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Wasting Precious Time

In perusing yahoo news, I came across an article about a study done of older Americans (aged 65+) and what they regretted most in their lives. The most common answer? Worry. Out of 1500 people, the most common regret was that they’d spent too much of their lives worrying.stress

You can read about the study here.

I found this to be particularly relevant because I notice more and more young adults riddled with anxiety, more and more middle aged adults suffering the side effects of stress, and more and more people turning to pharmaceuticals for relief.

Some worry is unavoidable. If you’re a parent, worry comes with the job. If you or a loved one is suffering an illness, make room for worry.

But kids? Really?

School is harder than ever. The things my kids learn about in high school were college subjects in my day. A friend was talking the other day about a five year old who didn’t want to go to kindergarten because she didn’t know how to read. In kindergarten! When I was in kindergarten, we learned to tie our shoes. And it was half-day.

Bottom line: life’s too short. Every day is a gift. If we spend too much time worrying about things that either don’t matter or can’t be changed, we are frittering away the gift of life.

So get off the computer. Go outside for a walk. Read a good book. Call a friend. Smile at a stranger. Live the gift, and have no regrets.

photo credit: 2 : 😡 via photopin (license)

Insomnia

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For many nights now I’ve dealt with a bit of insomnia: Can’t fall asleep, seems neither my brain nor my body want to turn off; sleeping a few solid hours; waking and lying there for what feels like gobs of time, again unable to turn off my thoughts; falling back to sleep for another few hours; waking early.

Insomnia is defined by dictionary.com as a noun:

the inability to obtain sufficient sleep, especially when chronic; difficulty in falling or staying asleep; sleeplessness.

Reasons for insomnia vary, from medical or psychological issues and medicinal side effects to stress and a poor environment or sleep conditions, and so on.

While the majority of that doesn’t apply to me, there have certainly been stressful events in my life of late (who doesn’t have those?), but honestly, I’m not filled with anxiety. I’ve developed the right methods to deal with my stress, and have come to terms with the life factors over which I have no control, trusting a plan I can’t know ahead of time, living day to day, finding and keeping peace within me, choosing happiness, and so on.

So what’s making it so hard for me to sleep?

I recently read an article online about what it means to experience a spiritual awakening. (You can find the full article by Kristen Butler HERE.) Check out the following excerpt:

Some people who are experiencing a spiritual awakening have trouble falling asleep. What is going on inside keeps you awake. It’s a burning desire and some people know how to direct that energy while others aren’t sure and this is what is primarily keep you awake at night. Most report that they either have trouble falling asleep or they awaken at 2:00 and 4:00 AM.

If you’re experiencing unusual sleep patterns, it’s okay. Just don’t lay there and worry. There’s a lot of work going on within you. It’s a natural process. The best thing to do is go do whatever it is that is calling you to do – for some it is writing.

Given that all the other bulletpoints in the article fit my current place in life and understanding, I’m comfortable concluding that more than anything, my mid-night “adventures” have significant meaning for my spirit. And I actually think that’s pretty cool, so I won’t get too cranky about my current lack of sleep. I mean, enlightening stuff is going on, and who am I to question that?

What about you? Have you ever dealt with insomnia and/or experienced spiritual awakening?

Are You an Innie or an Outie??

Yeah, you don’t have to lift up your shirt to check. I’m talking about your personality.

There are introverts…those of us…like me…that live happily in the background, content to watch the more gregarious people shine in their spotlights, where we live in constant terror that the spotlight will find us.

And then there are those people. The ones I’m always so envious of…LOL. The ones who aren’t afraid to sit in the front, stand up and speak, the ones who can work a room the second they enter it.

I’ve always wanted to be an extrovert.

I’m someone who most definitely does NOT sit at the front. At meetings at work, am I going to be up front scoring points as the boss sees me there all bright and shiny? Um…no. I’m at the back, blending with the pot plants and the coffee pot, feeling quite content knowing my signature on the roster sheet proves I was there.

You know those event things you go to where the speaker says “Let’s go around the room and introduce yourselves.” ?? That is the worst kind of torture. Seriously, just hang me off a cliff somewhere, because if I’m in a group of thirty people and I’m not one of the first three or four, I’m going to be a useless puddle of goo by the time you get to thirty. The anxiety of what to say/oh my god I have to stand up is going to disintegrate my insides.

And giving a talk or a speech?? Let’s just say I breathe in, but nothing goes back out. And my voice gets progressively higher and faster till I sound like a munchkin on crack.

People ask me how I’m going to handle attention to myself as a published author, going to signings, being in the spotlight. I think most authors are somewhat introverts, by the sheer nature of what we do. We live with invisible people in our heads all the time, alone with our stories.

And I’m finding that at places such as conferences, if the spotlight is on me for something, I’m okay with it. Maybe because it is strangers, I’m not sure. What I’m struggling with right now as my release date looms in the future, is the one-on-one. Telling people randomly about it. My best friend keeps pimping me, and I feel the hot rush of heat to my head as I nod and smile and say “yes, I have a book coming out next year” and all the while I’m wishing to be in a room where there are pot plants and a coffee pot for me to blend with. LOL!

So what about you? Where do you fall in that category?

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