sleepwalking 5

sleepwalking 3

sleepwalking

L

On Sleepwalking

04.08.2016 / LIFE

Things feel disjointed, that’s all.

I walk the dogs. I order coffee black. I grocery shop. I answer texts. I chop carrots, find the missing shoe. I order finger paints.

I fall asleep.

Writer/mother/wife.

I wake.

Bee likes to sleep on the floor. On the (rare) days in which she naps, I’ll have laid her in her bed, pulled star-patterned sheets to her chin, kissed her on the forehead, said our prayers, handed her a penguin to snuggle, flicked the light, shut the door, tiptoed off to my own bedroom for some reading, or a nap.

Mom! she will say in an hour, and I’ll rub my eyes, shush the dogs, walk down the hallway, open her door.

What took you so long, Mom? I’ll peek in to find an empty bed and a pile of blankets, tendrils, sweat to my left. I slept on the floor again, Mom.

I know, honey.

I read once that your sleep positions speak volumes of your personality. That those who sleep on their stomachs with one leg diagonally sprawled (all three of us sleep in this precise position, with only toes left to touch) signal deep loyalty, caring, overthinking, structured, kind.

Rejectors of change.

Bee: Do you remember when I slept on the blue mattress, like, with the fish?

Me: Your pack-and-play?

Yeah.

I’d forgotten. Do you remember that?

Sure I do!

And we sleep, and we think, and we dream, and we remember all the things we didn’t do, couldn’t have done, should never have done.

Rejectors of change.

My friend told me once she felt like she was sleepwalking through life. Like, she was half a person, floating, waiting for something to happen, unsure what it all meant.

I think she felt disjointed. I get it.

The higher the thread count, the softer the sheets feel.

Did you know that? Did you know 800 thread count is the softest, the ultimate luxury, woven with 800 threads in a single square inch of fabric?

I think about that sometimes.

I read a story a few years ago, about a teenage girl in a dark season of anger, of acting out, of rebellion. Her father didn’t know what to do, and he sought counsel from a wise and loving friend who said this:

Offer her a bigger story than the one she’s writing herself.

He did. They made a change, just the two of them. They packed duffels, bought travel toothbrushes, spent a summer volunteering overseas. They raised the blinds, pulled back the covers, awoke to a wider world than their safe bed.

The anger lifted, dissolved.

Why do you like sleeping on the floor? I ask Bee as we collect her blankets and place them back on the bed. I’m curious.

I like the hard, she says.

I get it. I think we’re wired to like the hard, we’re wired for change, for adventure, for connection with something beyond comfort and safety.

I think we’re wired for great, but on most days, it’s hard to get out of bed.

Rejectors of change.

I went running yesterday. Just a few blocks (I’m not a runner), but I’d been feeling edgy, like my adrenaline wasn’t being used on anything purposeful, like energy was coursing through my veins, and well, it was either running or yelling at a toddler.

I laced my sneakers.

I have read that faith without works is dead. That belief and action are woven together, like a tapestry, like sheets.

I used to think thought bordered on legalism. I used to think this interpretation saved little room for grace, that it made religion into a game of effort and good deeds. How many random acts of kindness can you complete in a day? A month? A lifetime?

Will St. Peter be proud at the pearling gates?

But I no longer think this is a maxim for heaven, for later.

I think it’s a maxim for earth.

For now.

I think it’s simply that faith without works will drive one crazy with bottled up energy, anxiety-ridden, jittery. It’s hard to believe in something so big and not let it consume your day. Belief is energy, like the sun, like a sugar rush. It courses through your veins, after all.

It’s not like it can be contained.

But oh, how we try.

We diffuse lavender. We take a vacation. We throw a dinner party. Drink more water. We read that book, watch that Ted talk, change that habit, lose eight pounds, nine pounds, ten.

We lace our sneakers.

We run.

I don’t know what my bigger story is.

Some days, I believe it’s little more than 800 tiny actions that, when woven together, create one square inch of faith.

Some days, it’s the other way around.

But what I do know is this: the cold, hard floor beckons us all at one time or another. We will be cozy, snug, sleeping or sleepwalking, dreaming on sheets of 800 thread count, warm. Comfortable.

