I think it’s important to acknowledge periods of setback just as I’ve written about periods of growth and strength in my practice. July was definitely a month of setbacks. At the time, things just sort of seemed to happen; looking back, I can see how one event led to another.
My work hours increased – first a little, then a lot. Once I was working or on call on multiple successive evenings and weekends, I began to feel more tired. I suspect this was less about losing actual sleep time and more about higher stress levels and losing the pre-sleep decompression time that for me is a necessity to get good sleep. I became much more tired all the time. My 30 minutes of practice in the morning slipped to 10 minutes of meditation so that I could sleep a bit more. Then I dropped the 10 minutes of meditation. I also dropped my morning preparation of a green smoothie, of which I would usually drink half with breakfast and half around 10am. All of my meals became more hurried and less healthy. Some meals I ate at my desk or while checking my BlackBerry. My body craved sleep that I couldn’t give it, so I snacked instead. When I did have free time, I felt rushed to catch up on things I’d let slip and to spend time with my family, though I was distracted and irritable even when I wasn’t working. I was always hurrying from one thing to another, trying to fit everything in. I cut out almost all of the self-care parts of my day: my morning practice, my mid-day walk, my after-dinner walk, my pre-sleep decompression time. Continue reading