Wednesday, March 12, 2014

SOLSC 12 of 31 - 3AM Musings

Join me this month as I write a slice of my life each day this March and join many others sharing slices at  My students will also be slicing this month and you can find links to their daily blogs HERE.  

Some people wake up in the middle of the night, and can not go back to sleep. Perhaps it's their worries, stress, dreams, a noise they think they heard.  That has never been my problem. I am a night owl, prone to staying up late but sleeping hard once I fall asleep. If I wake in the middle of the night to: adjust covers, go to the bathroom or from a dream, it usually only takes a roll onto my side and I'm out again instantly. In fact, for 99.999% of my adult life, the typical slice between 3:00-4:00AM could be summed like this:

ZZZZZZZZZZZZ  - Perhaps with some snoring if my wife is correct.

Yes, there were a few late nights for all the right (and wrong) reasons through the years, especially in my early adulthood. When my daughter was born, there was a lot of interrupted sleep, although we figured out I don't wake up for much between 3-6AM so I got the 10pm-2:59am shift. 

But since last Friday, I've been wakened in the early morning hours but a tickle of a cough almost every night. So tonight, I sit, again, on my couch, hoping my wife is now able to sleep, and wishing I could slumber too. My only company: a snoring cat, Kleenex, cough drops, tea.

I'm not actually that sick! I'm fine during the day. A little tissue, yes. Maybe a cough or two an hour, yes. Sleepiness from the might before, yes.  Feeling healthy and relatively normal during the typical waking hours, yes.

But at night, a few hours after I go to sleep...the tickle is deep in my throat and feels like a droplet of water hanging to an icicle. For the longest time, it clings there, nothing but potential. Suddenly, it's energy is released, and I cough. Maybe one, unfulfilling cough, or several, until I can lay silent, feeling the incessant droplet reforming. There is just enough time between coughing spells to almost fall asleep. But then I'm coughing again and eventually I decide I'm awake and it's time for the couch.

Here few things I did notice tonight post-3AM awake time:
- I left the dining room light on at the lowest dimmer setting, as if I expected I would be up. It was actually welcoming as I stumbled downstairs.
Not the Monet painting, but a surprisingly similar composition.
- I realized the moon is almost full because the house casts a moon shadow in the backyard, at the same place the sun does.
- The snow, under the moonlight looks blue and reminds me of the The Magpie by Monet,  that I saw in the Musee d-Orsay in Paris.
- The snow, under the harsh street lights of the front yard, looks white.
- My cat is sleeping on the blue fleece blanket I was hoping to cover myself with. I don't want to disturb another creature's slumber so I will use the slightly scratchy wool blanket instead.
- Sleep is hard to come by again tonight.

Lion photo credit:<ahref="">Martin_Heigan</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

Magpie photo credit: <a href="">diffendale</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>


  1. Things I like about this post: the accompanying pictures (and humor), your description of post-nasal tickle as melting icicles, and your observations on the many ways snow can appear in the space around your house. I am really sorry about your interrupted sleep, but it sure made for a great post! Hope tonight is better for you.

  2. I too am sorry for the too-early rising, but your discoveries this time of night made a beautiful post to read. I always like seeing the moon shadows, wish I had a good enough camera to capture them. Hoping the tickle will disappear!

  3. I am sorry your cough is waking you, but I applaud you for writing at that hour! I think the stillness around you lends itself to making great observations, and I see that in your slice. I am often awake then, and I lay in bed, in the dark, composing in my head. I wish I could make myself get up and write. I always like what I write at night in my head better than what I write the next day.

  4. Night writing has so few distractions that it is easier to hear yourself think. Sorry you don't feel all that well at night. Perhaps it is time for that NyQuil?

  5. I love the quiet noticings that you were able to notice. As an insomniac, that is often my favorite hour for noticing and thinking ...

  6. Hope your night time observations are triggered by something other than a throat icicle next time! : ) feel better!

  7. First, I hope you sleep better tonight!! Second, I could relate to this post, especially what you said about leaving the dim light on. It is quite comforting to have that hue of light on when you are up at a time you don't want to be. And I love this: "the tickle is deep in my throat and feels like a droplet of water hanging to an icicle. For the longest time, it clings there, nothing but potential." What an excellent way to express a simple idea.

  8. Well, you're certainly more productive than me with your mid night wakening. I just roll over and stare at the ceiling. Love the pic and the roll out of your slice.