And good morning everyone!
I’m up and moving this morning, after a LOT of sleep. It’s been a challenging few days, sleep wise. It started on Sunday when I had a wonderful time at a friend’s dinner potluck, but a wonderful time that went on too late. Then on Monday, I had a client dinner, resulting another late evening. Both nights involved alcohol, both nights were spent someplace that was Not the Gym. Both nights were absolutely the right decisions to make, but due to alcohol, sugar and lack of exercise, each night’s activity resulted in less sleep, and cost me quite a bit of quality sleep. By last night, Tuesday, I was dozing sitting up at 7pm, and then, after a dose of Doc Parsley’s Sleep Remedy, slept for almost ten hours from 9pm to 7am.
Unfortunately, I still haven’t been on plan enough the last few days to keep me from being under a little black raincloud this morning. I have to manage my brain like a finely tuned machine or else I’m prone to what I call “cartoon Eeyore syndrome”:
That cloud makes it difficult to respond appropriately to external input. Missing email replies go directly to IRRATIONAL RAGE. Changes in plans go directly to NOT GOING EITHER. Inability to get to the gym results in WHY BOTHER ANYWAYS.
The inhabitants of A. A. Milne’s Hundred Acre Wood are, after all, meant to be tropes: they are representatives of aspects of everyone’s personality, avatars for us to map our own traits and emotions onto. Piglet is Fear, Kanga is Maternal, Rabbit is Anxiety-through-Activity, Owl is Arrogance in Knowledge. They seem to represent an ideal of the blank mind culminating in Winnie the Pooh. This concept is built out in The Tao of Pooh, a book that I own and highly recommend. Looking at that aspect of the children’s stories, I have a toolkit to identify unbalanced behavior and reactions to external causes and realize I’m skewing too far to the Eeyore instead of my normal frenetic Tigger. (BOUNCE)
So there’s a couple of ways to deal with this:
- Re-schedule my day so I am prioritizing the things that help my brain. These include regular exercise, avoiding sugar/alcohol, meditation and engaging in creative activities like writing and music. Maybe I will go for a walk!
Drink more coffee…oh wait, I can’t just do that anymore because I went and cut back on coffee last year. I can’t fix gloominess with caffeine induced cheer, and can’t caffeinate my way back into being Tigger.
- Once my brain has come out from under the little black rain cloud, address the things that are actually bothering me calmly and with mindfulness and intent. Lack of email response? Move to text or phone. People can’t make it to an event as planned? Breathe a few times, accept that it isn’t personal, and plan to go anyways. Not getting to the gym? Schedule it in and make it non-negotiable, a promise to myself.
That last one has been the biggest challenge and source of stress lately: I’m participating in a Nerd Fitness training program with a virtual trainer that I’m investing a lot of money and time into. If I don’t follow the plan, then I’m not reaping the benefits of it, yet when it comes time to actually do an activity or make an effort, I am all like, “why bother?” and settle in to ignore it.
And even if I am being Eeyore, I still should focus on the originally concepted version of Eeyore, not the Disney movie version. As it’s written in this blog post, Eeyore in the books is actually quite patient, self-actualized and has a great sense of humor and perspective despite the other inhabitants of the Hundred Acre Wood flaking on him:
Image is from Anna Ruth Campbell’s blog, where she breaks down and puts back together a deeper and more accurate perception of Eeyore
Like Eeyore, I will be grumpy but ultimately forgiving of everyone who ignores and forgets me by NOT REPLYING to my emails, and I will remain in my Gloomy Place as needed until I can restore balance enough to my brain to come out. And I’ll go drink some decaf coffee anyways as a placebo, just to bring out my inner Tigger.