No Sleep as a sign of life?



So much good has transpired over the past few weeks; the good of framily, celebration, graduation, adulting, and spring. Life.

  • Kenan graduated as 2nd Lieutenant Lousch with so many successes of his own making
  • Madi and her pal, Autumn, and Izzy the giant wonderdog drove up to scout M & Zach’s wedding venues in Manhappiness. It became an opportunity to explore a childhood hometown as a forward-moving adult.
  • Favorite K-State graduation moment: Katie’s hug with the Provost during grad school commencement; 2nd favorite was Nancy Kassebaum-Baker’s speech
  • Celebrated with Katie, Dave, and the kids at the Little Apple Brewing Company
  • Chapman Center interns and staff graduations
  • sun after monsoons
  • time around tables, firepits, and cabins
  • road trip conversations for fun and work
  • sneak peeks of a well-curated vintage photo/cinematography collection
  • quiet
  • and so much more

It’s been lovely.

And exhausting.

Sleep has been more than elusive.

This morning, I flopped from bed feeling like a woman who both is about to give birth to triplets and has just completed finals week after a make-it-or-break-it semester. Guaranteed, neither are true.

Work has been busy, purposeful, and rewarding.

As Katie and I rounded mile three in our morning jaunt, my brain was so tired, that it felt as if my arms and legs were still asleep or adrift. I’ve felt this way before – usually at mile 11 of 13.1 miles in Oklahoma City or Kansas City races.

Yesterday, I’d even scared myself while driving – too tired to think through a green light.

Thank goodness, I’ve not been responsible for operating chainsaws or large construction equipment.

I had to call today off. The only potential benefit to my attempting work would be the purveyors of Reeses and peanut butter m&ms…and perhaps coffee as I likely would have cemented their quarterly gains in just one day.

Thankfully, my employer was understanding.

And yet, I freaked out a little bit as I re-closed shades, curtains, and doors to make my room very still and dark.

Am I so geriatric that I cannot handle going mach-10 with my hair on fire for a few weeks?

Why am I craving protein?

Have I just created my career kiss-of-death with people I respect?

Nope, I’m not geriatric.
I am looking for a second-stage career; an intersection of talent, experience, and interest with the needs of a world worth serving. And I keep remembering the 73-year-old Mr. Anderson who we’d meet queuing up before local triathlons. He is my hero; paunchy and out for a Sunday swim, bike, and trot in the hills. That sort of goal-pursuit: it’s still in me…somewhere closer to the surface.

It turns out, that I may have well-intendedly nudged myself into an iron-deficiency. I’ve got more work to do on researching this, but it seems to be on point. Good news, last night it was steaks on the BBQ with pals. Protein deficiency would explain recent persistent leg cramps, sleeplessness (unrelated to any other cause), and a snacky craving for nuts and peanut butter. Note to self: a burger a week is good medicine.

As for the kiss-of-death fears: unfounded, I think. Despite lethargy, it has been a very productive few weeks with many projects wrapping up. I’m excited to tie up a few more this week before the three-day weekend.

So how does sleep-deprivation possibly signal “life”?
It causes me to examine the rhythms of the season.

I can look back and see how rich these weeks have been in such good company

Katie asked me this morning whether I might be bumping up against an “anniversary”-the kind that sneaks in the night and scares the bejeesus out of me – and it was not something I’d considered. I DID NOT CONSIDER THE PAST in the present discomfort and could confidently say that no infamous lurking memory was keeping sleep at bay. None. Diddley. (not-so-small victory!)

Since K’s graduation, I have enjoyed complete confidence and no longer worry about he and Madi. They have this adulting thing down and are good stewards of their lives. They’ve begun and finished so much and are launching grand adventures even today. They are always present in my heart-thoughts, but I am not afraid.

I’ve daydreamed about doing a modified StoryCorps-type adventure on Amtrak; inviting rail passengers across the country to tell their stories then posting them online as an ongoing modern riding-the-rail narrative. I can sort all this out in two years while helping position the Chapman Center for another decade-plus of undergraduate research.

I recognize a growing discomfort – one that I am unwilling to hammer down and “fix” or grow numbly accustomed to (forgive that sentence, please). It is the discomfort that launches research, strategy, and action.

  • I long to travel. It’s on me.
  • Graduate studies keep calling me, but what? Finding out the “what” is on me.
  • Uncovering my unafraid heart in ways that may startle folks (hello high heels!) and create space for new learning and people in my life. Mine to do.

Who knew that such a hitting-the-wall morning could bring such peace?

Though no answers came during the sleeplessness, the discomfort has led to this day of sleeping, thoughtfulness in self-imposed twilight, and taking the risk of making a career mistake.

Hopefully, both the Center and I will realize so much benefit to a day recovering sleep.

Celebrating signs of life.


About allielousch

Engaged in everyday adventures and derring do.
This entry was posted in Signs of Life, There is a lot I don't know and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to No Sleep as a sign of life?

  1. Kristen Torres-Toro says:

    Celebrating victories! Also, I want to travel with you. And I’m convinced a burger a week solves a lot of things…

  2. Mimi Moeller says:

    What a remarkable and talented woman, writer, and oh yea sister you are. Love you. Please keep up the fantastic job on yourself, your writing and your inner peace. Love you.

  3. Serena says:

    Wrestled with the grad school question and completed a masters in nonprofit management. Loved it so much I’m going back for more! Still wrestling with the sleep part and feeling a bit restless restless in life in general

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