My head is heavy, a medicine ball resting on my shoulders. I hear a faint buzzing: is it my ears ringing, or my MacBook’s battery, or the sound of silence at 3:38am on a Thursday? I can’t sleep, even though I am exhausted. I count backwards from 100 with each breath, attempting to lull myself away from consciousness.
100…99..98..97… I only make it to the high-80s and my mind starts to wonder. So many ideas, so many thoughts, so many lists to make, so many fantasies to map out. So much to do tomorrow, so few hours between now and then. I must sleep. I can’t! I must. 100…99…98…97
I get up. I grab my book, turn on the lamp, and admit defeat.
I’ve always said I am a night owl, someone who thrives while everyone else is asleep. This is most likely just a euphemistic way of saying I’m an insomniac. But these times are often fruitful; some of my most creative, productive times occur during fits of insomnia, and I know I am not alone:
O sleep, O gentle sleep, nature’s soft nurse, how have I frightened thee, that thou no more wilt weigh my eye-lids down and steep my senses in forgetfulness? -William Shakespeare
Yet, like all things, these bouts eventually come to an end, and for the moment between awake and asleep, when my body and mind surrender to slumber, I am always grateful.