To ruminate: to turn a matter over in your mind, repeatedly, casually and slowly, pondering thoughtfully, self-reflecting, over-thinking, focusing and analysing past experiences and current predicaments, brooding on what could have been, what is, what could be...
There are nights when I wake and quickly my brain hits top gear, speeding away from me, keeping me from sleep. Tonight is such a night...
Eilidh cries out;
I go to her,
I turn her.
"stay, mummy, stay..."
I sit for a while next to her,
until her breathing settles.
My mind however begins to stir:
"sleep;I am so tired;endless nights,each one blurring into the next,sleepless;I am exhausted,how am I functioning? am I functioning?;a night away would be great -oh! we've just had one...well another night away would be good; yes, some respite.respite, is that a possibility?officially I mean?not just my mum...we don't offer respite at work; work...yes...I need to change my working hours but is that even possible? I wish that I didn't have to work at all-perhaps the guilt would ease;another chest infection-not that she has that many-I felt so guilty sending her to nursery-they didn't even do her breathing exercises-"there wasn't enough time..."WTF! you are gambling with my child's health- MY child's health...actually perhaps I'm the one gambling with her health;work-perhaps I should give up work? no,I can't,we need the money;we need a holiday,a break away from routine,some fun-where should we go? abroad? perhaps not,there's snappie to consider-she and planes don't mix well...what about an accessible holiday cottage? omgoodness! our house isn't even completely accessible must get onto social work again about ramp access;hoists, when are the people coming from moving and handling? stupid suspended ceiling-we are going to have to rejig that ceiling to put in tracking;why,oh why isn't life more simple? I thought that being an adult would be easier-well easier than being a teenager anyway-crikey the joke is on me...;I NEED sleep-please let me sleep -PLEASE..."
And so it continues until I stop, until I find distraction, until I find the switch that I can flick to turn my active brain off
“There are two distinct classes of what are called thoughts: those that we produce in ourselves by reflection and the act of thinking, and those that bolt into the mind of their own accord”
I think of my ruminations as a way of reflecting on my life, but now I can see that the over thinking and over-analysing can be negative too, appearing "like a bolt into (my) mind of their own accord", never finding answers and keeping me awake at night. Before I am even aware, an hour may pass and as the dawn approaches I find a million reasons not to go back to bed. Not only does the sleeplessness have a negative impact on my mood and day-t0-day, but apparently ruminating raises cortisol levels, impacting on my physical health too (in too many ways to even contemplate here). So as the dawn chorus begins here, I begin to ponder:
"mindfulness-yes, I must find out about where I can go and learn to be more mindful-the Buddhist centre I think-in the centre of town;oh,i need to organise my trial of make-up for the wedding too; I must buy my outfit for the hen-will D be ok with the girls that weekend? perhaps I'll get.."
Wait a minute...
Yes, I must be more mindful...