I am a suck-the-life-out-of-my-day kind of woman. From the moment I get up in the morning until the moment my head hits the pillow I am on the go. I really do not know how to slow down. Some might think that is a bad thing and say I am relentless while others might think of it as being tenacious. Regardless of what others think, we all get to decide each day how we are going to approach our day.
“Each day, we make choices that influence the character of our experiences, and our decisions determine whether our paths are rousing or tedious, breathtaking or tiresome.”
I want my life to be rousing and breathtaking. I want to learn, grow, and be challenged. If you are bored you are not trying hard enough. How is it even possible to be bored today? There are endless ways to entertain ourselves, even if they are tedious and brain numbing. Sure, I have my days where the wires in my brain do not connect for some reason and all I want to do is veg out on some bad game apps on my iPhone. Candy Crush anyone? That, however, is the exception rather than the norm.
So, what in life rouses you? What takes your breath away? New ideas? Compassion? Empathy? What makes you in awe of the world? Remember, we can choose to make decisions in our lives that invigorate, inspire, and challenge us to look at life in new ways. We can do that every day. It’s our choice.
I woke up at 4:45 am Sunday morning and could not sleep or get comfortable. I thought about just getting up. Instead the thought that came to me was to just lay there and be grateful. A long list of things came into my thought and eventually I fell back asleep. I woke up an hour or so later, not able to sleep and still uncomfortable. So I did the same thing.
I have had pivotal moments in my life when I have woken in the middle of the night and could not get back to sleep with very strong thoughts about another person in my life. Whether I had an intuition that something was not right in the world, or a moment of pause about a specific individual. Early on when I would have these pitch-black-middle-of-the-night intuitions, well they freaked me out. Over time I learned to stop, be quiet, and listen. Depending on how coherent I am I might lay there and pray, or think about how I can support and think good thoughts for the world situation or individual that woke me from sleep.
Waking in the wee hours of Sunday morning was not about a person, but it was a full body reminder for me. Why did I have to lay in bed unwilling to get out of my cozy bed to take moments to be grateful for my amazing husband, family, friends, colleagues, home, work, etc? The list went on in my head. Even to specific worldly pleasures, such as my new favorite sheets that I was laying between. That utter euphoria I felt for all the goodness in my life (does not mean it was perfect) reminded me to take more moments in the day to acknowledge that goodness. Why not before I fall asleep at night? Or at least on those nights when I do not fall asleep the instant my head hits the pillow… Who am I kidding? That never happens to me.
This is a reminder for you and for me. Be grateful. Keep it inside or let it ooze out and tell those that you are feeling gratitude for them. Snuggle in your bed and appreciate the sheets that have you smitten. Watch the video of your niece laughing over and over again. Forget the struggles that you have for a few moments and just be head over heels grateful for all the good in your life.
I saw a photo yesterday that was of a little girl hugging the crap out of her teddy bear. It brought a smile to my face. It made me think about the things in our life that make us feel secure. When you are little it might be a blanket, or special toy. As you get older those security features might evolve and change, yet maybe they all have the same emotional connection for us. We just want to feel safe. Sometimes that happens with something that constantly reminds us of a specific smell or touch.
I remember a babysitter made me a pillow and blanket for when I was a baby. Somehow many years later (after never using the blanket or pillow) it was the pillow that I slept with each night. No one was to ever get between me and my pillow. It was what allowed me to feel cozy and go to sleep at night. It is funny to me that we often negatively call these items in our lives “security blankets.” For me, it was probably one of the constant things in my life. My sister and I shared a room, and since she was older, she often would stay up later than my bedtime. I would drape this small, thin pillow over my eyes and cover my ears so I could go to sleep at night, while she finished her homework.
The funny part? I remember my mom telling me later that her way to ween me off the pillow was to put it into the washing machine and hope that it would not make it through the wash. She was right. I was devastated. I later found a new pillow to take its place. The habit stuck with me and later I found a regular thin pillow and continued to sleep this way through boarding high school and college dorm life.
It was not until Chris and I moved in together that I broke the habit. Maybe I had a new security blanket sleeping right next to me. It was also a new concept for me to have a home where I did not have to block out the noise or the light each night. I know I will think differently about my future kid and their desire to have a security blanket. Maybe we need them for a given time or reason, and maybe over time those items of security evolve and change, but they make us feel safe, and allow us to relax and get the rest we need.
Hug your security blanket today, be it human or pillow.