Monday, May 12, 2014

In the Still of the Night

I used to think that older/retired people didn’t need much sleep. Seemed like after years of forcing themselves out of bed during their working years, they found themselves jumping out of bed at sunrise just because that’s when they felt like getting up. When you think about it, that works well for someone who goes to bed early. If you have your eight hours of shut-eye in by daylight, you are going to want to jump up and start the day early.

Then there’s those like me who stay up until midnight. A full night’s sleep will still get me out of bed by eight and that’s plenty early. What I don’t like is when I wake up in the middle of the night and can’t go back to sleep. Last night, I woke up at about three thirty. I tossed, turned, and tried to go back to sleep. No luck. Then, when I thought it might happen, my weather alert radio went off. I dragged my sleepy self to the kitchen to turn it off. I pushed the button that tells what the alert is, and it started giving a regular forecast. I didn’t hear anything resembling weather that warranted the alarm.

Back in bed, I couldn’t help but think there should have been a reason for the bells and whistles disturbing my peace. Well, with my smart phone, I normally receive weather alerts on Facebook and via email, not to mention radar, and Google news. I debated. Browsing the Internet tends to keep me awake, but better safe than sorry, right? Okay, curiosity won.

First email. No alert. Then, Facebook. Oh geeze, couldn’t help but look at all the old photos posted for Mother’s Day. They just went on, and on. Time passed. It was soon four thirty, and I was wide awake. Still, determined to sleep awhile longer, I put down the phone and resumed tossing and turning, mind churning.

In the still of the night, I started thinking about how seemingly insignificant decisions or events changed the entire course of my life. I thought about the chain of events that led up to meeting Jim… On a summer Saturday, my mom and I were in the Dew Drop Inn eating hamburgers and fries when Kenny Fisher walked in. My mom knew him and introduced me. A week later, Kenny, “Uncle Orvie,” introduced me to his nephew. In many ways, it was a random meeting on an otherwise uneventful day in a series of uneventful days. Yet, that chance meeting changed the course of my life.

Sometimes the randomness of life scares me. The thought that if I do this, or don’t do that, it can change my destiny for better or worse. My life sometimes seems out of control, careening through time and space, heading toward that final frontier.

I’ve always had this insatiable curiosity as to what makes me, me. Why are my thoughts, fears, joys and sorrows, and life’s experiences inside this particular body, living this unique life, in this specific place?

In opposition to the scary thought of where the path of life is taking me is the comfort of what I consider to be my master plan. This isn’t just based on my decisions, but on my destiny. This isn’t to say that I don’t think my decisions are important anymore, in fact, I think they are crucial. But somehow, it seems that when I reach a crossroad, I choose the path that is right for me.

All my heavy thinking didn’t help me go back to sleep. So, just like other “older” people I used to shake my head at, I was up before dawn. A few cups of coffee, and I was good to go.

I wonder if today will bring one of those life changing decisions, or will it be merely another forgettable day? I may not know that answer for years—or I may know it by sundown.

Whatever the day brings, I’m confident it will fit into my master plan.

copyright © May 2014 by L. S. Fisher

No comments: