As of August 15, 2018, I am:

Frustrated by: insomnia. While I’m not suffering nightly inability to sleep (which, technically, is what insomnia really is–not the occasional issues I have), there are plenty of times like now, in which I wake up at four in the morning and my brain immediately kicks into gear. I am my worst self at four in the morning–or two, or three, or whenever my big glob between the ears decides to wake me up and involuntarily think about all of life’s inane details. I worry, I get angry, I miraculously remember everything I need to do or forgot to do. In short, I stress myself out. I have tried a number of remedies–getting a glass of water, writing down everything that’s on my mind, changing the music on the radio, mindfulness exercises, breathing exercises. Typically it takes me two hours to go back to sleep. Since I woke up this morning at four, and since I was still wide awake at five-thirty, I figured I’d just make a cup of coffee and come downstairs and write.

Grateful for: this summer with our kids. It’s been so good. And I should point out that I haven’t dealt with sleeping issues as outlined above much at all this summer. It’s been too relaxing. We took two trips this summer–one to visit my family in New Jersey, the other to the beach–and in between Kel has made her infamous Camp Hogan field trips the whole season long. But it’s also been a summer of accomplishment. None of these things independently are mind boggling, but Julia is reading chapter books on her own (in her own bed, with her own little lamp), Thomas is doing basic math, and Annie is stringing together words into sentences. Yes, yes, they’re doing what kids do–they’re getting older and growing up. It’s just been so nice this summer to slow down and see that, and measure it, and sit back in wonder. Last Friday night, before it rained, Kelly and I sat on the deck–it was mild that evening–with some music and a glass of wine and just chatted. Meanwhile, inside, the kiddos were occupied. We can start to do that now. It’s amazing.

Stressed the hell out by: what’s about to happen. It’s no surprise that I have sleep difficulties here and there, given how busy I’ve made my life. Between family, volunteer commitments, and a full-time job that I’m still trying to figure out how to do, I’ve somehow managed to add in going to grad school. The orientation is this Saturday. Part of me is proud to be doing this; part of me is panicking about being over committed and under-prepared. It’s the fear of the unknown.

Held up by: good time with Kelly. Last night she dropped the kids off with her parents and met me downtown. We had dinner, then walked over to the wine bar/store, and because it’s Statesville, of course we knew most of the people who had stopped by for a drink. We know the owners. We had a couple drinks and relaxed and had a great time. And it was great. I feel like this part of my life (filling up the adulting/grown-up/social bucket) is in good shape. Kelly and I have had several chances this summer to do things together. And I love it.

Needing: more control of active time/diet. I’ve indulged a lot in the last four or five months, and I’ve let my exercise regimen slip. And regarding stress and waking up in the middle of the night, I’m guessing I’d be doing myself a favor by wearing myself out with exercise. I sit on my rumpus all day long doing work. Time to hop on a bike or machine. Or anything. Before I give myself a heart attack.

Listening to: my wife talking on a podcast. You can listen to it here. I totally neglect to praise the hilarious fame she’s developed as a champion zero-carb dieter. She tells a good story, and she coaches and encourages people, and somehow she does all of this while still taking care of our entire family. And now she gets regular inquiries to talk on podcasts and give statements to journalists and etc. etc. etc. It’s a little bit nuts, and I don’t often mention it. Fame, especially in the digital age, is more than a little scary, but she does a really good job of managing. I’m really proud of her.