That’s right. One of my neighbors kept me up last night.
Around 2:30 a.m., I woke up. I wasn’t sure what had caused me to wake up. I’ve been attempting to go to bed at progressively earlier times, in a bid to bring a more stable routine to my life. So, I figured I must have just woken myself up. I quickly realized I was not just awake, but wide awake. Instead of jumping on my phone, a terrible habit I am also trying to break while in bed, I got up and got a glass of water, did a few routine things that might make me tired again, and went and lied down.
3 a.m. The noise started. Laughing, yelling, talking way louder than necessary, sliding patio doors slamming. Under the blankets, I started to seethe. I thought to go outside, but reminded myself that they might have just gotten home and would probably shut up soon. Instead, I went and took some Melatonin. Force myself back to sleep, hopefully.
3:30 a.m. They’re still having a blast outside. I’m burrowed in the covers, half my face exposed, eyes wide open, and now my pillow feels like it’s lumpiness is intentionally trying to give me a headache. I turn on a rain sound app I have on my phone to try and drown out the noise. It works.
4 a.m. The rain is on, but so am I. I’m already deep in “obsession mode”. So, now any sound I hear over the rain sound opens my eyes wide again. I’m starting to worry that my restlessness will wake up my girlfriend. She has been sleeping soundly through all of this mind you, hence my “obsession mode” designation for myself. I decide I’ll grab my book about healing trauma, and go read in the office. It’s the middle of the night, it seems like a fitting topic.
In reality, “The Body Keeps The Score” is a compelling read, and I’m getting through it faster than I thought I would. As I’m walking through the living room, I hear them laughing and talking way too loudly for this time of night. It hits me. I’m an adult, I need to sleep, I’m just going to be neighborly about it and go outside and talk to them. I walk outside and say softly, “Hey Guys…” They respond with some muffled acknowledgement in an embarrassed soft whisper, as if they need to be quiet now. I say, “it’s… uh… like 4 a.m.” They say, still whispering back, “oh okay, we’ll be quiet. Sorry.”
Okay, so I didn’t say shut up. But a rule is made as a lesson from life right? So next time, I will say it. I didn’t want to have to apologize for overreacting though. I’m sure at one point in life, everyone goes through this. With neighbors, roommates, friends, and family. I know that I’ve been on the receiving end of this message before.
The reason I’m writing the rule is to remember to give myself permission to be the guy who asks for quiet in the middle of the night, or the beginning of the morning, depending on how you spend your days.