Sleep, or stare at the wall?

Do you ever find yourself lying in bed at night, thinking about nothing in particular, and just lying there with the last light still illuminated, unsure of what you are doing?  It happens to me every so often.  I wonder if it has to do with stress or decisions, or even something else like that.  I was doing it just now, though I’m not sure why.  I just know that I suddenly realized that I am uttlery exhausted, and yet I have not even tried to do my bit-o-writing and reading for the night so that I could actually go to sleep – I was just observing my fairy lights on the wall (my main night lights and room illuminations ever since I saw it at my cousin’s friend’s house when we all were in college), and not intentionally.  It’s as though I want the moment or night to last longer, without realizing the want… or something like that, anyway.

I don’t know.  I am exhausted, though, and that I do know.

Post-a-day 2017

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The end of the day

At the end of each day, I have my alone time.  It is not an intentional act of mine, this alone time.  It just happens.  And I think it is necessary for me as a person… even though it isn’t intentional.

Whenever I am with people overnight somewhere, and we all head off to bed around the same time, everyone is usually surprised the next day to discover that I was awake close to an hour after we had all parted ways.  My mom, I think, is accustomed to my going to bed later than she does in the first place, and so she doesn’t really notice it until we travel together.  When we’re staying in the same room, she usually complains a good amount, until she finally goes to sleep and lets me finish my bedtime stuff.

Which brings me to my bedtime stuff.  I would call it my bedtime ritual, except that it isn’t actually a ritual.  And it isn’t exactly a routine either, because the order and timing change around, depending on the night.  It’s just what I do before going to sleep.  This includes, but is not limited to flossing and brushing my teeth, using the bathroom, washing my face, changing clothes, and reading.  Such has been the case for the past few, possibly even several, years.  This past year has added to it my showering, cleaning and irrigating my ears, and writing for my weblog (if I haven’t yet done it that day (which is most days)).  Sometimes, I stretch after my shower, too, but I usually forget that one.

These things don’t necessarily take all that long under normal circumstances.  Ask me to do them all in the middle of the day, and I’ll be finished quite quickly.  But having me so they all at night, just before bed, means having them take around an hour, possibly longer.  Like I mentioned, this time is my alone time.  Perhaps it is a subconscious act, taking so long to do it all, my mind giving me a chance to unwind after whatever the day brought me.  Some nights, I am utterly exhausted, and yet I still take around half an hour to get everything finished and actually turn out my light to sleep.  Sometimes, I just find myself standing or sitting somewhere around my apartment or room, waiting… I suppose I must be waiting for the unwind to finish, or something to that effect…

Whenever I travel to dance events, there is usually someone already asleep by the time I come in to go to bed, and definitely by the time I am finishing my bedtime stuff.  So, I usually find myself sitting on the bathroom floor (or next to a cracked-open bathroom door, if there isn’t really space to sit on the floor in the bathroom) in my pjs and with my hair wet, reading from my two books.  

The first book is always the same.  I began reading from it daily over three and a half years ago, as part of my desire to read the whole thing.  I have kept to my word on it (although there are two or three days where I honestly couldn’t remember the next day if I had done my reading or not, so I read extra to make up for what might have been missed) since I began, and have read at least a little bit every day.  I didn’t want to give myself a set amount that would burn me out, so I just said that I had to read something.  That could be as little as a sentence.  Some nights, it has been.  Some nights, it has been pages.  Usually, it is a few sentences or a little section within a section.  One day, I will finish it.  In the meantime, I am learning all sorts of outdated French words as I read through this Bible.

