. . . unquiet mind. . .

11:44 AM

on a weeknight i get home from work around 10:30 pm, if it's a good night. and by "good" i mean that all the patients got to bed on time, the swing shift was relatively calm, and there wasn't much to write in shift report. all good things. i generally come home tired. my job requires you to be on your feet for the most part of 8 hours. it's a fun job and i love it. but it can be stressful. i love my life, but life is busy, and busy means tired.
i change into pj's and turn on my Mormon Tabernacle Choir Pandora station, before starting my evening routine of teeth brushing, face washing and room organizing. after lotioning my hands with my favorite "no-stress" lotion, i take a look at my planner, add to the next day's to-do list (because i love lists), and say my prayers.
by all normal measures, i should be calmed down, relaxed and ready to sleep by then.
sometimes i'll stay up a little bit to just lie in bed and watch Netflix, read, or scroll through Pinterest. i figure some "vegging" helps calm the mind and is relatively stress free.

but it seems that no matter how relaxed i am, how much my eye lids are drooping, and how much my body begs for sleep, when i turn off my lamp, pull my comforter up and get into a comfortable fetal position in my bed, my mind goes. and goes and goes and goes.

this is the unquiet mind.

and if you give the unquiet mind a cookie. . .
it doesn't matter if i have nothing to worry about, my mind will come up with something. i'll think about all the things i have on my list for the next day. this naturally leads to thinking about nursing school. and how i need to perfect my resume, write a master's degree level essay, and get in volunteer hours, so i can beat out the 300 other applicants come June. and speaking of volunteering.... how about that Alzheimer's Association you're supposedly volunteering for? you've got to call all those physicians. who know what i'm supposed to say to them, but i need to get info. what if i sound stupid? what if i botch the conversation? what if, what if, what if?
sometimes i'll almost be asleep and then my roommate will come home. for most people, this isn't a problem. but the unquiet mind hears every sound. even the quiet noises. so the movie version of what my roommate is up to, in the kitchen or hallway or bathroom, plays in my mind. i want it to shut off, i even pray that i can just sleep through the noise. i joke that i'm like Jason Bourne, because i'm such a light sleeper, but it's really not such a great thing.
or, if it's been a busy or stressful night at work, my brain will replay over and over everything that happened. did i say the right thing to that patient who was struggling? was i being too rigid with the rules when i enforced that rule? was a being too loose with rules when i just joked around with the girls? did i write everything in shift report? did i email everyone i needed to email? and on and on.
any tangent of thought that my brain can catch on to, it grabs and clutches in an iron fist. and the rambling begins.

the worst is when i have to get up early the next morning. i plan ahead of time so that i get to bed early and can get the maximum amount of sleep. but once my mind starts, it's hard to stop. and once i realize what's happening, i get anxious about losing sleep!!! basically my anxiety causes anxiety. "now i'll be so tired tomorrow." *glances at phone.* "crap, i have to get up in four hours.... i NEED to fall asleep now."
but i don't. and for what seems like hours, i toss and turn, waiting for my brain to become silent, empty. sometimes i fall into a restless sleep, but the mind keeps running at 100 miles per hour. and sometimes, blessedly, true sleep comes.

exhausting doesn't even begin to cover it. but that is just it.

this is the unquiet mind. 

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