Deep REM sleep is rudely interrupted by the faint electronic melody emanating from my iPhone every morning at 5am. Why so early? Well, with three kids 6 years of age and under, and a work schedule which seemingly never turns off, 5am-6am is the sacred hour…the only hour of quiet in the house, in my life, where I can read, meditate, pray, write or lately… SNOOZE. We all know this function of the alarm clock well, providing us with 8-minute chunks of sleep, beyond the time we designated for wake up.
When I’m on a roll, and operating well, I pop out of bed at 5am, throw on my sweatshirt, shuffle out to my desk, switch on the lamp and begin to feed myself with what I believe to be the balance I need to maintain sanity in this busy life…this crazy life. For the past several weeks, I’ve fallen off the Snooze Wagon and have been inconsistent in my ‘healthy regimen’. Rather, I’ve been extending my sleep by 48 minutes, hitting the Snooze button 6 times after the original alarm fires. This affords me the opportunity to gather bits of preoccupied, ‘man I should really get out of bed’ moments of sleep that, in the moment, appear to be the best decision for my day. I’m afraid I’m losing the Snooze War, and not because the function of ‘Snoozing’ is bad (many of you reading this love this feature), but because I’ve slipped away from a practice I know to be fruitful for me…I’m exhausted lately, but oddly, it is when I get up, and feed myself with the regimen mentioned above, I feel less tired and am able to focus on the things which matter…the beauty of our humanity on a day to day basis.
Last week, in the midst of the Snooze Wars, driving down the Pacific Coast Highway toward home and family, I turned my head to the west. The vision captured by the same iPhone which I Snooze battle every morning reminded me to slow down. Seemingly impossible these days, I’m finding when I’m intentional about slowing down, I’m able to remember what is important. I’m able to truly SEE life in the manner I know to be the most rewarding to me. Is it easy to let the business of life take the wheel and steer me in the direction it feels best? In the name of productivity? You bet it is! However, when I’m not feeding myself spiritually, emotionally, artistically and peacefully, I’m finding productivity to be fleeting. So less time ‘being productive’, slowing down and appreciating the beauty surrounding me, makes me much more effective.
I’m a firm believer in being connected to oneself. It’s within this connectivity where I find my balance, my center, my ability to operate from a place of understanding, balance and most importantly…love. It makes me a better coworker, better partner, better friend, better husband, better father and all around better citizen.
I suppose when I’m feeling high levels of connection to myself, I’m better connected with those I’m around everyday….which is vastly important right? We are better together, and as such, I need to be better with myself.
I’m reading a book written by Parker Palmer titled, “A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward An Undivided Life”, which speaks to this connectivity I’ve been immersed in for years now. Palmer speaks about our inner teacher, about honoring this teacher and working on identifying those activities or elements which divide our lives in unhealthy ways. This book also represents an element of my personal regimen I miss out on, when utilizing the Snooze function of my alarm. So Snoozing, for me, has lead to this reflective post…and I appreciate you listening to my philosophical ramblings. Starting today, I’m waving the white flag, I’m giving up on the Snooze Wars and committing to finding my balance once again. I’ll leave you with these questions:
What is your personal Snooze War? Are you in tune with what is important to you? Are you living a divided, fragmented life? Are you taking the time to stop and look around at the beauty which surrounds you? Are you ready to change if change is needed? Are you connected to yourself, and thus, to those around you?
I’m constantly grappling with these questions…it is our humanity which affords us the opportunity for such grappling. I’m choosing to embrace the grappling, embrace the confusion, embrace what emerges and embrace the beauty of it all. Thanks for listening!