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Everything’s the Best: Trouble Sleeping

We’re into the final 24 hours before the Champions League Final between Liverpool and Spurs. A lot of us will be having trouble sleeping. It’s ok, AJ’s got some thoughts and tunes to help get you through.

Previews - UEFA Champions League Final
“Cot damn it, Dejan blinked. We have to take it again.” - Pep Lijnders, Team Photographer.
Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

The thing about being on the brink of something great is that it often drives me to turn over the possibilities incessantly. This usually leads to me tossing and turning in bed as I wait for the day to come. And in an instant I’m suddenly caught in a paradox where the clock both cannot move fast enough and also seems to whiz right by.

The nights before big trips, graduations, my wedding, and even the first days of school (I am the worst, I know) were notoriously difficult nights for me to get through. I recognize now that this likely due to me being a bit of an anxious sort - excited at the good things to come while also a bit worried over what has not yet come to pass. All of this leading to me playing through the potential events over and over while sleep slips through my open fingers.

I’ve felt like this all week. Counting the days down and thinking to myself, “Saturday cannot come fast enough.” Now here I am, a half day of work and one last sleep left on the agenda before the Champions League Final arrives and, with it, an end to all of my waiting.

There is relief in this moment, of course, knowing that we are so close. But there is still that tension that will not fully unwind itself until I see the lads of Liverpool Football Club walk out of the tunnel to face Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League Final. I won’t feel fully ready until I can gaze upon the steely face of Jurgen Klopp and know that the likes of Robert Firmino, Sadio Mane, and Mohamed Salah are ready to go.

That means at least one more slightly restless night might be on offer.

The past week has obviously had me very excited, but I’ve also not struggled as much with sleep as I normally would have. A lot of that is due to things at work getting a bit difficult of late - I am an immigrant rights advocate and we’ve experienced a bit of a mini crisis in my particular region, which means long hours and a slight tweak to my schedule which has me up at 5am three days out of the week. (All you parents of young children, please send me your prayers and good vibes.)

Falling asleep hasn’t been a problem, then, over the past week. But I’ve still struggled with lethargy because when I wake up - sometimes at 2am, sometimes 15 minutes before my alarm - my brain is 100% wired to go. Which would be great if it weren’t for the fact that the rest of me would like to stay wrapped in my cozy blankets for at least another week.

Which, I think, says my mind is still trying to work out all of the stuff happening around me. Sleep remains elusive and I suspect that as we inch closer to the calendar officially turning over to June 1st - a little under 13 hours for me here, on America’s west/best coast - I do not see that changing.

When I was younger, I learned to cope with an overactive brain by going to sleep with my Sony Walkman on (oh hey, I’m old!). Music holds a very special place in my life as one of the forms of art that has lifted me past difficult moments and accompanied me on my most favorite experiences. In a very real way, some of my favorite songs have acted like close friends throughout my life’s history; guides and confidants assuring me that I was not alone in feeling the way I did.

So, I’ve decided to piece together a few songs that might help me to sleep or, at the very least, would be fun to listen to as my brain involuntarily pushes me past any semblance of rest over the next few hours. Because whiling away the hours in what feels like an interminable wait for something amazing and great and exciting is always improved when you’ve got company. Because, in a small way, I know that these songs will assure me that I’m not alone as we wait these last few but long hours before our fight for glory.

Because if we all take a moment together to listen to these songs maybe, just maybe, we momentarily close the physical distance between each other as fans. And then, in that moment, we’ll be able to bear each other to end of our wait together. Up the Champions League Final-bound Reds.

*Those visiting on Google AMP or Apple News may have to re-navigate to the story via the front page in order to view the Spotify Playlist.

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