"In the wee small hours of the morning, while the whole wide world is fast asleep, you lie awake and think about...." Well, just about anything really.
It's 4.55. I know this because the beside clock projects the time in red numbers on to the ceiling above my head. My eyesight's not fantastic so I have to squint a bit to make the shapes discernible but there was no mistake. Not yet 5.00 ' clock.
Now I'm an early bird as a general rule. I go to sleep at 10.30 every night and so I'm generally awake and ready to face the day by 6.15. And that's fine. It suits me. But even I draw the line at getting up before 5 so I decided to close my eyes and go back to sleep.
Nothing doing. Ten minutes later I peer at the red blur and realise that I haven't, as I'd hoped, dropped back to sleep and that I am now properly awake. This gives me three options.
1. Read my book utilizing small torch which nestles in my bedside cabinet precisely for occasions such as this. But I don't really fancy that.
2. Get up and go and do something useful. This involves sneaking like a thief past my son's bedroom door and the chances of my getting to the stairs without him hearing me and bouncing out of bed are almost nil.
3. Lie there.
I plump for option three and spin subjects round my brain whilst I choose how to use this unexpected time. I start with my book and how I am going to get to where I need to be without contorting my characters. But that makes me want to get to my laptop so I settle for blog topics instead. A few random ideas float round my head but nothing that grabs me. I move on. Eldest daughter's birthday next week. Need to confirm her present with her and order it. Party invites are not yet out. I shudder as I think of the gargantuan sleepover she has planned.
I change direction quickly although my heart is pumping a little faster. I skip through the diary entries for the rest of the week and suddenly think of something that I had almost forgotten. The adrenalin makes my skin tingle and then feel slightly clammy.
What else? I need to make my Christmas Cake and get it coated. It has to be ready for class next week. When will that fit in? Those pumpkins are going to go bad if I don't roast them and do something with them today. The wind will have brought all the apples down. I must bag them up and offer them around.
Faraday on my course next. It's quite a long chapter. That's OK. I like my course. Need to make time for my blog though and my book. I squint at the ceiling. 5.35. Only seven weeks to Christmas.
Oops. I really didn't mean to let myself go there but there I went and now I am in full blown panic and I have to get up. I can't just lie here when there's Christmas to organise. I don't know what I thought I was going to achieve at that time but the rising fear means that I can no longer stay still. I creep along the landing and head downstairs taking small son, who calls out as I pass his door, with me.
It's ridiculous. I know it is but somehow in the wee small hours of the morning everything suddenly looks insurmountable. I will get through it all. You always do somehow don't you? No need to fret. What's the worse that can happen? Why didn't I think of that at 4.55?