Thursday, March 1, 2012

the return of insomnia

It's 5:42 am.  I've been up since 3:08.  For the first hour and two minutes, I tossed and turned.  Finally, I got up and started cleaning, because I didn't know what else to do with myself and the house was a wreck.  From 4:10 until 5:20, I unloaded the dishwasher, reloaded it and did all the dishes by hand that needed to be done, straightened up the living room, put some tools away in the basement, tidied up the office, threw away massive piles of accumulated mail, and cleaned the bathroom.  Then I sat down to pay bills, which I've been doing since 5:20.  Sometime around 5:15, A came down and went to the bathroom.

"What's going on?" she asked, bewildered, as she looked around the house, lights blazing in the middle of the night.

"I'm cleaning. There was no other time to do it."

This is true, and not true.  There was no other time to do it, but that's not why I was doing it.  I was doing it because I could not sleep, and the state of our house was driving me crazy, so there seemed an obvious solution.

(photo via here)

Since I've been back at work, people have asked me how it is. Work, to tell you the truth, is fine. It's home that's not fine. During the last few days of my sabbatical, I would ask out loud, to the four walls, "Who's going to do this when I go back to work?" every time I did something around the house. The answer, it turns out, is me -- at 4 am. 

Ironically, my firm had a presentation on work-life balance today.  From 7-8 pm.  I, for one, find it hard enough to balance work and life, even leaving the office at 6:45.  It's hard for me to see how that would be any easier if I were sitting in a conference room talking about balancing work and life until 8 at night.  I don't know how it will shake out, now that we are back to being a dual-earner family.  I do know, though, that I haven't had a sleepless night like this in about a year.

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