Stop the world, I want to get on

stop world 2I don’t know about you, but my night-time world can get a bit crazy sometimes. Or maybe it’s more that crazy can seem perfectly normal when I am lying there, neither awake nor asleep.

Am I the only one who feels at times that I only put my world back together after I wake up? Not everything slots back perfectly into place, but it all fits, kind of.

It’s like waking up is a kind of muzzy rearranging of the cosmic furniture, only I am often left with the uncanny feeling that everything isn’t exactly the way it was. It might explain why we end up with so many odd socks in our house.

Before that, as I flit in and out of sleep, random thoughts and worries get mixed in with past events and current neighbours and present day people wander around in places from my past. The usual stuff of dreams, of course.

And then it can get really strange.

Just last night, it must have been around 4am I found myself awake and unable to get back to sleep. Trouble was I actually believed I had lost the ability to sleep and that I had left time and space as we know it behind.

That’s right, just like that, I was as convinced then that the tyres had slipped off the wheels of time, as I am certain now that time is an arrow flying in one direction, as represented by the clock on my phone which read 9.15 when I looked just now. And it will read 9.16 in one minute. Sorted.

But what strikes me the most now about last night’s post-time wanderings was the panic and distress I felt because I was going to miss out on all that was going to happen in my kids’ lives.

I was done, I’d had my shot, as it were, and this was where I was getting off the world. My stop. But my wife and kids were still on board. Let me on!

I was horrified and saddened beyond words at the prospect of missing out on my kids growing up. They are only 12 and 14, for God’s sake!

Just the other day, O was playing for his new soccer club in Dublin’s top league in his age group. It’s an exciting adventure, and you can see how much it means to the kids and to all the parents. We were more nervous even than the kids before the match, and trying not to show it to them or each other.

There’s more people looking on, the whole thing is more organised. It’s a buzz.

The boys lost their opening match last week. Gave a really good account of themselves but went down 2-0 — even if the first goal was hugely controversial.

All the kids were convinced the ball had gone over the endline for a goal-kick, and one of their players kicked it in temper against the near goal-post, from where it rebounded out and one of their players kicked it to the unguarded net. And the ref allowed it!

One of those unfit, barely move beyond the middle circle officlals, who nonetheless can say for certain the ball was not over the line. Even with all of our team and coaches letting him know otherwise. And the other team celebrating sheepishly.

This week, the match kicked off 20 minutes late. I was working so now I could only catch the first half. It was 0-0 when I left.

My wife was now my reporter on the spot and I was glued to my phone on the way in on the bus to town. Funny talking of time as an arrow, my incoming text signifier is the sound of an arrow quivering as it hits a target.

Thwang! One nil to our boys. A penalty. Twenty minutes to go. Ten minutes later: thwang! Two-nil. And so it remained.

I was not there and could not influence anything. I just waited for news. Not that I could have swayed anything when I was at the match either, but I felt less helpless. And I could cheer and exhort the team and our O.

I know, all very adult. But I hated not being there. And lying in bed in that semi-deranged state of mind last night, I felt even more helpless.

I was going to miss out on very match that would ever be.

Of course it all passed. I knew I had been asleep when the dull thud of an incoming tweet on my phone beside the bed woke me briefly, and then I awoke fully to the real tweets of the morning birdsong outside our window.

Hello world, I’m back!

You can interpret my night time ramblings any way you want: as the ravings of a tired mind, or as lucid pointers towards living a more fulfilled life.

Which struck me forcibly when my wife looked up from where she was reading the latest post from a teacher in our kids’ old primary school who has undertaken a fantastic mission.

On his retirement last year, Dermot Higgins set out to become the oldest man to cycle around the world, no less.

And today, my wife told me now, Dermot, of Go Go Dermo fame, as he has christened his expedition, informed his readers he was dedicating the day’s cycle near Los Angeles to a boy who used to be in O’s class in his first few years of primary school.

This boy, Dermot told us, is undergoing chemotherapy. We don’t know what illness he has, but the news really did go thwang! in my heart, and in O’s when we told him.

