Tuesday, October 20, 2009


I had barely left my bedroom in two days.

I am the kind of person who would rather ignore the symptoms or pains of any illness rather than address them head on and spend the day in bed. I figure that if I ignore illnesses, they will eventually go away. This was one case where I was stuck in bed and there was no way around it.

My Mom thought it would be nice to have the satellite hooked up in my room so that I would have something to watch while confined in my room. Although my definition of confined in a box of a bedroom and what someone else finds to be the definition of confined are two completely different things.

I have never had actual live television in my bedroom before. I can understand why. Television can be very distracting. While I would not normally watch more than one movie in a row at a time, I could watch an endless marathon of movies, from the oldies, the jems of Audrey Hepburn, to the ridiculous “I-would-never-watch-unless-stuck-in-bed-movies” like Disaster Movie. It really is the perfect title though because the movie is an absolute disaster.

On the first night of having television I found an episode of Grey’s Anatomy playing. The channel apparently plays re-runs of the show on weekends. One episode on television led me to watch the first season of the show on DVD. I am really not a fan of hospitals or medical dramas, but I do like the show. I fast forward through the actual medical parts of the episodes when watching them. So what really is a forty-five minute episode on DVD turns into twenty-minutes of perfectly condensed soap opera.

Two days of not leaving my room for any extended periods of time was really taxing. I am not claustrophobic, but after two days, my room started to feel like the size on an elevator, albeit a very pink, well-equipped elevator, but an elevator nonetheless.

You would think that it was Prison Break the way that I am describing things. It may seem mundane, but I like being able to go into the living room to watch live television or the computer room to physically sit at a desk and use the desktop computer instead of being on my laptop.

I know, I had a flat screen and a computer either way, but I found myself going crazy staring at the same four pink walls.

I decided that it would be good to get some fresh air, even for a few minutes. I figured that going to Starbucks would be a way to lift my spirits. There was a man begging for money outside of the store as I was entering and all of my thoughts and complaints about being trapped in what can be seen as a very well stocked and comfortable room seemed absolutely ridiculous. He did not have anything but the small square of pavement that he was standing on and I had a large square of cushioned bedroom.

This was my challenge? Having the luxury to stay at home for two days doing nothing but watch television and catch up on sleep?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

3:53 a.m.

I have insomnia. It is not a matter of whether I would like to sleep because, given the choice, I would rather get a solid eight hours of sleep a night rather than be awake all night.

I have somewhere in the range of three hundred television channels. At night, when the rest of my house and neighbours are sleeping, I am most likely sitting awake watching a paid program. You see, the programmers must not be insomniacs because if they were, there would be way more actual shows on in the middle of the night rather than having ninety percent of the channels showing a paid program. There is not even a good rotation of the paid programming; most of them are the same dozen advertisements over and over again, night after night. Tonight I find myself watching a paid program for the Magic Bullet. In four hours I can watch the same extended commercial about thirty times on a dozen channels. Yes, I will freely admit that I own a Magic Bullet, and yes, it does make great smoothies.

I have this doctor that has a unique prescription for getting rid of my insomnia: go for a walk and drink a cup of tea. Yes, go for a walk and drink a cup of tea. Now personally, I am all for exercise and hydration, but neither is very good at aiding in my quest for sleep.

With insomnia, you have a lot of time on your hands. And with this time, you really have only two choices: spend hours tossing and turning in bed trying to fall asleep or use the time being proactive and doing something during the night hours. I prefer the latter option.

Although I do not recommend staying awake at night, there are some benefits to being awake at all hours of the night. I can complete a lot of readings for school and get assignments done in complete silence. This is both an effective and good use of time. I can also go to Wal-Mart anytime thanks to it being open twenty-four hours. If you have not tried it, I highly recommend going shopping at three in the morning. There is something amazing about shopping in a completely relaxed atmosphere with three other shoppers in the store.

It is all about perspective though, isn’t it? I can spend hours upon hours every night fighting with myself to fall asleep, or I can accept my lack of being able to fall asleep for what it is and turn my situation it into something productive that I can work with. This is true of all things though, isn’t it? You can fight and resent what you have, or you can accept and build upon what you have and turn negatives into positives. This includes the quirk of not being able to sleep a lot of the time. Circumstances are never perfect and a lot of the time they are not desirable, but you choose to do what you want with what you are given.

Really then, there are only two kinds of people. To use a complete cliché, you can only be a glass half full kind of person, or a glass half empty kind of person. You may say that getting less than four hours of sleep a night is unfair, I say, I have four hours more to do anything. I have a colour-coded closet, an alphabetized collection of dvds, and I’ve even made a dent in my quest to make all of the different recipes from the Martha Stewart Cupcakes recipe book (a book that I picked up during one of my middle of the night trips to Wal-Mart).

So yes, I have insomnia. I do not sleep a lot each night and I can either see that as being completely horrible, or I can turn my lack of sleep around into something positive: one situation where I can choose to be an optimist rather than a pessimist. Not a lot of the time, but sometimes we get to make choices and need to ask ourselves what side of the line we want to fall on. Even in deciding what we are going to do in the middle of the night when we cannot sleep.

And yes, because I’m sure you are wondering, it is currently 3:53 a.m.

What can I say? I’m a glass half full kind of girl . . . a glass half full kind of girl who may find herself knitting a scarf tonight.