um, yeeahhhh... this insomnia thing is for the birds.

the slip
"about sleep: do you find that the great secret {if one can do it } is not to care whether you sleep? sleep is a jade who scorns her suitors but woos her scorners."
~c. s. lewis
so... for some strange reason, both b. and i have been suffering from mild insomnia lately. i say mild. and that is in comparison to the worst level where one can go days without even a wink of sleep. but it is worse than you might think. we've been sleeping less hours, and throughout those hours, there are many wake-ups. so we've both been waking up in the early morning feeling terribly unrested and even more tired than when we went to bed the night before.

night after night of this really wears on a person. i feel bad for him, because he is the one having to get up and go to work all day. although i get up at the same time, i don't have to go to work, so at least my days are a little bit easier.

i think we are just hitting that inevitable stage of life when sleep comes less easily than it did when we were young {er }. and though the sleeplessness started even before the weather turned warmer, i think the time of year has a lot to do with it.

first of all, now that it has warmed up {quite a bit this past week... near 90 degrees }, we now sleep with the windows open. thunderstorms come with this time of year, so that alone contributes... windows open or not. then there is the heat itself. i used to love hot, humid weather for sleeping. it's when i slept the best. {b. is the opposite. he needs it to be cool... thus the reason he has lately been sleeping in the other room where the air conditioner is.} but even the heat seems to be keeping me up these days.

we also live near the train station, so window-open weather is allowing us to hear a lot more train sounds... whether it is the bells {a nostalgic sound i LOVE during the day, but could do without while i'm sleeping } or the mid-night freight trains that rumble as they barrel through town.

but the thing that has been interrupting my precious slumber the most in recent days is the kingdom of birds that dwells in my land. yes, birds. we've got quite a bunch of trees in our neighborhood. and the birds seem to have taken a liking to them... especially the one right outside my bedroom window!

now, you know how much i love birds!... if you have been reading here a while. i think of them as friends. everywhere i go, if i see a bird nearby, i say "hi, birdie!" they just make me so happy. i love to try to photograph them. i love to watch them. i love the many beautiful kinds there are and the diversity in the way they all look. and if it is daytime, i love their sounds... their chirps, their songs. i even adore birds as a design motif, and have it in or on many things in my home decor.

however, in this past week that my windows have been open, my love affair with birds has changed drastically. every morning at the crack of somewhere between 5:00 and 5:30, they wake me up. {i'm not an early riser, so i consider this a bit too early.} i sleep with a very loud air purifier on... mostly for the white noise, rather than for air quality. i have done so for years. and normally it works. but these stinkin' birds are so loud and so persistent, they wake me up even over the air purifier.

if it were an isolated instance... you know, just waking up to the sound of birds chirping one sunday morning with the sun shining and the breeze blowing after a long, restful night of sleep, as if in a fairy tale or something... now that would be one thing. a pleasurable experience i would think. but that is not how it has been going. when this rude sleep interuption happens morning after morning, i can start to grow very cranky.

and a funny thing happened. i was so cranky about it a couple of mornings ago, after laying there stewing and having listened to the birds for what seemed like hours, i finally got up, i went into the air-conditioned room where b. was {he was already up and getting ready for work }, and i started complaining about the birds. i think i said something to the effect of, "i don't like birds anymore! birds are mean! can you get you b-b-gun out and shoot those birds?" okay... please know i was entirely kidding about that last part. i would never harm a bird, or any creature for that matter.

but i was just venting. and when i finally got it out of my system, i thought, "i'll make the best of this and walk over to sbux, get my green tea, and walk back in time to drink it with b. while he drinks his morning coffee.

when i walk to and from sbux each day, i cut through the parking lot of the condominiums that are behind our house. on my way back this day, as i passed through the group of trees that separates the condo property and ours, i heard something that FREAKED ME OUT! i kid you not... it sounded exactly like a person was lurking to my right, and in a low, loud-enough-for-me-to-hear whisper said, "hey." it was a very creepy sound.

i can't tell you what happened inside me when i heard that. i think my heart stopped. my first thought was that some weirdo/mugger was trespassing and waiting for me to walk by. so i quickly and instinctively looked to my right to see if someone was there... nothing. no one. i was surprised, because i was so very sure that what i heard was a person's voice saying "hey". when i looked around and saw no one and nothing but a couple of birds at the edge of the roof on the brick building to my right, i was very confused, but also glad that i was safe. i kept on walking {swiftly } with my tea in hand, my heart beating a little faster than usual, and my mind fully awake by this point.

within five seconds, i was back in the house... in the safety of the other room with b. and his coffee. i proceeded to tell him what had just happened... pretty much word for word what i just told you. his response was very unexpected, but it had me rolling.

