If you can’t tell by the title of this post, April has been the epitome of madness. It has been up, down, exhausting, exhilarating, and is forcing me to come undone down to my core and spring up again anew. One of my goals for 2019 was to kick my insomnia’s ass…which I’d been doing so well on until about mid-March. I might have one night of unrest followed by five or six where I actually slept until my alarm went off. Then, as the madness of the Spring season began to unfold, my insomnia crept back in like a sprawling vine in resistance of being pulled up by the roots.
Stress and insomnia are the best of friends, and I knew as I approached the month of April that I would need to tread carefully in my month full of busyness and obligation. As it turns out, this final week is the busiest of them all, and my homeward stretch is proving to be the most sleep-deprived of the last month.
Speaking of sleep-deprivation; on April 4th I was invited to Beer:30 by my friends Zach and Jenny. That night before was one of my sleepless nights, and the decision on whether to accept their invite pulled at me. Beer:30 now happens only once per month, so I knew if I didn’t go I would miss out for another month. And another of my goals for this year was to get out as much as possible and meet new people; to not to duck back into my shell following a rotten dating experience and hide from what might be out there waiting for me.
I had also just spent a Saturday hanging out almost entirely alone and hated the feeling that I was missing out on memories and life experiences. These thoughts ultimately trumped my distraught feelings of “I’m too tired for this”, so I sucked it up and decided to attend. I told myself I’d at least make an appearance and hang out for an hour. If I was too exhausted for it, I could leave anytime I wanted to. But one way or another, I was not going to let sleep troubles take over my life.
April has been quite the wild ride since that day. While I was at Beer:30, a friend of Zach’s came over to talk to us, and his nephew joined us shortly after, taking his place on the couch next to me and striking up a conversation. And just like that, the month of April as I had planned it was modified in a refreshing and unexpected way. That conversation led to an exchange of phone numbers, which led to further conversations and some casual hanging out, which led to an amazing first date. I’m ending the month getting to know an exciting new person, and enjoying time well spent.
In other April news – My Spring garden is planted and sprouts are bountiful, stretching their delicate new leaves eagerly toward the sun. The peas are up high enough that I will need to get the trellises in. And I found a raised bed kit in the exact size that I was needing, which is currently in a box in my dining room awaiting the end of this week to be assembled and find its new home in my back yard. I will be putting it together on Sunday with Logan’s help, and getting the first round of green beans planted, as well as the pumpkins and watermelons.
In two more weeks the tomatoes, zucchini, and round two of the green beans will go in and my garden will be in (save one final planting of green beans), then it will be time to move from cultivate, to nurture. My strawberries are also just starting to bloom this week, and my lilac is on the cusp of gracing me with its intoxicating scent. We’ve planned our next friend’s dinner, which I’m referring to as Fiesta Friday, for May 10th…and I’m hoping the lilac will be alive in full glory that night. Although I’m not sure how well tacos and the scent of lilac will blend.
Also behind me for the month is Logan’s birthday party, my mom’s first visit of the month, a dentist appointment, a work food day, Easter, a funeral, and the planning portion of Dad’s surprise 60th birthday party. This week is the grand finale: I made a seven hour round trip for Easter, followed by a trip to my hometown the next night for a hair appointment, dinner with Michael, then a trip to Columbia for an SBA team meeting for two days (thanks to my mom for making her second visit of the month to stay with my boys and my pup!), then a half day off work to bake and decorate cake and cupcakes and finish up the surprise party banner. Saturday is the big day, and after that I can finally focus on home and getting done the things I’ve had on hold.
The apocalyptic part of this month has, unquestionably, been the insomnia. I knew things would be chaotic all throughout April, which I talked about earlier this month in my post The Importance of Scheduling “Me Time” into A Busy Life. I knew I would need to make time for my friends and doing things for myself. What I didn’t anticipate was how strongly my stress would pull at my insomnia. This week is definitely the worst because my time is taken from the time I wake up until the time I go to sleep, with no time to exercise or unwind in between. No downtime + the stress of a busy schedule + insufficient sleep = overwhelm.
I always say I can handle anything with a good night’s sleep. The trouble is, when I don’t sleep well, it feels quite the opposite. Sleepiness always cripples me. I will never be able to understand the people who sleep just a few hours per night and can function perfectly normal the next day. If I get six hours of sleep a couple of nights in a row instead of eight, my productivity fails. My memory suffers, I get hot flashes, I have a constant dull headache and I can’t focus. That, friends, is where I’m at today, right on the cusp of an overnight work trip.
An overnight work trip, sharing a hotel room with a coworker. If you are a fellow sufferer of insomnia like myself, you already know what that means – just sleeping in a room and a bed that I’m not used to means waking up at least half a dozen times at night; never mind having someone sleeping in that room with me. And if she happens to be a snorer? I’m doomed. I’m definitely taking some sleep aid along for the trip and praying hard to make it through unscathed until I make it home and can (hopefully) have a normal night of sleep back in my own bed, with just one last obligation ahead of me.
Already I have plans in place next week to get me back on the upward swing. I have my exercise plan laid out, a couple of fun outings in line for the week, and plenty of down time to relax and unwind so I can get back ahead of this insomnia and out from under stress. In just a couple more months it will be a year since the problem first started rearing its ugly head again after years of dormancy, and I’m determined that it will be gone entirely before the end of June. I’m through letting it have control over my life and my health…and I’m nothing if not determined!
I am so unbelievably excited for the upcoming month, and all of the new things to come from my garden, my home, and the people in my life. As always, stay tuned for my gardening and cooking updates, and everything in between. Au revoir, April; Bonjour May!