. And I know it’s bad when I keep thinking that my bed is too comfortable.


    • On the very rare occasion when I’ve had acute insomnia, my doc prescribed sleeping pills, which she warned me not to take too often. Only took one, I think and the problem was resolved. Might be something to look into, if only to break the cycle.

      Hope you get some sleep soon, Carrie!


      • Carrie says:

        Thanks, Doug! This, too, shall pass. I’m slightly freaking out about some (hopefully positive) developments in my life, which is coupled with anxiety about whether or not I’ll be able to fall asleep on a particular night. This kind of thing happens to me on occasion, so I’m not too worried.

        But last night it took a swig of Jamo, a splash of NyQuil, Bon Iver on the iPod, and a field drip to the sofa to put me out for a whole 5 hours.


  5. Momma Fargo says:

    Back up to your first paragraph. I wish after 40 our makers would have told me the warranty ran out on my perky boobs…Ugh!


  6. Just Me says:

    I’ve never been very good at falling asleep. I’m still not great at it but not quite as bad as I was, it must be all the practice I’ve had. Once I’m asleep I have no problem staying asleep but, the falling asleep can take some work. It’s hard to fall asleep when you’re laying there thinking about anything and everything, sometimes at the same time. I mean, I’d lay there thinking about trying to think about nothing, which inevitably led me to think about sleep, which led me to think of sheep, which led me to think about cows……….I think you get the idea. It’s a viscous cycle.


    • Yes. I know that frustration well. Take last night for example: the night before, I only had three hours sleep. So last night, I should have been able to sleep well, right?

      Well it was going well until I heard my iPhone ring out, to tell me I had a text message at 3:00 a.m. I woke up, thought about going to read it, realized how dumb that was, turned over, kept thinking about it…and thinking about it…..and finally realized I wasn’t going to s top thinking about it so I got up to read it. Answered it. Waited. Reply came back. I wrote back. Reply came in. I replied again, and finally said “good night”. Went back to bed. “Ding ding”. Went back to read it. They had replied “good night to you too.”

      Went back to bed. Couldn’t find a comfortable position. Tried Roger’s idea of just looking at the images on the back of my eyelids. Started to work but then it didn’t and I was back to thinking again.

      Man. It just sucks.

      I finally got another couple of hours sleep and then the alarm went off. Today I’ll either be dragging or giddy. I’m hoping for giddy, ’cause that’s always fun.

      There are some benefits to having an ADD mind set right JM? But this is one of the major downsides….


      • Just Me says:

        Yeah this is most definitely not one of the benefits. My girlfriend can fall asleep in the blink of an eye, which is just like rubbing it in to me that I can’t fall asleep. I’ve actually found that listening to music while I try to fall asleep helps sometimes, it keeps me from thinking about the stuff I always end up thinking about.


  7. wordofabe says:

    It is always when sleep is the most important that I cannot achieve it.
    My brain chooses night time to solve problems. Unfortunately, that is when I am supposed to be sleeping.
    I have a long and (sorry to those who love it) BORRRING movie about Hamlet ?? that puts me to sleep every time. I’ve never gotten through it.


    • That’s what I need: a go-to movie like yours. Don’t know if I’ve ever found one though. This week I have a TV in my hotel room: I tried going through all of the channels, even landing on the Tila Tequila show (which here in Ottawa they have dubbed in French so you can’t understand what they’re saying). To say I dislike her and this show is putting it mildly – yet, it didn’t put me to sleep. Evidently even watching idiocy doesn’t do it.

      Sounds like you’re a night owl too, Abe. The nature of your work just doesn’t allow for night work does it? Too bad.

      If my work allowed me to work a night shift – they would see a hell of a lot more productivity out of me. I’m sure of it.


      • wordofabe says:

        Yes, I am a night owl who is forced into a profession which requires me to get up before the sun is up. However, since I own my own business, I can rebell once in awhile and work into the night for a week or so. I don’t know what it is about the night that enhances creativity. Perhaps it is the darkness? The studio is pretty dark…I would prefer it if the only light was candle light, but…that isn’t practical.


  8. Oh no!

    Wolf, your days sound like mine! Sleepless, restless and totally out of sync with the “normal” pattern of living. Do we have ADD or are we, as you say, better fit for the rock star lifestyle? I say we chuck it all and start a band!



    • I think both of your assumptions might be right. Maybe it’s because of ADD that we can be such good fits for rock star lifestyles.

      Anyway, I’ll put the band together – you just let me know what instrument you’re playing and we’re off! :)


  9. adman315 says:

    Try counting sheep.


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