November 1, 2022 - Struggling With a New Thing
I haven't been sleeping well. This is a very new thing for me. My friend Nancy says sleeping is my superpower. I can fall asleep quickly, take short naps and feel instantly refreshed. Wake up in the middle of the night and fall asleep quickly again. But that last one. That last one that has been elusive the past week or so.
I misspelled "week" in the last sentence as "wee" and had to correct it. This is not this is funny in a non-ironic way to me, as I have to wee a lot at night. Some nights, if I'm feeling particularly dehydrated from the day, I might wake up every hour to wee and drink another full glass of water. This started in Colorado when I was living at 9000 feet and totally struggled with hydration, it was *so* dry there. I struggled with my skin there too, a constant battle with itchiness, rashes, hot spots, like an old golden retriever, gnawing on my paw, licking my leg. The dietary specialist at my health care provider taught me the rule of drinking the number of ounces of water per day equal to half my weight, so around 90 ounces per day. For some reason I have a real issue with drinking water at work, I try, but I just don't keep up, so I wind up needing to rehydrate at night.
This has never been a real issue with sleeping because I've always been able to fall asleep again so quickly, but not this week. I wake up with a vague urge to pee, but it's not overwhelming, I don't feel the need to jump up and go. And I haven't felt overly thirsty either. Normally I'd roll over and fall asleep again almost instantly, but this week I've been rolling over and rolling back and lying awake for what feels like hours.
There are a couple new factors involved. I haven't felt particularly well for the past week and a half or so. I have some sort of groin issue on my left side that I thought was intestinal, but I went to the doctor and they ran a urine test and blood labs and he did a thorough checkup for a hernia and said he saw nothing critical or unusual. He recommended ibuprofen and an ultrasound to make sure, but I felt better over the weekend and haven't scheduled the ultrasound yet. The appointment was on Friday and it's Tuesday now. The pain isn't gone, but his diagnosis made me think this is some sort of weird skateboard injury. My body hasn't performed any of those types of skateboard pushes or hip swings in over 15 years. It feels like I strained something, and that's no surprise. I didn't feel like I skated hard at all, but I tweaked my achilles tendon on my pushing foot as well, even in a super short session. That feels like the most likely scenario.
The other new factor is money. I've never felt like I've had a particularly good relationship with money, but over the past four years I've felt better about it than ever. After we got off the road with Sugar Still I started working at hourly wage jobs with fixed hours, very consistent wages, something I could plan against. I started a simple spreadsheet on my phone to track how much money I had, what bills needed to be paid on which dates, how much debt I had, how much money I had in the bank. Again, super simple, but it gave me a feeling of control I don't think I've ever had before, and I somehow, magically, got out of debt and out of that paycheck-to-paycheck mentality just before COVID hit. The COVID benefits got me further out of debt and felt like play money, so I started playing the stock market with Robinhood and made more. Not a lot more, and there have definitely been swings where I've lost a bunch too. But overall, I'm a couple thousand ahead, and have felt financially solid for the first time in my life really. Make no mistake here, I'm not financially set for life or anything, I have no significant plans for retirement, no significant savings, but at least I'm not in a state of elevated panic at the end of the month anymore, and that's been a big change for me.
So Charlie, if you've felt solid about money the past three or four years, why aren't you sleeping now? Well, my dad died over the summer and the Trust has started to disburse payments to me and my siblings. Quite suddenly I have more money than I'm really comfortable with. It's not a lot more. It just feels like a responsibility, you know? Like, oh shit, now I have to manage this too. And money is so non-tactile for me, it just sort of yawps into the future amorphously. So my brain won't shut up about it.
A new thing to figure out. Great. Just when I felt like my world had gotten pretty simple and straight forward. One day at a time, Charlie, one day at a time. No need to freak out about not knowing how to do a new thing, it takes repetitions. You've proven you can do it before. Just like learning a new song. Start singing, start playing, trust yourself that the rest will come as you work. You can do it. You've done it so many times. It's okay. Foot on the accelerator, but no need to race. Like Murakami said, keep moving, keep dancing.