Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Current State of Mind: Sleepless in Beaverton


I completely get it if you are TIRED of reading about this. Feel free to ignore this and come back when I post about books. But for now, I'm gonna vent.

Oregon schools closed  a week before spring break My district told us to treat these 2 weeks as an extended time off--no teaching or learning was expected of students and staff. So at first I was all, "Awesome. I will take some time to read whatever I want, sleep when I want, do some baking, etc. If this goes on longer, then I'll come up with a firmer schedule for both the kid and me at that point."

And that worked for a few days. I have over a hundred books available, because in addition to having a few unread books at home, I brought home two crates of books from my school library and another 56 movies and books from the public library before settling into self isolation. My daughter got up every morning and made breakfast with me. (We've had waffles, pancakes, and crepes.) The Winemaker and I played board games, and he set up some online games with his bridge friends.

Then yesterday around 3:30 our power went out. And I went into a quiet panic. Sure we have food, but nearly all of it is somewhere between gross (canned beans) or inedible (rice) uncooked. Our heat is from natural gas, but the actual fan that blows that heat around is electric. We have a few camp stove canisters, but not enough for any extended time.

I tried to read to distract myself, then took  long nap. When I woke up at 7:00, the lights had just come back on. Dinner was delicious and warm, and everything was fine.

Except I couldn't sleep last night. And I am a CHAMPION  sleeper. Stress usually makes me sleep more, not less. I finally got to sleep around 3 am, thinking that maybe my nap had messed me up, but now I'd sleep half the day. Instead, I popped awake at 7, restless and tense.

I think I'm going to need to put myself on a schedule sooner rather than later. I have all these great ideas about what I could be doing (like actually writing on my blog!), but have trouble settling down to do any of them, even as I realize that those things would bring me more peace. I also know my own contrary streak, so I'm not going to set it up in 2 hour time blocks or anything, but instead commit to a few specific things each day. Like today, I'm going to bake bread, wash the kitchen floor, take a walk, and figure out where I was in the knitting I was doing over winter break. If I do other things, great. If I go back to bed (at 9:30 I'm finally starting to yawn) and get all this done in the late afternoon, fine. But setting some goals might give me back a little bit of control and lessen this underlying anxiety.

Oh, and since coming home from work last Friday, I've read Half Brother, Mary's Monster, and We Are Never Meeting in Real Life, re-read Grave Mercy, and finished Light It Up So yes, being a reader is definitely a boon in a situation like this.


  1. I completely understand the not sleeping, because I just lay there for hours before I fall asleep each night. I'm working from home now, as of yesterday, but still need to venture out for grocery shopping this weekend which has me anxious.

    I agree with you about needing a schedule. I have very mild OCD and need a routine, so I am feeling very discombobulated right now... I haven't even been able to read the last couple of days!

  2. Good luck! I also haven’t been sleeping, but I’ve gotten lots of other stuff done. I mopped the floor, organized a few hundred files on my computer, and read about a third of The Complete Sherlock Holmes.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  3. Each day, my stress grows. Most people on my campus are working from home, but I am part of the small group that cannot. And, tonight on the train, the conductor told us NJT was going to a weekend schedule, and I have no idea how the buses will be running. Aside from worrying that I am going to catch something and kill my father, I don't even know how reliable my transportation will be. Needless to say, my mental health is taking a hit.

  4. I've had a really hard time concentrating on anything but the virus, even reading. We have played some family games and watched a lot of movies, though!!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction


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