Saturday, June 02, 2007

Awake When the World Sleeps

I've never been a good sleeper. My mom always told me the first night she brought me home from the hospital I was awake at night and slept during the day. That seems to have set a pattern for life.

For reasons I don't fully comprehend I love to be awake when the rest of the world is sleeping. I'm not sure why. It's not like I'm doing things that require the cover of darkness. At 1:00 this morning I was working on some MHA projects. At 2:30 I was playing the piano. Then I journaled for a bit and then went upstairs to bed. I have napped a bit but never fully went to sleep. At 5 I decided if I couldn't go to sleep in a few minutes I'd get up. At 5:35 I got up again.

So, here I am, before 6 a.m. on a Saturday, up and about. I've hauled more recycling out to the curb, I've gathered more things to go to Salvation Army and I'm headed out to the backyard in a few minutes to spread mulch. Like I said - not exactly things that require a clandestine lifestyle.

What my deal is with sleep, I don't know. Years and years ago, before anyone had heard of such things, I participated in a sleep study at a University. The results were that I had a sleep disorder - it had a name, but I've long since forgotten it. The upshot of it was that I go into REM sleep quickly and that making my body live on a schedule that's unnatural for it is going to spell disaster at some point.

This was never more apparent to me than when I worked in public radio and had to keep really odd hours during fundraisers. I can keep odd hours - that's no problem - I do that quite well - but it takes me MONTHS to then get back into a regular routine. I was pretty much always in trouble after fundraiser for not being back on a normal 8-5 schedule a day or two after working until midnight or 1, and then sometimes being up for another 2-3-4 hours to calm down enough to sleep. I could never understand how people could do it so quickly - I envied that ability. I just could not physically make myself get out of bed - it was as impossible as if I had been tied down - I just could not do it. And I'd lay there, knowing I was going to be in trouble, and only sleeping fitfully, so not even benefiting from it. It was an unpleasant way to live, and let me tell you there is no sympathy for someone who can't keep "normal" hours - even if you have an "official" diagnosis.

These days I'm very cautious about listening to what my body tells me about sleep because a deprivation can bring on an A-fib attack. I realize now I was having them off and on for years - particularly those mornings after fundraiser hours - I just didn't know what they were. But I didn't know that feeling had a name, and now I do. We live and learn.

I may be up all day today, and then I may crawl back in bed at 9 a.m. - I don't know - it will all depend on how I feel. But I know I get a lot more done letting my body dictate when it wants to sleep. I sleep fewer hours than most people, and therefore have more productive hours each day - but they don't all happen between 8 and 5. Fortunately, today is a Saturday and no one is expecting me anywhere at any particular time.

Phones, Friends and Art

This has been a very full day.

I started the day looking at copies of Landline Magazine, featuring Greg's photos on the cover and on the inside. Their art director did a great job with the layout. This was the freelance work we were doing in Greensburg a few weeks ago. My stuff aired on XM right away - although there is one more piece coming up soon - but Greg's photos just came out in print. It is a very cool, very slick, production. I hope he's proud of it because it looks great. Hard to believe that a photo of the President of the United States could end up being little more than a footnote, but I guess that just shows the magnitude of the story.

The first wonderful discovery of the day was that apparently after I came home last night they delivered my new phone, but left it behind the door on the porch and I didn't see it then. But, it was discovered very early this morning so I had a chance to fully charge it before taking it out to the local store so they could program it for me.

One of the first chores was to dump all the info from my old phone into the new one. They hooked up the old phone and lined up the Treo with the infrared panel and voila! everything magically came over to the new phone.

This was a bonus because I have some numbers in the phone I don't have anywhere else. I did start making notes of them - just in case something went wrong, but nothing did.

Amber became the hero of the day because she had used a Treo before. She spent considerable time working with me to get it all functional. I will have to go back out tomorrow because I can't send email - not sure why - it's downloading it but not sending. Probably some little thing that's wrong.

Shortly after getting it I went to run an errand and left it in the car. When I came back it was blinking. Oh no... what does blinking mean? Well, I decided I'd better call Teresa because I was expecting a call from her and it was quicker to just call her and confess I didn't know how to use my phone, than figure out what the blinking was. The blinking was voicemail - in case you're wondering.

I don't think the pix transferred over but that's no big deal. I had pix of a few people that popped up when they called but that's nothing major. There were so many more pressing issues to deal with I sort of forgot about the pix and it's not like a phone ever takes really good pix anyway.

I shoved a lot of MHA stuff out the door today, which is always a good feeling. With the garden tour June 24 I have a lot of things to accomplish for that and got some of them done today.

Cleta came over and picked up more data entry things to do for me, which is such a huge help. Greg went out and put up some flyers for me early this morning, which I'm very thankful for. I got the small ones printed and cut today and delivered to some places. Teresa and I ate dinner at Anchor - they're always so good about handing them out for me - so I was glad to get them there tonight since they're very busy on the weekends.

While Cleta was here the insurance guy came. He looked at things inside but will come back another day to look at the roof itself so see if there is any hail damage. I am hoping not because I do not want to go through the whole roofing thing again. I'm hoping all is well. We'll see. They're supposed to call me about the car in a few days to set up an appointment to look at it. Naturally, it's a different person who does cars than does houses.

While I was out with the insurance guy, the mail lady came and gave Cleta two good things - a cookbook to add to the stack of those to be reviewed. And... the really good news... confirmation that Mia and I were accepted into the Hillsboro Arts and Crafts Fair in September. Hillsboro is a small community about 45 minutes away and on this one day each year they have about 40,000 people come through town to shop this festival. So, it should be a worthwhile way to spend a day. I need to make things!

This means I need to get the studio really functional. When the garden tour is over, I'm going to spend a little time working on my house again. There are some things I need to get done and one of them is my studio needs to function as an art studio again. I miss being able to go upstairs at night and get lost in an art project.