Activated - - NEWS - By Jessie Richards

Ever since I was a child, I’ve had a dif­fi­cult time fall­ing asleep and stay­ing asleep. Over the past sev­eral years, I’ve got­ten con­sid­er­ably better at both through learn­ing var­i­ous dos and don’ts. On an av­er­age night, though, it still takes me as long as 90 min­utes to fall asleep—and that’s usu­ally not be­cause I drank cof­fee too late in the day or didn’t ex­er­cise enough.

My mind seems to have a mind of its own, which def­i­nitely does not want to go to sleep—ever. When it is meant to be shut­ting down for the night, it in­stead revs up and be­gins do­ing some­thing else en­tirely, from planning to phi­los­o­phiz­ing.

As I lie there, know­ing that I can’t make my­self think about noth­ing, I try to steer my thoughts to­ward things that are pleas­ant and not stressful—ide­ally, things that have as lit­tle as pos­si­ble to do with real life. Even­tu­ally my busy thoughts give way to semibusy thoughts, which give way to entertaining thoughts. Then at last comes the mo­ment I cher­ish every night, the mo­ment of the com­pletely non­sen­si­cal thought.

The in­ter­nal di­a­logue will go some­thing like this: To­mor­row I need to re­ply to Christy first thing. … You’re not sup­posed to be planning your to-do list now. … That lec­ture I lis­tened to the other day was fas­ci­nat­ing. … No, that’s not go­ing to work. Too in­ter­est­ing. … So, this week­end I’m go­ing out to din­ner with a friend. … And that’s why wa­ter­mel­ons are blue. I smile, grate­ful to know that in a few mo­ments I will be sleep­ing peace­fully.

It’s a case of some­thing that seems “wrong” or non­sen­si­cal paving the way for some­thing good. In the case of my in­som­nia, the good—the sleep—doesn’t come in spite of the bizarre, ran­dom thoughts, but rather the ran­dom her­alds the har­mo­nious.

That makes me won­der if there are other ways and times when sim­i­lar sce­nar­ios play out, per­haps with­out my even notic­ing the pat­tern.

We all hear the oc­ca­sional story of the bizarre turned beau­ti­ful on a grand scale—some­one meet­ing the love of their life while they were stuck at an air­port due to a weather

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