Sunday, July 12, 2015

Counting Leaps

Last night as I lay on the couch, trying to fall asleep, I reflected on my lack of motivation to write. I told myself that I just don't have anything to put down on paper.  As I tossed and turned, thinking about my dilemma, I reminded myself that I need to exercise my writing muscles. I need to try to write everyday, even if just journalling. Like all forms of exercise, the more I do it, the better I become at it. 

These thoughts raced through my head. I had an inkling to get up and fetch my notebook and pen, turn on the lights and write them down before they flee. But then I thought that it was too much effort to exert, while I am trying to fall asleep. I turned over onto my left side and mulled over my laziness for the next thirty minutes. It was so difficult for me to fall asleep with all these thoughts battling in my head. If only there was a way I could purge my mind before going to bed. How marvelous this would be! I marveled at my idea for another twenty minutes. I glanced at the alarm clock, it was 2:25 am. I flipped onto my back and stared at the ceiling, "I have to be up in four and a half hours. I really should try to get some sleep," I thought. I forced my eyes shut. I saw a lovely green pasture divided my a wooden fence. A round bouncy sheep approached from the left and leaped over the fence. Soon after, he was joined by another and another. I counted 1 2 3 4 as sheep after sheep leaped up and over the fence. The sheep grew in number and the right side of field accumulated with white fuzzy furry sheep. They crowded one another. They pushed and shoved. There was no space for more sheep as I counted up to 133. Now this was a problem I needed to solve. Perplexed at the vision, I counted backwards, instructing the sheep on the right to revert back to the other vacant side. But that didn't seem like much of a solution. Once all 133 sheep abode and moved over, there wouldn't be any room left for more. I needed to count more sheep, I still hadn't fallen asleep. I opened one eye and peaked at the clock. It was three am. I rolled over and thought, "Instead of having all the sheep crowd each other as they leap over the fence, why not have only one of them jump back and forth." I smiled with triumph as I thought up this clever scheme. I began to count leaps instead of sheep. Every time snooze ensued, I was jolted awake when I recalled that thirty follows twenty-nine or sixty's not after fifty-eight. I'd sleepwalk through iterations of digits, but transitioning from one decade to the next brought me back to consciousness. When I reach 86, I saw my lone sheep was exhausted from all the jumping back and fore. What had I done, to solve my problem with the congested herd, I burdened my sheep with the trouble of carrying this task on his own. How selfish was I to demand this sheep do all this work so I could fall asleep.

Then I remembered the restful nights I had when I religiously wrote every night. I'd set my journal aside, turnoff the lights, close my eyes and fall asleep within the minute. If only there was a way I could purge my mind.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Today I am 39 !

Every birthday, I take the opportunity to examine the preceding year. I look back at my accomplishments and measure how far off I am to attaining my goals. For a long time this meant updating my CV because I used to define myself only in professional terms. If I wasn't able to add something substantial to my resume, to me this meant that the previous year was a waste. Not only did I not advance, I had actually declined, because in the business sense you're already behind when you stand still. My entire focus was on my career and my development as an employee. 

A few years ago I finally realized that my job was merely a means to an end. It is important to keep my skills sharp and to advance in my career to ensure employment, although nothing is guaranteed in life. Yet, this was no longer my objective in life. I explored other facets of myself as an individual. I took a moment to be still and identify who I am as a daughter, sister, aunt, friend and human being. I discovered what it meant to be happy rather then just content. I rediscovered what it meant to live a fulfilling life. I slowed down and enjoyed life. Tiny minutia at work, that used to turn my life upside down, had no power over me, and for that I became a better employee. I still do my best at work, for my work ethics have not changed. I focus my efforts on mastering the elements within my circle of influence, while acknowledging the impact of my circle of concern and realizing that I have no control over them. I no longer spend sleepless nights mulling over macroeconomic indicators and organizational peace. Now, I sleep and wake up relaxed, with a smile on my face, thankful for the ability to wake up. I enjoy using my vacation days and sprinkling them throughout the year, understanding that resharpening the saw with renewed knowledge, interests and downtime are fundamental to a productive individual.

I still take stock of my life on my birthday. I count my blessings. I am thankful for the people I have in my life. I cherish and savor the moments we spend together and my heart swells with happiness as I look back on the memories.

Thank you to everyone who made feel loved for the past years.