Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sleepless Nights

Late, sleepless nights are the bane of my existence. I despise them, but cannot escape them. Recovering from a massive time zone change certainly doesn’t help this problem (curse you Japan!). But for all the loathing I have of these sleepless hours, at least they provide me ample time for self reflection (and apparently time to write). That’s a double sided knife, as they say, but for the moment I’m on the side of the knife of which I’m fond (which, if you know me, is really any part of any knife… but this knife is metaphorical… so I’m attempting to stick with the metaphor).

So you might be saying, “Brandon, who cares?” Or you might just not care. Either way, you’re in an understandable position. Should you care about this? I don’t know, and as vaguely ironic as it is to say, I don’t care. I’m writing this because that’s what I do. Maybe if I’m lucky I’ll end up with a hodge-podge of thought interesting enough to read to the end.

Moving beyond tangents and side notes, tonight’s lack of sleep has led to a rather… how might I say, enjoyable period of self reflection. One in which I realize that despite being far from the situation I desire to be in, I still live in Hawaii, still go to the beach, still have incredible friends I can rely on, and still get awesome on a regular basis. Oh, and I’ve got some amazing happenings on the horizon, such as Orson Scott Card’s “Writer’s Boot Camp.” It’s these moments of happy reflections that leave me wondering why the deuce I have unpleasant sleepless nights at all. From where I’m sitting the good weighs about a buck ninety-five and the bad comes in at a measly thirty cents. Not too shabby, I’d say. So what gives? Seriously. That wasn’t rhetorical. Anyone have answers for me? Is it a simple fact of human nature that we must inevitably dwell on what sucks when we’ve got a plate of awesome at hand? I don’t believe so. When I hear the crashing of waves, the wind rustling leaves, and smell flowers in the air, or experience any other handful of incredible sensations every day, I think of how incredible life is. What is it about a queen sized bed in an air conditioned room late at night that tends to make me think, “You know what, the terrible stuff in life counts for more than the good stuff?” I’ll leave that question open.

It would be nice to come to some kind of resolution, or find some kind of forward progress through the course of writing this. But this isn’t a story. This is my mind churning things over. I’m not the hero, changing for better or worse. I’m just sitting here, looking at my clock, thinking I ought to sleep. Heck, I’ll give it a shot. Probably won’t work though.



  1. I think when we have "a plate of awesome" we dwell on the bad because Satan wants us to notice the bad instead of all the awesome blessings we have everyday! And anyway, if you look hard enough, and long enough, you will see bad, as well as good. There is opposition in all things. . . we just have to focus on our plate of awesomeness instead of the garbage of evil stupidness.

  2. Well said, Kelsey. As I said to a bunch of fifth graders this week, we cannot always control what happens to us (or around us), but we can control how we act and react. We can choose to focus on the buck ninety five of awesomeness, or we can choose to focus on the thirty cents of crap. Either way, it is OUR choice.

    That is the grandness of the gift of agency. We get to choose how happy or how miserable we are. We may not choose whether we are at the beach or in a concentration camp when it happens, but we still our own happiness equations.

    For us imperfect mortals, we can get the answer right every time if we have the faith to understand that the ultimate "plan" is one of happiness.

    And, the best way to get out of a rut is to fill in someone else's rut. So, when sleepless nights or dark days abound, grab your shovel and serve your neighbor by filling in his hole. :)