Solipsism – 3

This was the third night of sleeplessness.  Once again it was unintentional.  I was on track with my schedule and tucked myself in at 11:30 pm but I was still gazing at the clock at around 4:00 am.  By the time I got sleepy it was time to wake up again to get Anoushka fed and ready for school.

I had made myself a list of things that needed to happen in order to get me back on track: workout, work, lunch, work, violin, dinner, some light entertainment (reading, television viewing) and bed.  Except for work, lunch and dinner I failed at everything else.

Tomorrow is another day, or so they say.

I’ll attempt going to bed at a reasonable hour again but I don’t know if oblivion will be easy to achieve.  The niggling thoughts last night took the shape of a visit, several years ago, with someone who calls herself a psychic.  The only thing she told me was that I carried anger within. I laughed it off at that time because I’ve never considered myself an angry person, certainly not someone who lets anger fester.  I laugh away too many of my failures to ever consider myself angry. 

But on sleepless nights when one’s thoughts are a convoluted mass of confusion, ugliness is well within the realm of possibilities.  I was angered beyond reason at the fact that I was a victim of cost-cutting twice within the last three years.  I was angry at myself for chasing dollars and leaving jobs that I never should have left.  I was furious at the people who make hiring decisions, appointing people in roles that would always be challenged in tough economic times and I couldn’t believe my stupidity in not questioning these hiring managers or asking them, during the interview, when they said, “any questions?”, about the potential longevity of positions in which I was interested.

I cursed out an old boss in this state of sleep deprivation for saying to me that they all felt stupid if I took a vacation, for saying that I was the voice of reason for them, for involving me in major decisions, for relying on my analysis for most of the cost-cutting decisions that were made while I was there and then for writing me out of the budget when I was the one predicting a budgetary shortfall.  I couldn’t stop thinking these thoughts in endless, unresolved loops.  I couldn’t believe I was so easily taken in, so eager to believe what amounts to nothing but the shoveling of copious amounts of bovine stercus by all concerned.

After I had spewed out all this ugliness from one part of my brain to another, my thoughts took on a post mortem aspect as I asked myself where I had gone wrong and whether I had ever made a decision of which I could be proud.  I thought hard.  I couldn’t come up with a thing.  There is something within that ensures a perennial falling short in the view of my sleepless conscience.

This is just what happens at night.  I tend to regain my equilibrium during the day as I tell myself that I am being too hard on myself, that it’s really as easy as marking down points A and B on a mental map and finding a way to span the distance.  It’s a shame that instead of contemplating the means to span this distance at night, just before falling asleep, my thoughts turn on me in attack mode.

So anger, yes, I probably carry some within.  But it is all self-directed.  There’s anger at particular circumstances and the bit players who played a role in the manifestation of said circumstances, but that’s all superficial.  I am mostly angry at myself for becoming a victim of that circumstance, at always being acted upon, rather than being an actor.  The rational “day time” version of me is determined to never become someone who is “acted upon” again.  But the nights are defined by self-flagellation and hair shirts.

And really how shameful is all of this? The only thing that’s keeping me anxious and awake all night is how I rehash job losses that don’t even have a bearing on my present circumstances.  I have moved on to a role where I am more in charge of my destiny.  Why then?

There are countless others with countless real problems.  Some are shivering in their cold homes because after Hurricane Sandy their power never came back, some lost their homes, so many lost their children to the guns wielded by a mad man, there are so many things that are worth contemplating, to which one can devote countless sleepless nights.

I know I am blessed.  Why then can’t I learn to act like I am?

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