Loving the Entrepreneur: Losing Sleep

Posted on
May 20, 2010

Rand has been in London for the last few days. Normally, I go with him, but given the current cost of tickets, and the fact that I’ve been to the U.K. twice in the last year, it seemed okay to sit this one out. Besides, it was  a relatively short trip, and this afternoon, he’s coming home. Which is a good thing, because, frankly, I’m exhausted.

I have an incredibly stupid, ridiculous confession. It’s the sort of revelation that would make a former friend of mine roll her eyes at me judgmentally (hence the former part of her title). Here it is: I can’t sleep when my husband is gone.

Hello from the wee hours of this morning.

Hello from the wee hours of this morning.

I suppose it’s not too bad – I’m sure that someone who’s truly sleep-deprived would kill for my sort of rest – I generally am in bed for a solid seven hours, but first two hours are spent staring at the ceiling, as is the last hour. I wake up roughly half a dozen times during the remaining four hours, repeatedly checking the time, and cheering myself if manage to doze off for more than 45 minutes. Those are successful nights.

One or two nights like this isn’t too terrible. But when he’s gone for four or five in a row, things start to add up. I get cranky. I get emotional. I want to cry, quite literally, over spilled milk. I forget what I’m doing and stare blankly at my computer screen.

I sing, quietly to myself, “I use to live alone before I knew you.

And presumably I used to sleep alone, too. And I was just fine. But I don’t really remember. It was nearly a decade ago. Maybe I never really slept – not really – until he came along. Maybe I just lay there, staring at the ceiling.

It’s morning now. I’m contemplating going back to sleep, but I know how pointless that would be. It’s funny, because even when he’s home, Rand and I do not go to bed at the same time. I’m usually completely out by the time he finally steps away from his computer. He’ll creep into the room at 2am, and I won’t stir. But I suppose it’s just that he’s there that makes the difference. And when he is home, I know it. I lie in bed. I listen to the sound of his keyboard. And I sleep – oh, how I sleep.

Babies don’t sleep this well.

It reminds me of when I was a kid, and my mom would be up late working on a paper for school. I’d hear the click of her electric typewriter (yes, I am old). Sometimes I’d get up to check on her, and she’d look at me and smile. The smile of a stressed person who is still happy to see you (I know this look well). I’d go back to bed, and fall asleep again, listening to the snap of the keys.

And every night that my husband is home, I fall asleep in that same manner. I suppose it doesn’t count as quality time together, but I’m comforted to know he’s in the same building. Or, failing that, the same continent. The further away he is from Seattle, the worse I sleep. And while the past few nights have been bad, they aren’t nearly as awful as the two and a half weeks he spent in China without me (I still have some serious resentment over that trip).

It’s not that I don’t love the time alone, either. Rand is usually incredibly busy, so whatever free time he has, I want to spend with him, to the neglect of my own projects. And because his free time is so sporadic – problems develop, web pages break, emails filter in without warning – that it’s hard to plan things around it. I say this not out of resentment – it’s my own decision how I want to spend my time, and he’s the best choice. That’s the simple reality of how I operate. When Rand’s not around, other things finally get their due. The dress that desperately needs hemming gets measured and cut. My cousin’s birthday present is completed. Breads are baked. Pizzas are made. Laundry is folded. Articles are written.

But naps are not taken. And sleep is not had.

If this sounds overly sentimental, I apologize. It’s the lack of sleep, clearly. But this afternoon, he’s coming home. And when I see him, I will wrap my arms around his neck and beg him, implore him –

“Type for me. So I may sleep.”

Leave a Comment

  • Aw, that’s very sweet. 🙂 My husband will be back in…August? We hope? I know how you feel; I haven’t slept since April.

  • Everywhereist

    Deanna – you have me beat hands out. Seriously? August? Is Tom in the military?

  • I can’t sleep when Jason’s away on business trips either.

  • My kid woke up in the middle of the night last night for the first time in about a year. Stupid Rand.

  • I sleep okay without my husband, but his dog doesn’t.

  • Pingback: The Everywhereist » Blog Archive » The Week in Travel: March 21, 2010()

  • Lol you sound like my wife Vie. I make it my business not to leave her too often! 🙂

  • Confession: Ian and I sleep with our Skype sessions up and running all night so that we can “sleep” together. If he was far enough away to make this completely impossible, I would die. 🙁

    We are such sissies, and that is a-ok.

  • Everywhereist

    Hooray for being sissies!

  • Hey, I met up with Rand while he was in London that week and it was clear he was looking forward to getting back home. (I can’t decide who’s soppier you or him hehe!)

  • everywhereist, how about next time Rand is on a trip in London for a search event, you join him but suggest to complement that trip with a trip to GayParis?
    these are the arguments you can provide:
    – Paris city centre is only 2h.20mins away from London city centre
    – I am giving advanced notice
    – you dont live to work, you work to live
    – Paris is beautiful
    – even Matt Cutts has been to Paris just recently

    As a suggestion, you and Rand could stay gratis in my Paris apartment in exchange for a review on your blog. Please click above and feel free to check pics & reviews of my two apartments in case any takes your fancy. 😉

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