When I can’t sleep, I either worry, or write …
I love that moment right before you fall asleep.
You know, those minutes just before sleep when your conscious is about to give in under your subconscious’s warm blanket of thoughts and feelings of a day well spent.
In that translucent haze, you often run through what you did in that day, and, even if you didn’t get done everything you hoped, everything gets washed over with a feeling of contentment, security and gratefulness.
I can roughly summarise it into three thoughts.
You did these things well.
I enjoyed these parts of my day.
I’m so glad these people/things are in my life.
This pretty much sums up the last things that goes through my mind before sleep takes me every night.
Every night. Except last night.
And I say last night, because it’s about 12.10am in the morning as I write this, about 20 minutes after I was jolted out of my groggy daily review by one wayward question.
What if I don’t get done?
I’ve got a few things I’d like to get done before I shuffle off this planet — what if I don’t finish them? Worse — what if I don’t start some of them?
Write a book. Or books.
Learn to skateboard.
Be a mentor. Be a dad.
Get my dog to come when I call him. Right away. Even when there’s kids at the park, too.
Be married for like 50 or 60 years.
Learn to play guitar songs by ear.
Make a photograph so poignant people cry when they see it.
How on earth am I supposed to sleep soundly with a to-do list THIS LONG?
Maybe I should focus on all the good things I’ve got going on for a minute.
Married to Laura. BEST THING EVER. (Even trumps Star Wars.)
Great cat and great dog.
Get along with and are in constant contact with family — parents, grandparents, siblings — very lucky, here.
Landed the dream job teaching photography to awesome students, in classroom and online all around Australia. And shooting personal projects or client work when I can.
More superhero movies now than ever before in history.
Yep. I’m a lucky, lucky bastard, I think as I put my head back down on the pillow.
But I still can’t sleep. I’m restless.
So I think about some other things I’ve done.
Scored a cadetship to be a newspaper reporter.
Switched careers and became a newspaper photographer despite the fears and discouragement of many.
Won a couple of awards for Best News photographs.
Wrote and photographed a five page feature story in the weekend section once.
Sent leukaemia packing (and stay out, pal).
Went back to the Children’s Hospital and donated my photography skills shooting Mothers’ Day portraits.
Shot the front page of The Daily Telegraph.
I’ve done okay, I reason with myself. But I’m more panicked than ever. I’m not coping with the idea of running out of time with “unfinished business”.
But, for now, I’m feeling tired. Hopefully that’ll be enough to help me sleep.