Monday, May 9, 2016

The Middle of the Night Lies

If there is one thing I've learned during the past five weeks, it's this:

The middle of the night lies.

You ladies of a certain age know what I'm talking about. Every evening you are EXHAUSTED. You tell yourself you won't go to bed until a normal human being would go to bed, ten-ish or eleven-ish or whatever-ish you have decided is normal. And with that decided, you spend two hours before bedtime fighting the nap that bedevils you.

But you are sooooo tiiiiiiired. So you curl your toes and work crossword puzzles while you watch The Americans because as gripping as the story is, you find your head drooping and your eyes closing. Finally it is bedtime, and you crawl into bed where you fall sound asleep.

For one hour.

Then the awakeness that you were searching for during the evening finds you. SPROING go your eyelids. TWITCHY-TWITCHY go your calf muscles. And all of those trains of thought that you were trying to maintain at 8 o'clock are suddenly on the track and barreling down the line at 2 a.m.

Except that those trains are all running on the Disaster Line rather than on the Reality Line.

You will never find another job! You're too old to look for anything new! Old dogs not only can't learn new tricks, they're sent the pound and gassed! You are going to be poor! Your non-existent grandchildren will hate coming to your house because you can't afford cable! You'll never eat brand-name bran flakes again!

Yes. In the first days after the Thing happened, I spent valuable REM time bemoaning my reduced breakfast cereal prospects.

Because the middle of the night lies. It reminds me of my failures and predicts, as truth, worst possible scenarios.

In the bright light of the next morning, I have to laugh at what I have been fearing. I know all is working out as it should, and that the next chapter of my life is going to be even better and more wonderful than the last one has been. This is an enormous mouthful--the last chapter has been pretty spectacular. The light tells the truth, and I believe truth of hope in the deepest of my bones.

I'm landing on my feet, and I'm rejecting the hyperbole of doom predicted when the clock reads 1 a.m. I'm choosing the joy of the Mother's Day video conference call with Husband and all four Boys. I'm delighting in watching opportunities unfold that I have dreamed about for decades. I'm reveling in the happiness of seeing the miniature lilac I planted last summer bloom in tiny perfection. I'm choosing the knowledge that God is in control.

I'm choosing truth, because I know the middle of the night lies.


  1. I read somewhere recently that you (I mean all of us, not you in particular) can't trust your brain between 11:00pm and 5:00am. I have found this SOMETIMES useful when I am lying awake at 3:00am thinking about how I'd get the children out of the house if there were an intruder.

  2. Oh my goodness. This happens to me and I have associated it with the night too. At 2 am, I can't possibly fly to Florida with Bryan, the plane will crash and burn. 9 am What was I thinking? I can't wait to have a mom break and go read poolside. Yep. The night lies. You are so right.