Not Dead but Asleep

I bought some new curtains for my bedroom. Although they are not blackout curtains, they do make the room significantly darker than the old sheers that were usually open anyway did. My bedroom is on the second floor and looks out into the trees - part of the appeal of the room, which is spacious already, is the view. Because it's spacious, it doubles as my office. So I love the view. But I have been having a lot of trouble sleeping. And so I bought new curtains.

The good thing about them is that I can pull them to the side during the day and still have the feeling of being in the trees; the view is slightly obstructed but not completely. For whatever reason, living in a room with closed curtains makes me feel as if I am in a sick room or something. Our curtains were always open when I was growing up - we lived on seven acres and it wasn't likely people were going to come up and look in (or whatever it is that people worry about so that they draw the curtains whenever they are home). I am used to having the view outside; it makes me feel less hemmed in. I suspect that sometimes people draw the curtains to keep the heat out, but still, I don't like the feeling of being in a room with closed curtains. It seems to signify sickness or hiding or something negative. I suspect that blackout curtains would be better to give me real dark to sleep in, but this is a compromise I'm going to try to live with.

And sure enough, I slept much better last night. Not perfectly, and I still woke earlier than I'd like but later than I have been waking.

I used to sleep so well when I visited my mother at her house. (The one she'll be moving out of within the month.) It's outside of town (and a small town at that) and it gets REALLY dark there. I always sleep so well when it's really dark. Now we have LED displays on clocks, TV or cable box or DVD player; the computer screen sometimes lights up to play a commercial or something. There are street lights that shine into the windows; the outside lights of the house are on at night for security; when the neighbors behind us drives up their driveway, the car's headlights flash into our room, across the floor and up the wall, reflecting in glass of the large picture hung on that wall. And the daylight breaking (which happens very early on summer mornings here) and the skies lightening seeps in through the windows, too. All this happens in our bedroom. Lights tell my eyes, even when I'm asleep, that it's time to wake up. And so I do.

And then I start thinking - my to do list appears in my mind's eye, or details about how to arrange the furniture in my mother's new apartment, or that thing I meant to do today and forgot or the thing I want to do today when I do get up but am not ready to do yet pushes into the forefront to accuse me as I lie there trying to find a cool spot on the pillow.

So I hope the curtains will help.