Friday, February 15, 2008

Anticipation

Continued from here.
Continuing with my thoughts about leakage, I am going to assert that we need to anticipate it. There are times in our lives when we either voluntarily...or kicking and screaming...head into stormy waters. Why is it that we believe that we can continue with business as usual? Why is it that we are surprised to find ourselves depleted or even defeated? I believe it is because we fail to account for our own infirmities. We all have them, and the better we acquaint ourselves with them, the less "leaky" we will be. I am not advocating a program of self discovery that results in excusing our own rotten attitudes and behavior on the basis of our weak frame. I am saying, know your weakened self well, and do all that you can to stay out of that state. And when you have made your best effort to stand, and you still find yourself on your knees, do not beat yourself up. Consider that there might be a reason to stay on your knees for awhile.

If there is one thing I have learned about myself through the years, it is that I need sleep. Alright, I know it's true that we all do...but I need a little bit more than the average bear. Not a lot, just a little. Maybe an extra hour a night. I need it like food, and coffee, and light. If I don't get it I begin a slow decline into lunacy, until at last I become a quivering puddle of despair. I give up. I lay down to die. But instead of dying, I usually fall asleep, and I wake refreshed, wondering why I hadn't thought of a nap sooner. But the damage is usually already done. Now I have to go about cleaning up the messes I made in my irrational sleep deprived state.

So I've spent some time examining this phenomenon, and here is what I've discovered. It usually begins with a lie to myself...like, "I'll only stay up late this one time because I really need to get this done." It progresses to cheer leading that a has a decidedly derogatory tone. "Come on, don't be such a wimp. Suck it up. You should be able to survive on (blank) hours of sleep a night. You call yourself a Mama?" It slides into a pity party. "I'm so tired, and no one else even cares how hard I work, or what I sacrifice for them." And then the home run of tiredness, "I hate you all. My life is devoid of meaning and comfort. I quit."

Lately I have been sick, and my sleep has been shortened and of poor quality. Instead of realizing that this is out of my control in a very real way, and that I should ease up on myself for a little bit, I make myself crazy. My tiredness actually makes me crave cleanliness and order, yet my illness makes me less able to keep the house tidy. Instead of understanding that my head is muzzy and fuzzy with congestion, I beat myself up for my lack of clear thought and initiative. I have stressors in my life right now (who does not?), and instead of coping with them, I am convinced the world is against me.

It takes real effort to understand and work with the fact that I am leaking like a sieve right now. But I have to. And this is just a head/chest cold...maybe the flu kinda thing. What about real stress? It comes to us all. If you haven't had it yet, be comforted in the knowledge that IT IS COMING. And when it does, those seemingly small infirmities you suffer, will grow and grow. Soon you will find yourself gushing out every bit of vitality you have, and blaming yourself and everyone around you for the loss of your lifeblood. In short, it won't be pretty.

2 comments:

QueenB said...

Well, I can certainly "amen, sister" this post! And that's all I am going to say, because I am worn out and heading for bed, following your very good advice! Nighty night, hope you get a good night's sleep! BJ

ambiguousinamber said...

THIS IS ME!!! Down to the last 'everybody hates me, no body loves me, I think I'll go eat worms.'. This doesn't just happen when I am just physically tired, but spiritually as well.