October 17, 2014

Are You Sleepwalking Through LIfe?

TRUE CONFESSION: For a split second this morning, I actually believed my stove was just being friendly instead of displaying the broiler setting!  #sleepwalking

For me getting up and waking up have always been 2 separate events that happen about an hour apart. I only wish that being caught off guard by a seemingly sociable appliance was the goofiest thing that had ever happened to me in the A.M. hours of my life.

I let people who plan to phone me know if they're calling just to talk 8:00 A.M. is fine. If they want a perceptible, intelligent reply, better make it 9. I've also been known to tell people who violate that protocol to speak softly and slowly - in short sentences - using small words. What can I say. The brain want's what the brain wants, and mine wants to wake up when it feels like it.

Sometimes I can blame sleep deprivation for other things that may or may not have happened at later hours in the day such as:

*Waiting in line at the newspaper dispenser at the fast food drive-thru for my order to be taken.
*Driving through a car wash in a mini-van with a car top luggage carrier still filled and attached. (Contents may or may not have spilled out inside the car wash and my van may or may not have been covered with the cleaning materials hanging from it like streamers decorated for a parade.)
*Paying for an order at a fast food restaurant and leaving without my food.
*Leaving my groceries at the store.

This is just a partial list. These are the things I can claim an "excuse" for. Sleep deprivation can be cruel.

What I'm writing about today however is even crueler. It's intentional sleep walking. It's going through our days, weeks, months and years being unintentional. I mean wasting our time, not using our talents. Not even bothering to find out what our talents are. 


How about the times we voluntarily "sleep" through things we see going on around us. Things we know we should do something or say something about...but we just zone out hoping the guy behind us will do or say something instead.

Have you ever spoken up to someone who was being a bully? Ever defended someone who's character was being assaulted unfairly?  Ever stopped to help someone when it wasn't convenient for you? I have done these things. I can tell you that in some instances I was afraid or worried about being late beforehand but none of that mattered after. The feeling of making even a small contribution is exhilarating. In those (way too few) moments I felt like I made a difference. Not a big difference. Not a life changing difference, but a momentary, miniscule difference, and the biggest thing it changed was me.

The things we do that we don't have to do will make us the people we could be but don't have to be. 

It's in the waking up and being engaged that our lives are made richer and more fleshed out. We've heard it said that people may forget what we do but they will never forget how we made them feel. I'll bet you can cite instances of people who have made you "feel" something that you'll always remember.

In case you think I'm preaching here, I'm writing as much to myself today as I'm writing for you. I waste as much time as the next person - possible even a good deal more. That's time I'll never get back or be given the chance to reallocate. It's gone.

WE GET ONE CHANCE. 

Our time here is limited - even though we do everything in our power to block that from our consciousnesses it doesn't change the fact that there are only so many punches left on our cards before we have to turn them in. Time will pass and our greatest aspirations and accomplishments will be nothing but dust. All we really have to leave that will matter, is those who remember how we made them feel that one time.

I'm going to commit to being more awake. (Not in the morning. I can't lie to you.) I'm going to try harder to find the small differences I can make. I can't change the world single-handedly, but I can change the tiny spot of it where I'm standing...even if it's just by smiling here.

P.S. Immediately after finishing typing the above, I walked into the kitchen and tried to fill an upside down mug with water. #mustgetmoresleep!

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