Sleep Away

One of my favorite times of day is when I ‘get’ to go to bed.

One of the ways I keep sane is sleeping an average of eight hours each night. I love bedtime and the ability to crawl into a warm bed in a cold room. I love the way the blankets embrace me with the knowledge we will be together for a good 8 hours. I look forward to that downtime and I feel good in the morning after a night of slumber.

However, on those days when I don’t get a solid 8 hours due to travel, illness, worry, late night partying (who knew I was such a party animal?) or other events it takes its toll on me. My energy is low, my mood is sour and I forget things.

3 children sleeping
Nap time for everyone!

If that happens for more than one night, I get headaches and my body feels droopy and I feel sad. And I have a “woe is me” sort of attitude about everything.  Feeling like that and having to go to work was always a nightmare. I had to pretend I was sane, remember my assignments and function normally. Good luck with that.

Getting back on track might take a few nights but once there – in the cold, dark room, in a warm bed, I do what it takes to get back to those precious eight hours of sleep.


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Seeking Sweet Silence

Sometimes the best place to find sanity is in silence.

Seeking silence is different from meditation. This is more about silencing the world around you – avoiding conversation, turning off the radio, tv, phones, and turning away from people. Silence allows the mind to run and play without having to be accountable.

My friend worked as an office manager and was out in front of people all day. Answering phones, welcoming clients, facilitating meetings and when she got home from work she was done. She was in a dead zone and shut down. It was her way to cope and recharge for the next day.

There’s something about silence that allows you to power-down for a while. The brain is allowed to see the world as it is … no judgment, just allowing.

Growing up, I had an early bedtime. In my opinion it was TOO early. However, my parents lived for this time of day. As a parent myself, my children went to bed early on a regular basis. An early bedtime allowed me respite from the questions, lessons, parenting and allowed me to just BE. It was the silence I craved.

I find when I work with my plants I enjoy the silence. Expect for the words I share with them about their beauty, progress and delightful growth – it’s usually done in silence. Ok, sometimes I sing to them  but only when they need it.

I suppose silence is the reason I enjoy walking so much. It’s my time away from the distractions. When I walk, I am the one to choose when to break the silence. Do I want to start a conversation with that adorable young toddler, shall I visit with my neighbor, maybe I’ll say hello to the new people moving in – or maybe I won’t.

Silence is clearly something we can achieve – and usually it’s something that we need to plan. On the way to work – silence or a phone call? Silence or the radio? Silence or a book on tape? Silence or visit with the person sharing the ride?

Have you noticed that silencing the world around you for just a little bit can make a big difference in the way you feel?  After I enjoy some silence, I welcome music or conversation or interaction with more relish than before.