I am sure this young boy wants to stay on board this world as long as he can. As his parents, brother and sister, friends … everyone … will want him to.

As I do. Want to stay on. So much to see and do.

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31 thoughts on “Stop the world, I want to get on

  1. Ahh this was a nice post. As somebody who has incredibly vivid dreams, I empathise with that weird feeling of experiencing something that never actually happened. Can throw your whole day into perspective!

    Here’s hoping that kid pulls through. Good on that teacher for doing such a great thing when he could just as easily have put his feet up.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My weird moments are when I try to work out whether I’ve been asleep and dreaming, or whether I was just thinking about real life. Given some of the things that happen in my semi-conscious I sometimes think I don’t want to know the answer!

    Glad that O’s team won – takes me back to when one of us was texting tennis match progress 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I can relate too, I’m often awake around 3 or 4 in the morning and my mind seems to go into overdrive, all the thoughts and cares of the previous day mushroom out of control. I’ve learnt to tell my head to stop sprouting so much nonsense, I’d rather be sleeping thank you very much! Sometimes it listens. It’s true that we dream about what our concerns are in a garbled sort of way, the good thing about your dream is it will spur you on to enjoying the time with the kids while you can. As you son’s poor little friend knows, our time together is not a guarantee. My heart goes out to him and his parents.xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, the mental mind as a friend’s old golf coach used to refer to, can do the funniest things, especially in the wee small hours. But our thoughts, as you say, do refer to our deepest concerns and maybe focus our attention ion things that aren’t being addressed. So not all is lost! Yeah, that poor kid … you never know. Thanks LIbby.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I spoke Hungarian in a dream last week. I woke up impressed. Then, the next night, I dreamed that someone told me that my blog jumped around too much – that I should stick to one theme. I woke up distressed. Both feelings lasted seconds, overwhelmed as they were by a feeling of gratitude that I’d woken up at all.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh I hate this feeling so much! That weird mix between being a third awake, a third asleep and a third dreaming…real life muddled up with worries and anxieties. As you say, I’m glad to wake up and have a few things feel a bit more normal again!! Hope you have a more settled sleep tonight!! Thank you for linking this up to #DreamTeam!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I used to have a reassuring dream that someone had entered my room and I could hear them but I tried to stay still so maybe they wouldn’t know I was there, then i would wake up and be relived it was a dream yet i was frozen, i couldn’t move, I was awake but couldn’t move and someone was there, but suddenly I would really wake up and all was normal. It had felt so real when I believed I had woken the first time. I dream so many wild dreams, and usually remember most details, some days I feel weird, like when I dream someone has died and I wake up crying, then even though I know it was a dream I feel sad for a while feeling like it was real somehow. Fascinating post . Thank you for sharing this post with #mg

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah I’ve been dreaming all my life and can still be amazed by those moments on the threshold when the most logically bizarre things seem utterly real and so-called reality seems false, or things are out of sync somehow. And yet thinking about it all can bring great insight. clarity and generally deepens my living experience. Thanks for commenting


    • I suppose they can be seen as morbid if we want to see them like that. We’re thinking about core things that everyone maybe should consider. Otherwise they’ll keep nagging away at us we try to evade or avoid. Thanks for commenting


  7. It’s so strange how our brains work at night and, as you say, we become completely entrenched in that world and believe it 100% even though there is nothing rational about it at all.

    I think it’s a good thing to get an insight into our own mortality every so often – it certainly gives clarity to life and a better perspective. #blogcrush

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I used to have very vivid dreams too, as well as night terrors and sleep paralysis. I rarely remember them now. I try to switch off as much as possible before bed, plus as my son is two I’m in a permanent state of exhaustion and switch off all non essential functions for much of the evening. I desperately try to be present and not distracted – like you I feel time is so precious and time moving so quickly I just want to soak it all up!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gosh, they are exhausting at that age — mind you they find a way at any age to wear you out!!! I often think dreams are just a way of letting us work through stuff, or at least letting it out. Thanks for commenting


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