I’ve posted about sleep before—lack of sleep, interrupted sleep, and jealousy over my dogs’ ability to sleep so peacefully. Lately, though, I’ve been the one sleeping soundly—and without any chemical assistance. I read an interesting article about sleep in a recent issue of Yoga Journal. The author suggested that night waking wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, and that it should be acknowledged, then pushed aside. I’m simplifying the concept, but the article helped me think about sleep in a new way. I’m no longer afraid of waking up in the middle of the night and tossing and turning while listening to my husband’s tranquil restful breathing. I’ve let go, and as a result, I’m sleeping. Good Night. And I do mean good.
“Good Night”–Watercolor Pencil on Multimedia Paper
I am incredibly envious of my dogs’ masterful ability to sleep. They sleep the majority of the day, drifting in and out of slumber. They can sleep through just about anything, other than the sound of the treat jar opening. And when they do wake, it takes mere seconds for them to slip back into a dream. I, on the other hand, wake at the slightest sound—my husband’s breathing, the house settling, the air conditioner kicking on—and it takes a miracle for me to resume my sleep. I toss and turn, think, over-think, worry, and catastrophize. I’ve tried OTC sleep aids, natural sleep aids, and odd Southern remedies, but nothing really works. I usually spend the next day in a sleep-deprived fog. Actually, I think I might be in one now. Maybe it’s time for a well-earned nap.
“Sleep”–Graphite and Colored Pencil–From my Sketchbook
It’s quiet this morning on Tamberrino Island. My husband is at work, my daughter is still in bed, and all three of my Boston Terriers are curled up on the couch. Sundae, my youngest dog, snores like a freight train and yaps in her sleep. Her eyes, nose, and feet twitch as she taunts some imaginary playmate in her dreams. Lucy, our rescue, still sleeps with one eye open. Champ, my senior, sleeps quietly, soundly. Still, I’m sure he dreams. I often wonder if he dreams about his old pack mate, Rainey. And I wonder if he misses her, like I do.
“Missing Rainey”–Graphite and Colored Pencil on Arches Cover
Today when I woke up, I felt like a kid on Christmas morning who had just opened that one special present—the one at the top of my list—the one thing I really wanted. As a child, that ultimate gift was a rock tumbler, chemistry set, or record player. As an adult, it was anything that packed a lot of sparkle and fit in a very small box. But as 50 approaches, the gift I long for most is a good night’s sleep. For months, sleep has eluded me. I’d tried a variety of sleep aids including Melatonin, diphenhydramine, and chamomile extract. Most of them didn’t help, and those that did left me hung-over in the morning. It’s hard to be creative—to function, even—without adequate sleep. I need a clear head when I’m behind the wheel on my Artist’s Journey. Last night I ditched the meds and got into bed—just me, my flimsy pillow, and my satin sheets. Instead of Santa sneaking down my chimney, it was The Sandman—and he left a special present for me to discover in the morning. I had slept through the night. I couldn’t have been happier. It was the perfect gift– just what I always wanted.
“The Perfect Gift”–graphite–from my sketchbook