Thursday, October 9, 2014

New Floor

As I'm sitting upstairs I can hear pounding, grinding, and sawing coming from below me. Honestly it's gotten so that I don't even notice the noise. I'm sitting upstairs writing, emailing, and more often checking Twitter. But below me are two men installing our new floor.

We've lived in our townhouse for over 9 years now. And during that time I've been talking about replacing the living room floor for about 6 of them. I think the carpet is original which would make it nearly 20 years old. And being off-white means that it looked bad from the beginning. So when we had to redo the floor in the kitchen a couple years ago, I knew it was time to start thinking about the living room.
The floor in the kitchen which will now be in the rest of the downstairs. 

We're getting the same laminate as we have in the kitchen and I really think it's going to open up the room. Even just moving the furniture and all the other stuff out has made the room seem huge. I never realized we had that much space. It just means that I'll need to get rid of things rather than bring them back down.

I haven't been down there to peek yet. I'm trying to give the guys as much as privacy as possible. After all they're the ones doing the work. But I'm pretty excited. Goodbye hideous carpet. Goodbye vacuuming downstairs. Yay new floor!

{Edit: 10 minutes after I posted this they called me to tell me that they had finished with the main work. Here's what the floor looks like. The room is huge. It echos. I love it!}

Friday, October 3, 2014

Insomnia, Again

My mother tells me that I was one of her best sleepers when I was a child. I slept heavily through the night for years, barely waking for anything. All the way through college, very little disturbed my slumber. Even the dorms weren't loud enough to wake me up. I would drop into bed around midnight and sleep straight through until morning.

Flash forward 15 years and I'm dealing with insomnia, again. Ever since I left college I've become a light sleeper. I wake at the tiniest noise. And often can't get back to sleep. Several years ago I went through a seven month period where I couldn't fall asleep. I was lucky if I got 4 to 5 hours a night. Now I can fall asleep, but I can't stay asleep. I'm waking up four or five times a night and struggle to get back to sleep each time. I stare at the ceiling or lay there listening to Jess sleep. I've started sleeping with earplugs in again but I think they're more of a problem right now than a solution.

The problem seems to be my anxiety. I've had social anxiety for most of my life but in the last decade it has started amplifying, leading to anxiety attacks and insomnia. It's confrontation that's the issue. My previous bout of insomnia stemmed from a neighbor who would have wild parties. The few times I went to tell him to keep it down didn't go well. Nothing physical or really all that mean, but it set me back. So I would lie awake on perfectly quiet nights waiting for the noise. This current bout is about a new neighbor. We share a wall and he's a true night owl. One night I woke at 4 a.m. to find him blasting music. Jess went over to ask him to turn it down and he did. He's been quiet and respectful every since. We've hardly heard a peep from him. But I can't seem to shake the anxiety. I lie awake listening for the music. And I can't sleep.

I'm writing this because I find that talking about my anxiety seems to make it less intense. I often journal about my anxiety attacks but I never really talk about them here. I know that I'm not alone with anxiety issues and certainly not alone in my fear of confrontation. It's right up there with fear of death and public speaking. Currently I avoid it at all costs. But I'm beginning to wonder if that is hurting me more than anything. Would I be less anxious if I felt that I was more in control? Would I still not be sleeping if I felt I could tell this kid what I thought? I know that it's all a matter of facing my fears, but that's hard to remember at 3 a.m., a time that's never been comfortable for this early bird. So I'll ask. Have you ever faced insomnia? What worked? What didn't?