The sweet sound of silence

Insomnia. It isn’t something that I have to happen to me very frequently, but when it does, I try to use the time wisely. I am not a “sufferer” of insomnia. Usually, for me,I had gone to bed at a reasonable hour. I even managed to read for almost an hour before feeling like I was ready to call it a night. Sure enough, at 12:23 am I was as awake as I could ever hope to be. My initial reaction was just to lay there. I remembered reading studies online about the effects of using cell phones past a certain hour and how the light of the screen can affect a human’s sleep cycle negatively. So that was out. I wanted to turn the light on to read, but that was a no go too. My husband didn’t need to be in misery the next morning. So there I was, laying in bed staring at the ceiling contemplating counting sheep. it comes down to one of two things; caffeine after 2:00 pm or my brain being unwilling to shut down. In this instance, it was the latter of the two.

I had gone to bed at a reasonable hour. I even managed to read for almost an hour before feeling like I was ready to call it a night. Sure enough, at 12:23am I was as awake as I could ever hope to be. My initial reaction was to just lay there. I remembered reading studies online about the effects of using cell phones past a certain hour and how the light of the screen can affect a human’s sleep cycle negatively. So that was out. I wanted to turn the light on to read but that was a no go too. My husband didn’t need to be in misery the next morning. So there I was, laying in bed staring at the ceiling contemplating counting sheep.

1:45am. At this moment I found myself getting desperate. “Laundry. You know you need to do laundry.” Fun fact about where we live in Bahrain; there is no cold water for most of the year. Our water tanks here are just that. Tanks of water that sit out in the sun all day. I had made it a point in the months before get up early or stay up later all in the attempt to not shrink my clothes. So I got up quietly as possible and began my sorting in the other room. The laundry room, located in a smaller room that is only accessible by walking out onto our roof, is there in the event you wanted to hire a maid and have them live with you. While that idea tempted us when we first moved here, the size of the room quickly changed our minds. So I began my journey up the stairs. When I got to the roof, I was in awe.

I hadn’t been up at this hour in quite some time, and I certainly haven’t been outside at this hour, but it was almost magical. The sky was clear, and all of the stars were visible. It was one of those nights where you wished you were in the middle of the desert so that the illumination of the stars didn’t get overshadowed by the lights of the city. It was also absolute silence. It was the type of silence where you can feel your eardrums straining in the night to attempt to hear anything. But there was nothing. I put the basket of laundry down, and I just sat up on our roof looking and listening to the silence.

About a week before this I had made the decision to hire a life coach. Exploring this path was not something that I ever saw myself doing, but I was falling into a point in my life where I was feeling more and more like I was vanishing and the needs of others were surpassing me.It was time to start focusing on ‘me’ more and worrying about others a little bit less. Sounds selfish but if you think about it if you aren’t taking care of yourself, how can you possibly take care of others. As I sat up there and marveled in the silence of everything I began to realize just how much I had changed in the last week but also within the last year.

Getting the opportunity to move to an entirely new location where we knew not a single person had forced me to become more comfortable within my skin. I’ve had to begin to put myself first to ensure that life keeps moving in a positive direction not just for me but my marriage. I can’t think of a single person who would enjoy being around someone who is miserable more often than they are happy with even the simplest of things. It’s also reminded me that my life is not my husband. He is part of my life, but he is not my reason for existence. Separating the two is hugely important in my opinion.

I stayed up on the roof thinking about all of this for what seemed like hours but in actuality was only about 20 minutes. However putting myself in a space where I could see our entire neighborhood and take in the scope of my surroundings coupled with the silence felt oddly purifying. If you don’t have access to space like I do, or you enjoy a full night’s sleep, consider allocating time for yourself to meditate. Shut off those inner thoughts, and you monolog reminding you about all of the things that were hard that day, that week or even that year and start to try to see the beauty all around you.

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