Tuesday, 10 February 2015

A Weird, Restless Night

Last night was a bad one, one of the worst in a long time. It started with my inability to sleep, something which happens often enough. While lying there in bed, wishing for sleep to come, I began to think about my decision of purchase a new stove yesterday. I struggle with spending that kind of money on something for which I already have what might seem to be a workable solution.

The problem, of course, is that my current stove is rapidly becoming a health hazard for me, a danger when I cook, something I hope to do for some time to come. Reaching across the stove to twist a knob, especially as my arms weaken, is fraught with the risk of burning myself or scalding myself. I have plenty of self-justification for this new stove, let alone the amount of encouragement and support from those around me on this one.

Yet there I lay, castigating myself for spending on something when I already have something that works. As I pushed myself up into anxiety, I began to beat myself up on all of my financial decisions, winding myself in to a complete panic of self-condemnation, twisting the small into the gigantic as I went along. I told myself I was stupid to get into a position where I owed so much on my Visa, stupid to buy things I didn't really need. My mind demanded to know how I was going to solve this problem, how I was going to fix this. Oddly enough, I did not once condemn myself for my decision to go into debt in order to travel.

I managed to calm myself down after a while, reminding myself that the $20,000 I owe to Visa is a fraction of what others owe, reminding myself of what Winston Churchill once famously said, that "if you owe the bank 10 pounds and cannot pay, you have a problem. If you owe the bank 10 million pounds and cannot pay, the bank has a problem." In my unique situation, the level of my Visa bill is only a problem if I feel compelled to pay it back. These days I am doing just that, but there will come a time when I will not be able to pay. Then it will be someone else's problem, not mine. As my accountant said when we talked about finances last year, "What? Are you worried about your credit rating?" Given the myriad of other issues I face, debt should be my least concern. Not burning myself on the stove seems a bit more important to me.

Once I finally found slumber, my sleep was filled with dreams bordering on nightmares. In one, I was with a child, my child, in some sort of underground subway and boat terminal. Somehow, in one area under construction, my child's hands were cut off and fell in the mud. I took my child and his hands into the washroom, washing his arms and then, separately, his hands, after which I took him for medical care. Afterwards he was playing, both hands working just fine.

Another set of dreams involved housing, a common theme in my sleep life. One dream had me living with my ex-wife and her family in a tiny house, crowded to the hilt with people and junk, all the while sitting next to a gigantic, empty barn. I was, throughout that dream, subjected to insults and humiliations from my in-laws. The next part included a massive apartment in a hotel complex, complete luxury and an amazing view of mountains and sea. The next was a simple bed in a field around which my grandchildren played, that field, however, being right beside the tiny house infested with my in-laws. And these dreams were the first where I needed a cane and wheelchair.

It was a weird night. It was a restless night. It was the kind of night I hope not to repeat any time soon.

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