I know what insomnia is. Insomnia is a tormented state. I suffered from it in my somewhat distant past (for a few years it coexisted with fatigue) and I wouldn't dream of trading my "somnia" for it. For several years, instead of being unable to sleep, there have been times when I am unable to resist it. My eyes refuse to focus, I feel slightly dizzy, and as soon as I lie down I drift away. Sometimes I have wonderful dreams that follow me into wakefulness, but more often there is just the sweet unconsciousness of chronic pain, of speculations about the future, of important work not being done.
There's nothing unpleasant about sleeping, except for the vague sense of guilt I've felt waking up and realising that there are so many things I "should" have been doing — and here I've spent a couple of hours not even thinking about them. A friend says, "We've been trained to be productive." Although I've seldom met the accepted criteria for Capitalist "productivity" (because it has never been my goal), until fairly recently I've still experienced the guilt associated with the lack of it. Liberating myself feels like a huge achievement.
My complete acceptance of the need to sleep has come with the full realisation that I have been officially retired for four years already, and no one's expecting me to be productive anymore. Paradoxically, guilt-free sleeping at odd times during the day seems to enhance my ability to focus during my waking hours. Frequently, those mysterious channels from the unconscious to the conscious mind are unblocked and ideas transform themselves smoothly into words on the virtual page. This I attribute to sleeping as needed, without guilt.
The second achievement is that I've tamed the Facebook monster. It's been a good source of links to news, analysis and documentary videos, and this has been its main attraction for me. However, it does less well as a forum for discussion. Most of my Facebook friends are intelligent people whose observations and opinions are worth engaging with. Unfortunately, we all have some stupid Facebook friends (or disinformation agents) who are capable of derailing a good discussion.
Lately, I've become less reliant on Facebook friends to provide me with information. I've bookmarked websites that seem to be reliable sources of information. I've been signing up for email notifications from some of them so I don't have to check each individual website to see if there is anything new. I'm putting time limits on my connection to the swarm intelligence of the Internet. It should not take up most of my waking hours.
Recent bouts of focused writing, interspersed with guilt-free naps, leave not much time for Facebook, but I won't be deactivating my account just yet. I'll drop by now and then; see who has a birthday coming up; take a look at the news feed; maybe "like" or comment on something; maybe post something uncontroversial on a distant relative's wall. Taming the Facebook monster just means that I wouldn't miss it if it disappeared.
2015 is off to a good start for me. I know it will be interesting. I hope it will bring good changes for all of us.