I have never been one to sleep long hours. Even as a child I would wake up at 3 am and play with my dolls in the hallway much to the chagrin of my single mother. She was trying to raise 4 children on her own in the 60’s. She never had enough sleep and so always seemed to be on edge. And of course the last thing she needed was an over active child. So with that said I always felt anxious that I never got enough sleep.
I just finished a webinar about how to get the sleep I am suppose to need especially in dealing with stress. There are numerous studies about how lack of sleep can wreak havoc on your well being and your health especially as you get older. I have read many articles about this subject and they all seem to say the same thing. They suggest not looking at anything electronic at least an hour before sleep which includes my Ipad which seems to speak to me as soon as I slip into bed. I listen to meditation from different programs that are all on the internet which helps to lull me to sleep. So much for that suggestion.
I did find a practice called Nidra Yoga —known as yogic sleep—which is a meditation and conscious relaxation practice that is intended to induce total physical, mental, and emotional relaxation. It is time right before you slip into sleep. It can be done anytime but it seems to help me quiet my monkey mind better than anything else I have tried.
I will say that I drink too much coffee and like red wine. Guess that’s not exactly the best way to prepare for sleep and don’t want to use the pandemic, life or a torn meniscus in my knee as an excuse. I mean what is life for but to have a few luxuries (and I think coffee and good red wine are luxuries because you are always made to feel guilty for enjoying them). The oldest woman on record just passed (she was 116) and said she ate bacon, red meat and drank coffee. So I think a little bit of red wine is not going to shorten my life. I am most certainly not liquor ridden every night so I guess I’m safe.
But back to sleep. I will say that not having to get up at the crack of dawn to go to work or end my week at 6am on Saturday morning after starting at 5AM the Monday before helps me feel more refreshed. Don’t think anyone can feel more refreshed after a schedule like that for 6 months. Except if they drink lots of coffee. hmmm… and so it goes.
Can’t wait to watch the opening of Saturday Night Live on my Ipad in bed with a glass of wine this Saturday. Oh wait got to work the next day. Damn! No wait…Coffee!
On this Easter Sunday I feel moved to express what I think a lot of people are feeling now. With all that has happened in the past year I feel we are trying to return to a life we might have found normal.
But now what I know as normal is much different. I have had disappointments recently in my life like everyone but now I have a different outlook about it all. I am enormously grateful for having my health and knowing my loved ones are also healthy. I know that whatever happens in the future I will rise up and meet the challenge.
For awhile I felt unsure as to where I wanted to go and would make choices that weren’t in my best interest. For whatever the reason but especially financial. I did things that were not good for me for the money. The fear of not having enough has been a large factor in my life and choices were made because of that fear.
But in having the time off during the pandemic to really re-evaluate and focus on what I needed I had the fear I would be considered selfish or uncaring. But in hindsight I realize that you can’t take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself first. Now in my life I have options. I am able to walk away. Is it all easy? No it’s not. Let’s be realistic. We have to take care of ourselves. That’s life.
I was recently in Peachtree City, Georgia. Spring had arrived and the trees and flowers were coming alive. The highlights of the day were the sightings of deer in the back yard and the sun setting over the many lakes. Breathtaking. I felt so lucky to be alive to experience the wonder of nature.
I choose to keep my life simple and be happy with what I have which is more than most. I live in a beautiful home and am able to listen to inspiring classical music on this Easter Sunday. I able to enjoy an outing to see my son, daughter in law and lively grandson.
And I know that whatever happens in life I can make the choice to rise up. Not a sermon. Just a renewal.
I am about to embark on a four week career development program which is suppose to help me decide what I want to do with the rest of my life. Do I want to switch careers or do I want to rediscover the one I have been involved in for the past 40 years? Hmmm quite a life changing decision.
In reading some of the information sent I was introduced to two mindsets to navigating your career. One was fixed mindset which is the belief that your ability is ingrained. We are born with a level of ability and there is little we can do to changed it. The other is growth mindset which is the belief that your ability can be developed by hard work. We may be born with certain abilities but we are determined to find different ways to expand our world.
I took a test to see which mindset I was and not surprising to me I was overwhelmingly categorized as having a growth mindset. I have to admit I have a tendency to think that I can’t do certain things. I try to talk myself into being satisfied with what is but the voice in my head keeps reminding me that I can do better if I just push a bit harder.
I was in Paris and had an appointment with a photographer to show him my book. I was new to the city and was having a hard time getting my bearings. I couldn’t seem to find the location of the studio and kept walking in the wrong direction. Of course I didn’t speak French and the Plan de Paris was no help what so ever. My fixed mindset told me to give up and go home. But my growth mindset kept telling me that if I went home I would not go back out again. My determination to find the studio pushed me to achieve that goal. It took me another hour but I finally succeeded. The outcome wasn’t earth shattering but knowing that I had achieved even that small goal was everything. I would not let my mind dictate my outcome. I was determined to find my way.
I have taken that determination through my life and I know that is one of the reasons why I have had a good deal of success in my career. Not always wildly successful but enough to know that in facing the setbacks I have gotten better with effort. I have taken risks to step out of my comfort zone and because of it I have seen places and had experiences that have made my life richer.
So why now am I having such a hard time deciding what direction to go in for the rest of my journey? Part of me says to relax and rest on my laurels but that person that was determined to find my way in the vast city of Paris so many years ago is still inside me. It’s maddening at times to have a growth mindset but to be honest I wouldn’t have it any other way.