Waking in the night

“Be like a duck.  Calm on the surface but always paddling like the dickens underneath”
Michael Caine, CBE, British actor .

Does this describe my blogging friend at counting ducks? When I read his post today (well I am assuming it is a he) I thought how  profound are some of our thoughts in the middle of the night.

I am one of the lucky people who decide to go to sleep; turn out the light and go to sleep for the next 7 or 8 hours.  Rarely do I waken in the night.  When I do I lie there and wonder what has awoken me.  Is it Lotte moving around on the bed, is it a loud noise from the street, the kids next door finishing up after a party.  But whatever the reason I usually take about an hour before resuming my sleep.

In that time I usually get up and make a hot drink, camomile or ginger and lemon tea and take it back to bed with my notebook and pencil.  Sometimes what I write doesn’t bear reading in the morning as it makes little or no sense.  But just occasionally, I have a break through and one such was my recent poem on grief.

More often I think about what I have done and as my mind settles on a memory I realise just how lucky I have been in my life.  I have seen places many people will never visit, I have made friends around the world, I have a lovely and loving family and a warm and comfortable home in which to live.  And I have the memories of a life shared with my dashing (not so) young, Scotsman.

My friend at counting ducks says rather eloquently that “Ultimately though it’s what you’ve done, who you’ve known and how you acted when there was no compass or someone to judge your actions that measure how your using your brief time on this planet.”    He adds as a conclusion “Just connect with whats around you and people who matter with you.”

This is a profound thought and one I really endorse.  I choose how I will spend the rest of my life and the people I will share it with.  There are some acquaintances that I know are toxic to me and so I no longer have anything to do with them.  Does this wisdom come with age?  I think the answer (at least for me) is yes as it has taken me a while to arrive at this point.

So thanks to counting ducks for giving me the idea for today’s blog. No disturbed sleep last night.  Eight hours solid.

“If you can’t sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there worrying.  It’s the worry that gets you, not the lack of sleep. ” Dale Carnegie

24 responses to “Waking in the night

  1. I’m jealous that you can sleep all night.
    My head goes a mile a minute. I haven’t slept through the night in years. When I do wake up sometime around 3 or 4 am, I try to think about someone that makes me happy. That usually works. But if it’s storming or really windy out, I might as well get up and walk around and clean because I’ll never get back to sleep.


    • As I said I am one of the lucky ones. Sorry to hear that you haven’t slept through the night in years. Many of my friends wake several times in the night. That must affect their day and as we have become older, several of them have a ‘nanny nap’ in the afternoon.


  2. I find your comment about toxic friends particularly interesting. I don’t know if the refusal to deal with toxic people comes from age-acquired wisdom or if it’s simply that I have many, many ways I want to spend my time and so I choose whom I’ll spend it with very carefully.

    I tried to let a friendship die a natural death several years ago and she just wouldn’t let go. In fact, she demanded to know why I wasn’t spending time with her. I finally told her, “N, you don’t make friends. You take hostages. I’m no longer willing to be your hostage.” Sounds harsh but it was the only way she would let go. Poor dear.


    • I had one such ‘friend’ and had to tell her why I wasn’t prepared to spend time with her. She was upset but hasn’t contacted me since. Usually though I find if I don’t pursue the friendship it dies a natural death.


  3. Your friend is wise. I don’t know if wisdom necessarily comes with age or more with experience…I know some very wise young people as well as some foolish older people. I mostly think people get comfortable with themselves…knowing yourself allows you to open to the world. I think true character is how we behave when we don’t think anyone is watching.


  4. I usually sleep through the night, too. If I go to bed too early, I think of things I must write down, otherwise, I will not remember them in the morning. I’m glad you are able to sleep well. My mom used to say she ‘died’ when she went to bed, never remembered anything from that time until she awakened. She laughed when her sister told her she shouldn’t sleep like that!


  5. Thankyou for mentioning me. It is very appreciated. I came to your Blog to see if you had posted. Then I thought, “funny thats a very simlar title to my last Blog”, then I read your comment and was really touched. Thankyou again


  6. Aging is underestimated. The wisdom gained is incredible.
    Thank you for this gentle reminder.


  7. I sleep soundly too. About seven hours every night and about an hour every afternoon. Other than my age related once a night visit to the toilet, I sleep soundly. I use a Vedic Mantra to put myself back to sleep when I wake up.


  8. I fall asleep quickly but wake up often during the night. Usually I go right back to sleep but sometimes not, and I too, will read or write at that time. I completely agree that wisdom comes with age. I suppose the age with which it comes is younger for some than others :).


    • Thanks for the comment. I am at that age when I can look back and really appreciate the lessons I have learned – although often I didn’t appreciate them at the time.


  9. Isn’t it curious that being around toxic or unhappy people drags you down more than your ebullient behavior perks them up? Life is too short to suffer unpleasant people willingly! Nice post, Judith.


  10. Peter is brilliant… I love reading hid musings too… Hope you are doing well; as your friend. 🙂


  11. Hi Judith,
    Peter is brilliant… I love reading his musings too… Hope you are doing well; as your friend. 🙂


  12. Even before working nights, sleeping isn’t a problem for me, staying awake is. If my brain reaches a certain point of inactivity it just switches off. Needless to say, I do a lot of napping. 🙂


  13. Pingback: Profound Thoughts | I choose how I will spend the rest of my life

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