The second book is a different story. It isn’t even a requirement.  I began the requirement to read each day several years ago, before the Bible thing began.  Back then, I would find myself reading messages on envelopes or greeting cards as I was going to bed, because I needed to read at least a whole sentence in that day as part of my goal to read every day (which, in turn, was part of my goal to read lots and to read often).  Now that I have the Bible required for every day, the second book is just for pleasure.  For days when I’m at a particularly boring part in the Bible, I wanted to have something else to make the reading exciting and worth doing – extra encouragement, so to speak.  So, the only requirement of the second book is that it be something I like reading.  Right now, it is Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.  The last one was Catch 22, and the one before that was a Sophie Kinsella.  What exactly it is changes with each new book – just whatever’s next on the list, and also feels right for my nighttime book (gotta have something positive before bed, because those thoughts go with me into sleep).  Another rough requirement for my nighttime book (Bible included, actually), is that it be only my nighttime book – I don’t carry it around and read it during the day, too.  When I did in the past, I would rush through it so quickly, I’d be without a nighttime book again in only a couple or few days, and the whole purpose would be lost.  So I have daytime books now, in addition to my nighttime ones.  They’re usually on my Kindle (which is super cool), for easy transport.  My nighttime books are always real books, because I don’t really have to haul them around.  When I do take a trip, I usually just photograph the pages, if I’m limited on packing space/weight.

Anyway, I made it through the rest of my stuff too quickly tonight, so I had to spend more time on this than I had intended – I’m exhausted!  Going to read now (and we’ll see if it happens quickly, because I’m really liking where I am in Zen right now) ad get to sleep as soon as possible!  Sweet dreams, world.

Post-a-day 2017

The weather continues

Electricity was restored only a few handfuls of minutes after it was lost here in our house last night.  However, the rain has off-and-on taken up temporary residence around us throughout last night, today, and this evening, giving us more water than anyone might ever want in such a short amount of time.  And tornadoes decided to show up with the rain in certain areas throughout the past 22-ish hours.

If we were just talking about rain and wind and thunder and lightning, I’d be quite all right.  But that last little addition to the standing hurricane (now tropical storm) has me nervous about going upstairs to shower or sleep.

It is never a good feeling when this is how your town’s winds look.


Again and still, I pray that we all be happy, healthy, holy.

Post-a-day 2017

Getting ready to time-travel

And so one thing ends, and, with anxiety, something new begins.  Tonight, I complete my life here in Japan, and dream one last dream before I move forward to my next step.  I felt like I was in “What About Bob?” today, taking my mother’s guidance to do whatever needs to be done next – aka baby steps.  I took my baby steps all day long today, and finally got it all finished.  I even accomplished a few things I expected not to be able to do.

One of those things being seeing the guitarist I’d seen a couple weeks ago at the nearby train station, who had greeted me in English one night as I was moving my stuff to my friend’s place.  He greeted me and asked how I was doing tonight, as I was walking in Shibuya, and ended up accompanying me, with my comfortable acquiescence, to the phone shop to disconnect my phone (It was closed.), and then buying me a Japan-only Yuzu frappucino from Starbucks, and sitting with me as I finally watched the Shibuya Crossing from the Starbucks window (It wasn’t actually very impressive, but I think I never really expected it to be, anyway.), at which point, we finally discovered that we had, in fact, seen one another those two or three weeks back.  He was a nice guy, Ryo.

I ended my evening with my last gaiten zushi (conveyor belt sushi), on which I spent ¥680 (just over $6 US), and which I didn’t even finish eating.  I’ll miss such affordable sushi, but I’ll survive quite well back in Houston, I do believe.  Green smoothies and colorful veggie-based juices are calling me.

And now, at long last, I shall sleep.  Rest, anyway.  We’ll see if it really is sleep tomorrow morning, when my alarm wakes me just before 5am.  I hope I wake rested well.

Anyway, this is it, I guess.  Tomorrow morning, I say goodbye to Japan, and then I time-travel (departing 11:10am on Saturday, 12 August, and arriving 9:30am on Saturday, 12 August).

Goodnight!

Post-a-day 2017

My feet sit still

I have been sitting here for over an hour, not going home.  The semi-excuse was that I was talking with my mom, but the phone call has finished, and here I still sit.  I also had a high level (for me) of caffeine this afternoon, and so I wanted to get the jitters out as much as possible, while I still had the chance to walk around outside and all.  Now I feel the sleepy sliding into place, wishing me to bed.