Rejectors of change.

But there will be belief coursing through our veins, and it will wake us, and there will be one way to release the energy, to free the sun, to tame the wild.

We’ll rub our eyes.

We’ll shush the dogs.

We’ll walk down the hallway.

We’ll open the door.

We’ll wonder what took us so long.

  • Jamie

    This is goosebumps on my arms good…and it also hurts a little…which I think its supposed to. The best writing does. Well done.

    • oh thank you, sweet jamie. this one hurt me a little, too. ;)

  • Rachel

    I just discovered your blog a few weeks ago, and it has quickly become one of my favorites – one of those “read the post the minute it shows up in my inbox” types. Your writing is just so beautiful. It’s meditative and thought-provoking, at times hauntingly so, and I appreciate the way you look at the world. Thanks for sharing your words with us.

    • oh rachel, this is such a kind note to read! thank you for your encouragement. :)

  • Jackie

    This is beautiful. And I so needed to read this today. Somehow, whenever I open your blog, there are always words I need to hear in the right moment. Thank you for always sharing your thoughts. :)

    • jackie – you are so, so kind. thank you for reading and sharing such positivity with me!

  • Your daughter is wise! She inspires so much of your posts. Taken after her mother, I suppose? ;)

  • Michelle

    Thanks for writing so beautifully! This post prompted great discussion in my home this morning!

    • You’re welcome, Michelle- I love hearing that! :)

  • Robin

    Erin, I so rarely leave comments on any of the blogs I read (I feel like the authors always put in such effort and careful consideration of their words and, unless I can do the same, my one sentence of “thank you, this was lovely” or “such an interesting take on this topic” seems not worth sharing), but I had to take a moment and thank you for this post (and really, I should thank you for all your posts). It made me stop and think and reflect. I always get pulled into your writing – there is such a lovely rhythm to it, but today for the first time I’ve had the small epiphany that most of your posts remind me of gentle sermons. So thank you for creating such a wonderful, spirit soothing, 800 thread count corner of the Internet :) now I’m off to seek out some hard in the hour I have before the little one’s nap ends.

    • Oh Robin, thank you for your kind words and encouragement!!! It’s so great to connect in the comment section (even if it is only a ‘this was lovely!), and I always love hearing if a certain perspective resonates or is ripe for honing. Thank you for taking the time to leave this note! :) Big hugs your way.

  • Erin, you write beautifully. I’m constantly inspired by the way you can turn everyday happenings into such well crafted thoughts.

    • Oh goodness, thank you! That’s a very kind thing to say. :)

  • This post. It speaks so clearly of life and my thoughts as well. Thank you for being honest and transparent and talented. Did you write this for me? ;)

  • Cynthia

    Erin, I do hope we will see your book soon. I read 100+ books a year and get 100% of them from the library. I will buy yours b/c I know it will be one I will read again and again. You write beautifully.

    • Cynthia – thank you! The book will be out Jan 2017; I’d love for you to read it again and again! Thank you for your sweet encouragement. :)

  • One of your passages brought me instantly to tears. I fear I am losing my youngest daughter, she’s 17, (if not already lost) and I know if I could give her a bigger story she might have a chance. Such beautiful words:
    I read a story a few years ago, about a teenage girl in a dark season of anger, of acting out, of rebellion. Her father didn’t know what to do, and he sought counsel from a wise and loving friend who said this:

    Offer her a bigger story than the one she’s writing herself.

    He did. They made a change, just the two of them. They packed duffels, bought travel toothbrushes, spent a summer volunteering overseas. They raised the blinds, pulled back the covers, awoke to a wider world than their safe bed.

    The anger lifted, dissolved.

    Glad I stumbled upon your site today (my first visit.)
    thankyou.

    • Oh Tonya, keep up the good and worthy work with your daughter. If I’ve learned anything in relationships, it’s never too late to change something small (that changes something big). Hang in there.

© 2007-2017 Erin Loechner. All Rights Reserved.
Website Design by Veda House / Development by Alchemy+Aim