Resolutions vs. Acceptance

2019 is almost here. I’m guessing most folks are thinking about new resolutions for the coming year.  I think a lot of us really beat ourselves up about everything we think is wrong with us and what we must change.  And then most of us beat ourselves up again a month or two later when those new resolutions are already out the door and forgotten.  

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A lot of us are excited about plans for ringing in the new year – parties, outfits, football, and food – lots and lots of food. Most years we either host something or go out on New Year’s Eve.  Our New Year’s Day is filled with football.  And I mean football from sun up to sun down.  And so much food that my stomach hurts and by mid-day and I swear I’m never going to eat again…until about 30 mins later when someone brings something new and yummy to the party.

Every December 31st, I think about how the heck I’m going to be able to stay up to ring in the new year. This is a real thing for me.  It’s like my body hits a wall every night at 10:32pm and I have to go to bed.  I understand why some older people go to dinner at 4:30 in the afternoon.  It’s because they are in bed by 8pm and up by 3am. Try as I might, it’s like my body is resetting its natural sleep/wake cycle.  I make myself stay up late, but my body still wakes me up way before dawn every single day.  Sometimes I can fall back into a light sleep for an hour, but that is rare.

Because I’m frequently tired, I crave naps.  I love to nap.  I used to nap every single weekend.  It was my favorite thing  - to curl up on the sofa and snooze for an hour.  But that is also a thing of the past. First…I can’t sleep any more during the day.  Second…if by a miracle I am able to fall asleep during the day, I get absolutely no sleep that night.  Yes, at 10:32pm I’ll fall asleep as usual, but an hour later I’m awake and tossing and turning all night.

Why is this happening? I ask myself this often.  I have excellent sleep hygiene.  I obviously go to bed at the same time every night (whether I like it or not).  No technology for 2 hours before bed.  No water after 8pm.  Light stretching and reading.  A small cup of Buckhead Tea’s Organic Relax or Organic Chamomile tea, and an extended release dose of melatonin usually sets me up for a few solid hours of ZZZZZs.  But if I try to move all these habits back an hour or so – I do not get the same results.  

I think at this stage of life there are probably some hormones to blame, but mostly I think it’s an overactive brain.  It has a lot to think about over the next 7 weeks.  We are moving our daughter to her first post graduate apartment, my 80 year old mother is getting married, we have hurricane damage that is going to take a while to get repaired, I have a few minor health issues, three trips planned, AND…I constantly have sleep on my mind.  And those of you who also suffer with some sleep issues know that that only makes you not sleep more, sigh...  That lack of sleep makes me weary both mentally and physically.  

The point of this blog or topic – is that my New Year’s Resolution for 2019 is to work on just letting it go.  It is what it is (profound, right?).  We are continuously exposed to change in this world – whether self-imposed or inflicted upon us. Most of these changes take time for us to accept.  But the changes that are natural, the ones we have less control over…it’s best to just learn to accept them and not fight them.  With time, your brain catches on and your body relaxes and you adjust to a new way of doing things.  It isn’t the same as it used to be – but that’s ok,  because if you learn to accept these changes you might actually find that in some ways it’s better.

So, to wrap this little chat up – here’s my plan for this New Year’s Eve.  I’m going to try and stay up to midnight.  If I make it,  I’m not going to stress about how much sleep I’m not going to get.  If I don’t make it, I’m not going to stress about missing the count down.  I’m going to be grateful for all the blessings that came in 2018, and hopeful for all the acceptance opportunities that 2019 promises to bring.

Happy New Year!

~jenny