And yet, here I still sit.

I do not know if I am afraid of tomorrow, and am letting that stop me from ending today, or if I am afraid of tomorrow, but have some other reason that I still sit here on my little piece of green-light-backed bench.  Either way, I can see clearly that I am afraid of tomorrow beginning.  I leave in 12 days, and the planning I didn’t want to do would be coming into effect now, if I had done the planning.  Instead, the events are all floating around, wondering if and when they will be accomplished by me.  I can almost see the Super Smash-like challenge at play around me, each item fighting happily for a place on my life this week and next.  But they all have so many lives, it is taking forever to figure out who ranks where – the current lowest position might still come through and win the whole thing in another 40 lives.

It is such a beautiful night right now, right here, I want to keep it.  I want to roll into a hammock out here in the plaza, and sleep with the cool breeze brushing and rocking me all night, clouds floating slowly by above me, and slight coty noises rumbling off and on in the nearby distance.

But, even still, I don’t want to close my eyes.  I don’t specifically have a desire to remain here on this bench. I also don’t specifically have a desire to walk the block home or to go to bed.  It is not apathy necessarily.  I just can’t figure out what feeling is there.  Because I know that there is something there…

And so I sit, writing this, and taking my time to do so, pausing so as. It to finish and have no other reason good enough to keep me here on this bench.  Here, I am intentionally on my own, alone.  Once I move onward, that will not be the case.  While I am here, there is not much of anything for me to do but to sit and to enjoy.  Once I move onward, again, that will not be the case.

However, the plaza decided for me just now, as it turned off its lights.  No longer is my bench wall green, and no longer are the ground lights shining.  The plaza now sleeps, and I accept that as encouragement enough to send me home.  I still do not want to go, but I certainly prefer that to being in trouble with the security guard who already stared me down earlier, when all the lights were still glowing.

Anyway… yeah…

Post-a-day 2017

While everything is perfect

In this book I’m currently reading – okay, it’s an audiobook, and I’m listening to it, but you get the point – was a comment by the narrating character that rather struck me the other day.  She was talking about some date she’d had (or something like a date, anyway), and, though it seemed there was potential for another activity of some sort next, she had decided to leave.  She said, “I wanted to leave while everything was perfect.”

At first, I felt as though she was simply setting herself up for missing out by not going and for delusion by thinking that dates (or more of whatever it was) needed to be always perfect.  And then I considered my immediate responses, and discovered that I disagreed with both of them.

When I really began to consider her comment, it gave way to what felt like brilliance.  Yesterday, I was at a goodbye beach party.  There had been an option to rsvp for an overnight stay after the official party, and I had initially declined this option.  I wanted to sleep in my own bed, and several other factors helped me pick that easily.  However, once at the party, I found that I didn’t want to leave so soon.  I began exploring the logistics of staying the night, and found that there was possibility of enough space for my joining the party.

As I recalled my book’s character’s words, however, I began to think in a different manner.  Yes, I am loving spending time with everyone right now.  If I left now, I would be leaving while everything is perfect.  If I stay the night, what will happen?  And I instantly saw the probable, almost certain future of the situation.  I would stay, thinking I’d have enough energy to manage the night, and then eventually would hit a wall, want to sleep, not be able to get to sleep because of the partying people, get annoyed at the overly drunk partiers, and have a miserable end to the party.  Whom was I kidding here?  I would rather leave while everything is perfect, than stay until I’m furiously agitated and starting to hate the people I was currently loving.

And so I left a short while later, had a wonderful time riding home-ish (same train, different stops) with the group of girls who were leaving at that time, chatting and joking and having an overall wonderful time together (as I already mentioned).

And the party as a whole ended perfectly for me.  It was just plain cool to have had the party go so well.
Tonight, after another beach day with a different friend, we had planned to go to this awesome salsa party, with this Grammy-winning DJ and various salsa performances and live music for social dancing – it’s a big deal party celebrating the anniversary of some club, essentially.  And it was only like 20 bucks to attend, which is way cheap for such a thing here in Tokyo.

