Sleep and I have always had a challenging relationship. No matter how much my body craves it, my mind says, “Six hours is enough. Wake up.”
Last night was no exception.
Tired by a busy day and a flare-up of arthritis in my right foot that had kept me awake the night before, I went to bed at 9:30 and fell asleep immediately.
3:30am I woke up. And nothing was getting me back to sleep.
Finally, I gave into the call of the morning and got up at 4:15.
So here I am, in the deep quiet of the morning, savouring the tranquility.
But, if I let my mind wander too far ahead, worry sets in. “You’re going to be tired later on Louise.” “What if you go to bed at 9:30 again tonight and the cycle repeats itself?” “What if…”
‘What if’ is a wonderful question to ask when seeking creative solutions to otherwise seemingly intractable problems. What if instead of doing it the way we’ve always done, we did this______________?”
‘What if’ is not a great question when its focus is worry or negative fortune-telling.
What if I’m tired tonight and go to bed too early?
- I may or may not be tired tonight. I may or may not decide to go to bed again at 9:30. I may or may not fall asleep reading.
When I focus on end of day happenings when the day is just awakening, I deprive myself of the joy of being present in the quiet of the morning. I deny myself the gift of being one with this moment where I breathe into what is now, instead of worrying my way into ‘what might happen next’.
What I put my attention on grows stronger in my life.
When my attention is focused on ‘feeling tired’, I feel the tiredness. When my attention is drawn to savouring the moment, I feel energized, filled with the possibilities that exist in every moment unfolding.
I woke up early today.
Morning has not yet broken.
I am grateful for this quiet time to savour the dark, to watch the water glistening on the river as it flows past the window in front of my desk.
The city is silent. Few cars, separated by many minutes, travel across the bridge to the south towards city centre. No people walk across the pedestrian bridge. The sky has yet to begin to lighten.
I am alone in the pool of light cast by the lamp on my desk. My beloved sleeps in our bed. Beaumont lays on the floor behind me. The world is quiet and I am filled with gratitude for this early morning time to awaken slowly to the beauty of the world around me.
This moment unfolds into the next and I savour the gift of quiet time in the deep silence of the morning.