I do my finest worrying at 3:00 a.m. The night is dark. The house is quiet. Everyone in the house is asleep. Except for me.
My mind races wildly at 3:00 a.m. Last night, here are the thoughts that danced through my brain at 3:00 a.m.:
· When is the Visa bill due?
· How much of the Visa bill can we pay?
· Will it be cold tomorrow?
· How is our marriage doing?
· Did we spend enough time together this weekend?
· When is the Visa bill due? Gee, I wish I’d gotten a better check yesterday. What’s the balance anyway?
· How is son Devon doing at college?
· How about son Ethan at another college and is Bryce buying too many CDs?
· Why did I eat so much last weekend?
· How long have I been awake?
Okay, the answer to the last question was easy. I broke one of the sleep rules that says never look at a clock when you’re having insomnia. It’s a good rule, theoretically. The only trouble is, I don’t even need to look at the clock to know the time. It’ll be 3:00. Possibly 4:00, but probably 3:00. Rarely any time before 3:00 or after 4:00.
Last night I cheated and looked. Twice. Once at 3:00. The next time at 3:45. No sleep in between.
Most of my friends are familiar with the 3:00 a.m. witching hour. Maybe that’s because we’re all in those fuzzy peri-menopause years. One friend who’s into psychic phenomenon tells me 3:00 a.m. is the time when “the spirits” are the closest, when we’re most likely to receive inspiration.
I wish that were the case. I never receive inspiration at 3:00 a.m. Only fears, concerns, anxieties, stupid stuff. Sometimes the worries are real. I really do need to pay that Visa bill. More often, the witching hour magnifies my concerns and the next morning they seem ridiculous. Why did I spend one second wondering about weather, for heaven’s sake? It’s not like I can do anything about it.
Robert sleeps peacefully beside me as I worry. He says there’s no need for him to worry at 3:00 a.m. because I do it for him. I agonize about teenagers getting home safely; he snoozes. I worry about the bills; he sleeps. I fret over whether the dog got fed, who will win the presidential election, whether I can meet my writing deadlines, and the chocolate bar I ate in the afternoon. Robert sleeps. I’m jealous.