When we arrived back to my friend’s place, and I had showered from the beach, I began to consider that line again.  Could I “leave” while everything is perfect?  Could I just go to bed now and not go, and be happy with that?  The answer was a resounding “Yes.”  I had been exhausted all day already, and am far behind on sleep for this past week – I want sleep.  I love dancing, and I love cool opportunities like this, especially to attend with friends.  And the risk was incredibly high that I would grow to exhausted, smoking would be too intense for me in the club, music would be too loud for my already existent headache, and I would be crying (possibly literally) to go home and drink a bunch of cool water and just go to sleep.

So, I stayed home, and it was perfect.  Now, I am off to some much-needed and much-wanted sleep.  Goodnight, World.  I’ll see you when my head feels great again in the late AM.

Long story-ish short: I think it is a very valuable phrase, “I wanted to leave while everything was perfect.”

Post-a-day 2017

Movies, oh, movies

When I was little, I saw the films “JAWS”, “Deep Blue Sea”, and “Lake Placid”.  They all sport a main character/predator who is an oversized water creature, the first two having a shark main character and the third an alligator.  (Though I now realize that it could have been a crocodile, I still believe that it was an alligator, because I do not remember its having a really long and narrow snout.)

Suffice to say that these movies succeeded in terrifying me of the ocean, of lakes, and of swimming in general.  Now, seeing as swimming was a large part of my family’s life, as was the beach, I learned to manage these fears (i.e. realize that, I just had to let it go if I wanted to swim, or at least accept the fear alongside the joys of swimming).  This mostly meant that I was typically initially hesitant to enter the water at the beach, and always preferred being with others in the water – not to be grimm, but the probability of being the one nabbed decreased, the more people who were out there with me in the water.  No, I didn’t want anyone to be nabbed, but I had a high sense of self-preservation.

Whenever I was on my own in the water, I occasionally would recall the possibility of sharks as I was walking toward the shore, and suddenly would find myself jumpily sprinting out of the water (jumpily, because it is easier to run through water, when you pick your legs all the way up out of it, doing a sort of hopping dance forward, which becomes more and more like normal running as you get closer to shore, and the water level goes lower and lower).

The interesting thing – to me, anyway – about this fear, is how it transferred to pools for me.  With others, I never had concerns (as I recall, anyway).  However, put me on my own in the backyard pool at my brothers’ dad’s house, and I’d occasionally start to freak.  It was a weird sort of freak-out, because I logically knew that I was totally fine and safe, but surface-level panicked and rushed out of the water suddenly anyway.

It would happen like this: I would be in the water, usually swimming casually toward one side or end of the pool, and suddenly have this thought that someone could have opened up a secret panel behind me on the pool wall, and released a shark.  At the point of this thought’s occurrence, I would put all my effort in swim sprinting to my aimed-for wall, and climb manically from the pool, panting.  I think I even scratched up my stomach and/or legs in my haste a handful of times.

It was illogical, and yet I completely understood why I had the bizarre fear, and I accepted it as a weird and unrealistic fear, even as a little kid.

Fast forward a good many years, and where do I stand?  The last time I was alone in a pool, about a year ago now, I still had to turn my head, just to check to make sure no panel had slid open behind me.  No, I wasn’t sent rushing to the walk and out of the pool, but I still had to respond to the thought and the sense of panic that was rising within me.  Essentially, the panic and fear is significantly lessened, but totally still there.  If I don’t think about it, I’m totally fine.  The moment I think about it, I’m slightly paranoid, and sinultaneously annoyed at my nonsensical paranoia.

Such is my life around pools (and also the earlier bits regarding my life with beaches).  I think this is why I just don’t want horror films.  Ever.  The few scary films I saw as a kid were enough for me*, and each had enough impact on me to cause me never to want to watch scary movies again.  So I think, anyway.
*”Scream”, “Scream 2”, and “Anaconda” still stick with me today, as well as the shark and gator movies.

Post-a-day 2017