On heavy thoughts, cleaning and not sleeping

piece using silks

Again … I can’t sleep. My mind is heavy with unwanted thoughts. For some reason it seems I can’t escape them. And it bothers me.

I want to be strong. I want them to leave me alone. But today, for some reason, thoughts are swirling in my mind. 

Why? Why tonight of all nights when it was a good day? I got up early, happy to be walking into my studio and look at my design wall where I had pieces in progress. So I sat at the machine and I pieced together the strips that make the piece inspired by the collage I posted a few days ago. Red and yellow with a strip of black and white.

red collage with black and white strip

Later in the morning, I was looking at my design wall at the work I did with silk – the one with the golden house, and saw all the leftovers strips and had an idea. Yup, I took a turn – again – and set out to develop this new idea and made a small piece using all the silks. I was channeling my inner Mondrian.

piece using silks

And then I cooked: I made an eggplant and tomato antipasto, cooked some chicken thighs with orange juice and soy sauce, made chimichurri, and also chocolate mousse. 

Then, I vacuumed and cleaned the floors, and then sat on the couch and sewed a sleeve to the back of one of the quilts that I just finished.  All that after putting away all the sketchbooks, magazines and papers that were on the coffee table. I am having company tonight, and although it’s my kids, I thought I should make an effort and tidy up. One drawback of doing that, for me, is that while everything is tidy, it’s “put away”, which means out of sight – and as they say, “out of mind”. I don’t see it, then I don’t think of making any more collages, or working with my images. So guess what? After everyone is done, out it will all come again. Decision made!

So you see? There’s no reason for me not to sleep. No reason for my thoughts not to be happy because I had a good day. But despite it all, here I am. In bed, tossing and turning, trying to sleep.

What to do? What to do? Tonight, I don’t feel like getting up on doing anything, so I’m here in bed, putting my thoughts down on paper. Well, in truth, I’m actually dictating on my phone. That way, I don’t have to look for my glasses. hahaha

I made a decision then and there – I’d banish bad thoughts – or at least make an effort, by thinking about the pieces of work in progress that are percolating on my design wall. They’ve been sitting there for a while and I am not sure how to develop them further. So I thought about it a bit more. And I think I may have a plan. I will cut a tree stencil – it’ll have to be a large one, but I think I can do it. And then I will make another one of a lovely chair. I’ve used this one before, but will make it larger. And then, and then, and then … I don’t remember any more … I think I finally fell asleep, cocooned in darkness and good thoughts of work to come.

Last night I conquered! I managed to finally banish bad thoughts and dream of good things: work to do, stencils to cut, paint to prepare … and in doing so, my mind at ease, I fell asleep. Lesson learned which I hope to remember next time my not-so-happy thoughts invade my mind and rob me of my peace of mind.

It’s a new day, the sun is shining, the kids are coming for dinner. My grandchild will be home soon. No reason to fret. What’s past is best left there: in the past, where it belongs, where it doesn’t deserve any more of my time or energy. Today, I’m renewed.

Thanks for reading my ramblings today. Until I write again, have a wonderful week, full of happy thoughts, great moments, some sun, and creative ideas to develop.


PS: A reminder that I am teaching at the Saskatchewan Stitches Conference from May 30th to June 6th. If you are in the area, come and visit!

Saskatchewan Stitches Conference May 30 - June 6

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  1. Sorry to hear you are having trouble sleeping. Sometimes I have the same issue. Meditation works for me. Netflix offers a program on Meditation. Might be worth taking a look.

  2. Good morning Ana~~~
    Sounds like your Inner-Critic Committee had an impromptu meeting with you during the night.
    I abhor those times when a Committee meeting is called without sending me a memo to that regard…….it just happens, out of the blue. And a meeting is called to order and judgement/s are being passed around and if I don’t advocate for myself, then it’s not a pretty sight.
    So glad to hear that you managed to rise above it all and come to a pleasing answer to your awakeness.
    I read several books at a time and they’re located in different places in my home. My bedside book right now is Jane Dunnewold’s Creative Strength Training……….and I just finished the chapter that you went though last night in your life. I’ve been through it many times before, and I don’t anticipate that my last one was my last one. But I’m seeing that the more rodeos that I go through like this, the more likely I am to either stay on the horse and ride it through, or be able to get back up on it if/when I get thrown off of it…………the horse being the Inner-Critic Committee meeting.
    KUDOS to you for managing through yet another hump in your life.
    Enjoy your family time tonight.
    Blessings to you~~~
    Alice Moline
    Chesterfield, NH

    1. Thanks so much. I love your idea of the Critic Committee. How true! I do have Jane Dunnewold’s book so I’m going to look for it and read it again.

  3. I have these same sleepless nights for no reason! Sometimes I’m worrying about something, other nights I’m not and still can’t sleep. It’s age, I think. When I was younger and older people complained about not being able to sleep, I couldn’t understand why someone who was retired would have problems sleeping. They shouldn’t have anything keeping them up at night! They don’t have to go to work! But now I get it. But don’t understand it!

    1. haha. Your comment reminded me of my mother who could not sleep. She would go to bed around 2:00 a.m. and be awake and up by 5:30 a.m. Then she would have a nap in the afternoon. I could not understand how she did it. Now I do. I do guess it comes with age :(

  4. I feel your pain. In fact I could almost have written that this morning! I did get up and ended up doing major pruning on 2 crape myrtles and taking the chainsaw to my 3 nandinas. That was fun but then it’s clean up the mess time. Hard to keep those negative thoughts at bay at 3:30am. They just keep circling back around. Best of luck on squashing yours. I’ll think about you during my next sleepless night!

    1. Hi Anita. Your comment made me smile. I would have never thought of getting up to prune some bushes! LOL. But whatever works, right? Thanks for writing

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