"it was the bird on the roof," he said.
"they're not too happy about what you said earlier this morning."

oh, too funny! funny, because i know what i heard, and since they were the only living creatures around when i heard it {and mind you, these were bigger black birds that almost looked sinister... not sweet little robins }, i actually started to picture the bird saying it. {i guess sleep deprivation can cause you to hear things... or worse, imagine things???}

needless to say, the next couple of mornings that i heard the birds chirping, i kept my windows open and my mouth shut... and upon that mouth was a faint little smile.

~ ~ ~

{i'm happy to report, i bought something called calms forte at the health food store... a natural, non-habit-forming sleep aid. i took it for the first time last night, and i definitely slept better. but it still wasn't enough to sleep through the early morning bird chatter. i've come to accept this new way of life.}

{also, i want to thank those of you who, on my last post, shared your reasons for visiting and affirming some of the reasons i keep doing this blogging thing.}


the wild raspberry said...

ugh...i struggle with insomnia too.
especially the week before {{you know what}}

i did a post once long ago about insomnia, the neighbors saint bernards, robins, and bb guns.

you may get a kick out of it~


i hope that you get a good nap in today and rest better tonight!!


Hi Kooky said...

The birds - I KNOW! I love them too, but not when they chirp furiously at 5:00a.m. Even with the windows closed, they wake me up.

That's so weird about the "hey"!?

sMacThoughts said...

Oh my gosh... talking birds!! ;D I suffered from insomnia most of my life, and now I suffer from not getting enough sleep because there is NO time for it. :) It's important to have, so I hope you get through this rough patch and find a good rhythm so that you both can sleep once again.

georgia b. said...

hahaha... of course, i don't really think the bird was talking... although, you just never know. : )

makes me think of that windex commercial.

i guess sleep deprivation can make you start to hear things??? and make it easier to imagine things like talking birds?

thanks for the sleep wishes, guys. i think i will try to take a nap today, with your blessing.

georgia b. said...

read your post, chastity! LOVED it! how oddly similar. i felt your pain.

Meri said...

Since I can sleep with the windows closed this time of year, the birds are still my friends. But I'm mad at the squirrel who thinks he's entitled to climb up the supposedly-squirrel-proof-bird-feeder and eat all the tasty little seeds I put out for the songbirds. Do they make little squirrel tasers? (Oh and I forgot to say yesterday that I got weepy over that wonderful Moment video).

georgia b. said...

i don't know, meri... but maybe you could develop a prototype and patent such a thing. i'm sure they would sell like hot cakes... they could make racoon models, too. too funny. i've not had trouble with squirrels yet.

glad you like the video.

Cindy (Letters From Midlife) said...

I love birds but I do get cranky with them in the summer when they start chirping so early in the morning. No one should be that cheerful at that ungodly hour! lol

jill said...

I also love birds and their chirping, but I wouldn't like it so much if they were waking me up. This morning I had to let my little Yorkie pup out to do his business at about 4:45(earlier than normal). It was pitch black and I was surprised there were some birds chirping lightly at what seemed like our next door neighbor's house. It was actually quite pleasant since they were being very thoughtful by keeping it low. :-)

Jenny Schouten Short said...

I make myself stay in bed until I hear the birds chirping. Then I can get up. It is 4:30 a.m. in Holland when they begin their songs. It also starts to get light then. Be glad you can sleep until 5:30! (If you are at home during the day then rest for an hour in bed, read. We do change as we age.)

Steve Gravano said...

I love to be woken up by chirping birds. But my favorite is a Morning Dove that sits on the peek of our roof and coos early in the morning.

EnnythingGoes said...

i used to be quite upset with the robins at novean. i love them from 8 o'clock on, but it was 5 when they started in! however, they are much like the geese in my life, you know, the geese. robins sing at the strangest times and circumstances. i always sense that God is telling me all is well.

mrs mediocrity said...

What a great story, I know exactly what you mean, I love birds but I am very selfish with my sleep, I don't have tolerance for anyone or anything disturbing it. But those birds, those robins! they do not care what I have to say about it, they must sing to the sun to help it rise and so, yes, very often they wake me up.
I have struggled with insomnia on and off for years, not so much recently, but I have always been a light sleeper, I need to be in my own bed, I can't stand snoring, etc...I drink chamomile tea before bed every night, I have found that it really helps.
And that photo, incredible! How did you do it? I love it!

Kristin said...

EEEEK, I would have kissed the birds little booties too. Ah ha ha!

margie said...

we had a crow. cawing cawing, just look at how ugly that word is. CAWING. i hate being cawed awake. lol.

Dave said...

I was having magpie issues a couple years ago. They nested right outside my bedroom window and woke me up around 4:30/5:00 every morning. I went out and bought a pellet gun just for them. Tho you think I could hit them? They were just to well buried in the tree. But apparently Mothballs are a good way to deter birds from coming around and bothering you.

georgia b. said...

ahhh... good to know. thanks for the tip, dave.

and yes, i agree, margie. cawing is an ugly word. every once in a while we have a cawing bird around here. but when we do, it's usually during the day... thankfully.

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