Sleepless in Taos

I should know the drill by now. After all, I’m two months to the day away from my Big-7-0 birthday. I should know the road is long, winding, bumpy, steep (and so on, and so on) because I’ve been hiking it for so long. Nevertheless, I was hoping, around the time of New Year resolution-writing this year, that the road ahead would be clearer. My hopes seemed so simple and straightforward: Retire to Mexico. Live happily-ever-after.


Well, reality has struck, as it will. The road ahead is socked in with fog, I see, and it’s keeping me awake at night. I lie awake in the dark and try desperately to make out some images: Is that a fork in the road? Is that a bridge on the sunnier side? Oh, it’s a toll bridge! But I don’t have enough money in my purse to pay the toll! What to do?

One sleepless night recently, feeling all alone, overwhelmed and at a loss, I actually wished I had a big, strong, smart, decisive, loving, and supportive husband in bed beside me who would wrap me in his big arms and soothe me with sweet words, like: “There, there, my Love; it’ll be all right. I’ll take care of everything. I’ll always take care of you.”

And then I came to my senses. This fantasy is so far removed from my reality (and always has been) that it’s almost laughable. I should be used to my solo journey by now too. Silly me.

Then I came up with what I believe is an ingenious game. My game (yes, it’s mine; I didn’t read about it anywhere) does two things at once as you’re lying in bed in the middle of the night, wide awake and worrying too much: It forces you to do relaxing deep-breathing exercises AND it takes your mind off your worries. The game goes like this:

Lying on your back, place your hands flat against your abdomen. Then, think of words that begin with the letters “in-.” Allow these words to pop into your head willy-nilly. As you think of each one, breathe IN on the “in-“ syllable, then breathe OUT on the remainder of the word. For example: “In-[inhale]credible[exhale]…In-[inhale] appropriate[exhale]…In-[inhale]spire[exhale]…In-[inhale]vest[exhale]…In-[inhale]struct[exhale]… And so on. With every deep inhale, you should feel your hands rise; with each exhale, they lower. By the time you’ve thought of about a dozen “in-” words and taken as many deep breaths, you’ll be sound asleep!

Well, most of the time. There have been a couple of times lately when my mind wasn’t in the mood for games. Instead, I found myself praying for a telegram from God. Nothing elaborate, just a short note telling me what to do and which way to turn. Is that asking too much from the Great Creator? In the middle of a sleepless night anything seems possible.

My beloved bed
My beloved bed

During one such dark night, at about 3 am, I felt led to turn on the light, turn on my computer, and turn to Facebook (for companionship? for guidance? for diversion?). Lo and behold, as I scrolled through the disparate posts, I came across what I read as the telegram I was hoping for. It was a quote from Gabriel Garcia Marquez:

“It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old; they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams.”

Why, yes, I thought! Crossing that toll bridge to the sunnier (happily-ever-after-south-of-the-border) side certainly is a dream. But if it’s meant to be, I’ll find a way. Somehow I’ll scrape up enough to pay the toll.

My God – who is NOT, by the way, a big-old-white-guy-in-the-sky – came through for me. My God also has a sense of humor and (who would have guessed?) resorts to Facebook as well. I went back to bed and slept soundly.


6 thoughts on “Sleepless in Taos”

  1. La Bonnie, this is lovely! Yes, God has a sense of humor. And you will find the road to perfect happiness…which may be in Mexico or right here in Taos, quien sabe? Muchos hugs and see you in while…

  2. Perfect quote to find on such a night. And what a perfect game for insomnia. In the time it takes to inhale on the prefix and exhale on the rest of the word, you have to calm your mind and exclude the magpie chatter. It’ll be put to good use in my beloved bed. Thanks!

  3. Nice words here, Bonnie…how they ring true. What is life and our considered changes without those nagging doubts that rob us of sleep. You will work it all out with good results, I am sure.


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