“When she noticed the difference, she knew the sacrifice was worth it.” ~Jennifer
For months, I was feeling sluggish. There were times when I truly needed to go at a snail’s pace. I accepted it, giving myself permission to do what my body needed. Rest was one of those physical needs. I started going to bed earlier, even when the kitchen was a mess, the mail (both paper and electronic) was piled up, and there wasn’t a clean pair of matching socks in the house. Once my children were tucked in (for the umpteenth time), I let my body sink into the mattress. I melted into a delicious sleep most nights, but still wasn’t ready to get up in the morning. There never seemed to be enough time in the day, so I’d forego my morning walk to catch up on laundry, pay bills, unload and reload the dishwasher, or address the messes that had accumulated.
Then one morning, I crumbled. The kids were bickering, the cats were fighting, and my husband and I were both tired, grumpy, and hungry. Somehow I ended up half screaming, half crying that I needed two hours every morning to go walk by myself. He and I both knew that wasn’t realistic. He understood the feeling, though, because he is much the same way. He suggested that I wake up even earlier (like he does) to guarantee enough time to get my exercise, my nature fix, and my solitude. Ugh. The mere thought of less sleep made me more tired.
The next morning, I tried it anyway. While my husband held down the fort, I walked and I wandered for ninety minutes. My feet hurt and I was parched, but it was fantastic otherwise. I listened to the songbirds as I moved. I worked up a sweat. I enjoyed the morning light and the soft breeze. I noticed some sparks within me reigniting, some synapses firing, some voids beginning to fill. Then I spent some time with my old friends, the lupines and the buttercups. Oh how I had missed the wonderful feeling of being surrounded by flowers. By the time I got home, I was relaxed, refreshed, and ready for the day ahead.
There were still plenty of challenges to face, but I was more patient, more present, and more optimistic that day. Even though I had given up some of my precious sleep time, I felt energized. I’ve been getting up early every single day since then, because when I noticed the difference, I knew the sacrifice was worth it.