Stuff in the Night
“Sometimes gifts come packaged as nights curled up in the fetal position”
If ‘stuff’ had an alarm reminder setting it would be 3am. One minute I’m fast asleep, head nice and empty apart from the odd weird dream cruising in and then…WTF… At first it’s a vague awareness that “uh, I think I’m awake, is it morning yet? Better check the alarm, 2.59am, oh no… I can still go back to sleep, let’s pretend I don’t need the toilet now, don’t start counting how many hours left, I said don’t start coun….”
…Too late, mind alarm goes off, 3am and wham! ‘Stuff’ opens the door, stampedes in and starts filling every space in my head that’s available -.and it’s never good stuff at the door, a cheery alarm with a bird song or gentle waves ringtone, good stuff would give that pleasant drowsy “life’s ok, I can go back to sleep” feeling with the optional two hour snooze button.
No, 3am ‘stuff’ is the bad, annoying, unanswerable stuff that has a dentist’s drill ring tone, guaranteed to not only force open your eyes and fix on the pile of clothing that now looks suspiciously like an intruder but enlarge your ears so that you hear creaks from 3 houses away that might signal poltergeists approaching, and give your brain a Red Bull in the ‘generally unpleasant thought’ lobe.
With a sigh my inner PA gets to work – sorting, filing, solving problems and assigning stuff to the appropriate place in the brain, it starts to get a bit ‘stuffy’, the to do queue is getting longer as associated stuff drops in for a chat and I’m creating a waiting room for the ‘what stuff is that?’ random drop ins.
By 4am however, I have the kids stuff organised, work stuff prioritised, let’s just by- pass the financial stuff, I solve the clothing pile mystery, shut off the “I see dead people” channel, I’m nearly there, I don’t have to be in the alert brain wave state yet and then… I see the stuff in the corner…
In shadow, not visible in the daylight, it slowly appears from behind the filing cabinets. It’s the ‘Dark Night of the Soul’ stuff and it’s escaped before I could finish my work, close the door and go back to sleep. What is it with this stuff? It doesn’t listen when I say “stuff off” it has no logical arguments, no empathy that I am not in a resilient space at this time of the morning and it has an annoying habit of getting larger the more I look at it. The brain leads this “he who shall not be named” stuff passed the unpleasant thought lobe and into the greatest fears, want to cry, seriously scary and irrational dying options lobe.
If it was just the mental effect, it would be bad enough but as ‘ol dark night’ struts his stuff, my body then joins in the emotional hijack and goes into the brace position, contorting into the tiniest fetal ball at the corner of the bed which bizarrely sends a squeeze to my bladder to start dumping fluid every half hour. This alerts the cat who has snuck in the room, discerns that there might be a chance of getting fed early and who immediately practices face swatting.
What to do now? Give up the night as a bad job and write that overdue report thereby crossing off one little job but creating additional stuff as other areas of the brain think its work time and start to also wake up. Or try out a range of therapies…meditation, maybe reflexology, think of a happy place, can I hypnotise myself? Or sit, wait it out, be with the stuff, wear it, play with it, chill with it and own it and see if Soul’s gift arrives before dawn does.
Usually I do all three and exhausted after a hard nights work I eventually feel myself thankfully start to drift off to sleep. The stuff is sorted, Dark night has been psycho babbled back into the corner, the gift is in the post…drifting… “WHF…seriously, again? It’s the other alarm, the real life one, pre-set for 5am before knowing that stuff was going to sabotage the eight hours of planned bliss.
The old stuff has completed its night shift, dark night of the soul has seen dawn and disappeared for a well earned rest and the dayshift of new stuff has just arrived with an inbox so large that the pending will once again need to wait for the next night.
Things to know about ‘Stuff’
- Stuff is nocturnal
- At 3am, bad stuff seems to be more fascinating to the brain than good stuff
- Stuff is contagious; it will infect any random ‘thought’ and turn it into ‘stuff’
- Soul stuff is connected to the bladder
- Dark Night of the Soul stuff doesn’t seem to like dawn
- Sometimes the gift gets lost in the post and you just have to be content with stuff
- A stuffy nose in the morning is just the brain leaking stuff because it is still too full of night stuff