Lately, I've been suffering from insomnia. I don't know why. I'm not having bad dreams, I'm not particularly worried about anything and I don't have trouble getting to sleep but sometimes in the middle of the night, BAM, I'm awake. I squeeze my eyes shut my eyes and try to drift back off. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.
After a while, I can't bear to lie there any more. J is a light sleeper so I come downstairs. The house is quiet and theoretically, it's the perfect time to answer the three hundred emails in my inbox or do something else worthwhile but it doesn't seem possible. Only about a third of me is truly awake, which is annoying because that third is very awake. I can't go back to sleep and I can't think properly so instead, I buy nail polish online.
I go through cycles with nail polish. I obsess about it for about six months, trying colour after colour on my lotioned hands and buffed feet. Then I get lazy and stop exfoliating and stop moisturising and finally stop polishing and then for about two years my hands and feet are just hands and feet again rather than an opportunity for self-expression. I wasn't thinking about polish at all until one wakeful night recently, lying on the sofa eating butterkist popcorn and checking my junk mail from amazon, looking at all the stuff I would usually ignore. Suddenly, with the kind of clarity that only comes at 4am, I realised that is an excellent price for a UV Gel nail curing lamp and it was like the floodgates opened. I've been night-buying nail polish ever since. Right now, I'm wearing mint green on my hands and cobalt blue on my feet. Apparently, I've got the same pedicure that was recently spotted on Beyonce and it's hard to argue with that, right? After all, she and I are so similar in so many other ways.
Anyway. This is my insomnia silver lining right now. This is what's working, in keeping me from going insane. Last night, I was awake again and I ordered a very pale dove grey, because a night of blurry wakefulness told me that was a good idea. The cold light of day ventures to disagree, and it's not the first time I wonder which is real me, day-me or night-me. Do I really like dove grey nail polish? (I hope I will, when it arrives). I remember this feeling from when the babies were tiny and I was awake through the watches of the night with them. It's a feeling of strange, free-floating isolation, being awake at 4am. The me who exists at midday hates night-me for not being able to sleep, for depriving midday-me of energy and frankly, making the day's parenting less than stellar. Today I took the children to the park and I dragged my feet all the way, feeling dizzy and sleepy and wondering whether I could ever bear to have another baby in the house, for this to be the ordinary state of affairs again. I have no idea, to be honest. I probably shouldn't try to think about these things when I've had this little sleep.
Oh, I'm so tired.
At least my nails look pretty.
(More What's Working later, probably).