Tori's Blog

Let Yourself Be Tired… Sleep

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

I am working on a piece about my friend, Mary. Mary has retired after being an OB nurse for 45 years. I have much to say about Mary but I am going to finish it to post later in the week. Because tonight, I am just plain tired. Pooped. I just read an email from a newly pregnant woman who is working an exhausting job, asking if I thought she should quit. As I pondered this thought, I came around to thinking about whether or not we allow ourselves to just plain be tired. And then, to take the next logical step… and rest. I know people who do this. I am not among them. I have said many times that sleep does not come easily for me. It hasn’t for many years… for a multitude of reasons.

I sometimes fall asleep early  but always wake between 3:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m.  I am awake until usually after 5:00 a.m. and then the alarm goes off… Being an over achiever, I try to, and succeed at,  taking on too much. My home is wonderfully chaotic and is my solid ground. My work is also tremendously grounding but also physically and mentally exhausting. I also am now faced with the challenge/gift  that many of us have of caring for aging parents. I love writing and teaching as well, AND I also don’t want to miss a field trip or sports game of Alexander’s. I just need to acknowledge that all of the wonderful things in my life also make for very busy days. And I don’t think I sit down enough. And I don’t think I am alone.

My response to the mom-to-be who wrote to me today is “Follow what feels right to you. If you are exhausted your body is telling you that you are doing too much. You NEED to rest.” I remember that about my pregnancies — sleep was not an optional matter. Being tired when pregnant literally forced me to stop. Unlike other times, I was unable to “push” through it. My body just stopped and I actually think that’s a wonderful thing. A gift really. Children do this very well. I remember a time when Alexander literally fell asleep in the hallway, right in front of the front door.

So, tonight I am going to try and go to sleep a little early. And to do what clearly feels like the right thing to do even though the little voice inside my head has a number of “undone” things that, if I stayed awake just a little longer, I could finish. Shockingly, I am going to take my own advice. Pregnant or not, I hope you can do the same. Goodnight and sweet dreams.

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