We are all in here. Steve and I of course, 2 cats and 2 kids.

Leo has long smooth breaths, but everyone else seems to be in various states of respiratory unrest.

One cat simply snores. Steve tosses and turns, little moans with each move. He has injured his knee at hockey and despite the ice pack, elevation, and advil I can tell that it hurts him through his dreams.

Oliver seems to have a cold with a cough that came on tonight. Yesterday he was fine, but in his sleep he struggles to breathe, and this is probably why I am awake.

The kids have almost given up little beds, the pallettes they make on our floor, and when they ask for them I am surprised. We had an early evening with showers and lots of reading and they didn’t seem quite ready to split up a half an hour before bedtime. Steve was at hockey so I said sure.

Now I am a room full of noise.

I wake bit by bit, realizing that I am interpreting the tick of my watch as dripping pee. This is not calming. I try to focus on the sound of my own breath, and will myself not to check my watch. Once I have checked the time I know I am up for a while.

I feel the swirl of sleep coming, pulling me down and I am between both states. The awareness of sleep shoots me back to the surface and I am pretty sure it is going to be one of these nights.

I lie for a while being gentle with myself until I realize I am comparing enzyme treatments for pee odor removal in my head. I am thinking about Steve’s college reunion and wondering how much of an ass I will be if I opt out of a trip to Northern Michigan. I’m picturing the friend I will meet for lunch, her gorgeous smile and how much less I have seen of it as she passes through a tough time. These are not the worst thoughts. They are not the swirl of anxiety that meets me some nights. Nor are they the crushing weight of the inevitable failure of my future self. They are nicely medicated bite sized worries. In fact I am not even sure if they raise to the level of worry. They don’t have the emotion behind the that a worry does.

I wonder about other people, friends, and people not yet met who are up too. Are any of them thinking about issues beyond themselves. Are there people who are up at night contemplating global warming, wondering about how to rework our healthcare system, concerned about how fear is effecting our national mindset?

My midnight thoughts are so localized, so mundane. Where will I work tomorrow? Is it worth the time to build a twitter following for the new product? Is that new pee I smell or old pee? Did I charge my phone? How sick is Oliver, how hurt is Steve’s knee.

Now Leo is lightly snoring too. It is a sleep breathing symphony in here.

Its sort of beautiful. And if I were asleep I would be missing it.

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Anna Rosenblum Palmer is a freelance writer based in Denver, CO. She writes about sex, parenting, cat pee, bi-polar disorder and the NFL; all things inextricably intertwined with her mental health. In her free time she teaches her boys creative swear words, seeks the last missing puzzle piece and thinks deeply about how she is not exercising. Her writing can be found on Babble, Parent.co, Great Moments in Parenting, Ravishly, Good Men Project, Sammiches and Psych Meds, Playpen, Crazy Good Parent, and YourTango. She also does a fair amount of navel gazing on her own blog at annarosenblumpalmer.com.

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