I wrote last week about my desire to be ‘in the moment’. To be focused on my present reality at any given time and aware of the choices I am making, conversations I am having and the things that I am doing. In order to do this I have to turn off my autopilot…and in order to do that, I need to get enough sleep. I am proud to say that on five of my nights I achieved my necessary 9 hours of sleep. On those other two nights I got close to 8 hours.
Lesson learned from my week of staying rested, turning off the autopilot and staying in the moment? I have a LOT of uncomfortable moments in a day! There were times when I said out loud and to no one in particular, “this is painful!” or the more abrasive, “are you freaking kidding me?”
There were the physically uncomfortable moments, things that I probably do all the time while ignoring the physical discomfort ‘in the moment’ but later come back to haunt me as I lay this middle-aged body down to sleep at night. I learned that my Rolodex at work is way too far back on the desk and I am doing an Olympic reach to look up a phone number. Someone in my office is microwaving brussel sprouts every day. People are not always patient when I let them know that I did not understand what they just said. They don’t know to be thankful because it means I am actually trying to listen carefully. A lot of people talk way too fast! My arms hurt when I hold a steering wheel. The floor vent in my car produces no heat. There is no good place for my left foot. No wonder I want to let the autopilot drive while I think about future ocean get-aways or what’s for dinner!
There were also far too many less tangible moments of discomfort. These concern me the most. These are things to begin addressing immediately, but much less easy to fix than sliding the Rolodex closer. I headed into this weekend with hot flashes (cheers for perimenopause) and a feeling of fatigue and numbness. Not from lack of rest, but from the realization of how very uncomfortable my present reality is. Do I want to be doing the work that I do? Can I find a way to feel joy or fulfillment from this work? Even if I stop laying on floors. Do I really want to drive so far every day, giving up precious time and precious money for gas and bridge toll?
Can I emotionally continue the challenge of working with families and individuals that are in difficult circumstances? People that need a gallon of help and I have a cup at best. Can my curled shoulders carry that? Because I don’t seem to be fully capable of leaving it where it lies and with each story my shoulders droop a little more. The autopilot was a wonderful defense for this. When the stories got too tragic I let him step in. Sitting with these stories this week, staying in the moment with people who are going through such challenging times, that was the most painful part of my week.
Am I okay with the limited amount of time that I have for my family, my friends? I miss you my friends! Know that I miss you and I hate that we are all so busy. It is not a comfortable feeling to know that my best friend has been home over a week from a 3-country tour and I have not spoken with her. Phone tag is a sign of unbalance. My teeter-totter is too heavy on one side! I feel an edge of discomfort with all of my close relationships. With each interaction I felt there was not enough time to talk, sit together, laugh together. Ah…but when I did laugh, it was me cracking up, wondering how bad my mascara had smeared and hoping I had not drank too much tea. It was me that wandered away from this post a half hour ago to get a Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich and me that chose to answer the phone call from another dear friend. Because I knew it was her birthday weekend. What is more precious than a friend of 28 years and an ice cream sandwich?
And I am painfully aware of the hour! Tomorrow I get to sleep in and go to work two hours late because of my interferon hangover. So I will procrastinate no more and go volunteer my sagging shoulder for Mark to inject.
Next week I will share about my 50 by 50 list…now those are things to be present for!