Thursday, January 9, 2014

With Sleep May Come Change

The theme of my conversations this week has been change. Friends are considering new careers, new projects, and new homes. All, that is, except my friend with a one-year-old--she's just trying to stay awake and keep it together.

I do not embrace change. Uncertainty makes me anxious. I like to go to the same restaurants, order the same items off the menu, and sit at the same table every time. I like what I like. I might like other things, but they are unknown and therefore daunting.

This is all well and good when it comes to sandwiches, but it's not much of a life plan.

I don't think I always was this way. I was eager to leave home and go to college in a distant state. When my boyfriend got a job across the country, I gave up a job I loved to move with him because it felt like the right thing to do. (It was. I married him.) I gave up my legal career to try something different.

I've never been a risk-taker, but something changed for me ten years ago. Merely suggesting a change to my status quo made me cry.

My eldest child will be turning ten in a few weeks. Coincidence? Unlikely.

Sleeping Mom and Baby - Flotsam of the Mind
The very beginning of my years of fatigue.

I was so very tired for so long. I was so busy just keeping it together (and occasionally failing) that merely thinking of change pushed me over the edge. When my husband once considered a potential new job, I started bawling and muttering unintelligibly about how many magazine subscriptions I'd need to change.

I think I'm finally out of the weeds. My kids usually sleep through the night. They go to school all day. They no longer need me to dress them, bathe them, and micromanage them. If needed, I probably could handle those magazine subscriptions now.

Maybe I could handle something more. For the first time in a decade, the idea of change is energizing instead of frightening. I don't know that I ultimately will make any big changes, but I'm considering things in a way I haven't done in a long time. When I'm not in a sleep-deprived haze, everything is easier. Even change and uncertainty.

Friends with little ones, there is the light of a good night's sleep at the end of this parenting tunnel. At least, my friends tell me, until our kids are teenagers.


  1. Yes! What's hard about change, for me, is waiting it out. When I'm ready for it, I usually expect or want big change right away, and sometimes I'll make a change just to make a change rather than being intentional. I'm learning to be more intentional as my kids are growing and finally sleeping a little better, too.

    1. So different than I, who can become paralyzed by decision-making.