Monday, August 02, 2004

Insomniacal Musings From New Jersey

I've been having trouble sleeping quite often lately. Unfortunately, tonight's no exception, even tho I usually sleep at least as well if not better here, at my parent's house, than I do at home.

I had no trouble falling asleep last night. But when I woke up, around 3:30 AM, I couldn't get back to sleep. I was only remotely even tired. So, I got up. This is the usual pattern recently, tho exactly when I wake up during the night, timewise, varies.

I don't know what, if anything, to make or read into my recent bout of frequent insomnia. It's not every night, but it's not just every once in a LONG while either, so it's hard not to think there's a reason for it and/or something(s) behind it that I should think about, identify, and "resolve" or deal with somehow. Of course, as analytical as I already am by nature, I'd prolly come up with numerous possibilities, yet be completely lost as to which one(s) figure in here.

This trip "home" has gone well so far. I really like it when we're here for more than just a day or two. It's a LOT more relaxing and worthwhile then than it it when we're only here for one overnight before trapsing back to Pa.

I really need to start praying and reading the Bible more often. The "personal spiritual disciplines" have been all-but absent, if not completely absent, from my life for awhile now, far too long.

Yes, it's harder to work them in and find time for them now(with Rebekah) than it was before, but I also can't help but remind myself of what Pastor Lloyd always says; about how one almost always _finds_(or makes) time for their true priorities. Maybe not as much time and/or as often as one might like, but they(the true priorities) still happen, and more often than not too. I definitely think he's right about this, and there's plenty of evidence in my life, present and past, to back him up here as well.

I need to be willing to start small and not expect regular, daily consistency right away, if ever. I don't have to immediately read and/or pray daily, and the reading part might never reach daily. I think I often have perfectionistic standards for myself about things and either thinking or knowing(or experiencing) that I can't(or didn't) reach them often discourages me from even trying to improve or change things in whatever area(of my life) I'm dealing with right then.

I really think this is a recurring theme/cause in many areas of my life. Even tho "perfectionistic couch potato" or "perfectionistic sluggard" sounds like an oxymoron, I'm not sure it always is.

Mom continues to be very positive and complimentary about the "job" we're doing(in) raising Rebekah. That's very nice and much appreciated. Not only cuz how we raise her is THE most important thing in my life right now(at least to me), but also cuz my siblings and I were pretty much raised in a "no news is good news" environment where we didn't get many compliments or much positive reinforcement, so to actually HEAR her SAY her positive impressions is a very nice change as well; what they're about is almost "gravy", even tho they couldn't be about anything more important to me than that.

I know that Mom has some major difficulties with how my sister, Susan, is raising her daughter, Lydia, and I/we have many of those same difficulties. So, when Mom first started giving us positive feedback about the job we're doing raising Rebekah, it was very hard to not see them as comparisons. She'd say something like "You're doing such a good job with her", and I/we could almost see the comma - rather than the period - at the end of that, and hear the unspoken "Unlike the job Susan's doing with Lydia!" ending.

We still "hear" that sometimes, but it's getting better; it's happening much less often. Now, we're much better able to take the compliments "at face value". I guess practice makes perfect?

I know that my own misgivings and "issues" with how I was raised are a major motivating factor for me to do better and keep trying when things get difficult, parentwise, and I think that's a healthy way to respond to and direct those feelings and opinions. I know firsthand what the outcome and price are when parents do certain things(or don't do them, or do them certain ways, etc.), so the fact that that motivates me to be different, even when it's not easy, convenient, or entirely pleasant is, I think, very positive and healthy. For me, as well as for Rebekah. And maybe even for Katrina too, who knows?

I can honestly say that I don't think any other experience or event has changed me more than becoming a parent has. So many things are just so different now! It's almost entirely a positive, constructive change; the things that are different are different in positive, "more mature" ways, but the degree or amount of change(s) is still significant - almost radical.

I remember when I went away to college and so many things about and in my life changed. My physical environment changed, my daily routine and schedule changed, the people I was with and "hung out" with changed, my address and phone # changed, etc. I can remember thinking at that time "This is probably the biggest change I'll ever have in my life other than when I get married". WRONG!

Be(com)ing a parent has taught me so much! And about so many things too! It's also changed how I look at things, how I think about them, how I prioritize them, etc.

Rebekah is such a blessing. I've said so many times that she's the best thing that's ever happened to me, and it really is how I feel too.

Katrina and I have both said that and a lot too. Neither one of us gets hurt by the other one saying it; we don't respond with "What about ME(aren't I the best thing that's ever happened to you)?!", we both know EXACTLY what the other is(and isn't) saying.

We also say, tho not as often, how struck we are by the thought of "I(/we) don't deserve her". She's so neat, so beautiful, so interesting. I feel honored to be getting to know her!

Raising Rebekah has also reinforced, confirmed, and validated the fact that I/we made the right decision when Marcie & I placed Christopher/Peter for adoption. Not that I needed any validation there; that's always been THE least second-guessable choice/decision of my entire life(at least outside the spiritual realm), and it probably always will be as well. But it's been confirmed by my parenting experience with Rebekah, "anyway".

I'm not any more tired than I was when I first came downstairs, but I think I'll go try to sleep - or at least rest - again. I didn't get much sleep Friday night and I noticed how "short" or impatient/edgy that made me all day Saturday(and I know others noticed as well), and I really don't want that to happen(at least not as much or as bad) today. So, I'll stop here, at least for now.


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