Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Slave to the Rhythm

I’m unwinding.

My naturopath would like to take all the credit. He’s got me on a new remedy, one that’s supposed to nurture one’s faith. It’s called “Star-of-Bethlehem”. If fear is the opposite of faith, then it’s working. I’ve been less anxious over the past few weeks.

I’ve always had a rigid morning routine. Wake up at 6:30 am, shower, yoga, breakfast, dress, always in the same order, always on the same schedule.

While I was recovering from the flu, I couldn’t keep my schedule. I was too tired. I’d turn off my alarm clock and go back to sleep, then rush around trying to get out the door on time. Sometimes I did, sometimes I didn’t. If I was a few minutes late for work, too bad, so sad. I don’t have a boss on site, so there was no one to chastise me. If I needed more time at the end of the day, I stayed late.

Now the flu is over, but I haven’t gone back to my morning schedule. I set my alarm for the latest time I can get away with getting up. Then I go to bed whenever I’m tired, and wake up when I’m ready to wake up, usually before the alarm goes off. (It’s a lot easier to get to bed on time now that I don’t have cable TV, hooking me in to a show that I simply MUST see the end of.)

I love being on this new non-schedule. It’s like sleeping in every morning. Sometimes I have to hustle to get out the door, but that’s OK. I’m so well-rested that I can deal with being a bit rushed.

I’ve been letting go of other things too, like making plans. I’ve always been the type to want to plan ahead in detail. What will I eat for dinner tomorrow night? What outfit am I going to wear tomorrow morning? I had it all set in my mind ahead of time. These days I’m more likely to wing it. Sometimes that means we end up eating odd dinners, from whatever we can find in the refrigerator, but whatever. I’m not picky.

I’ve even let go of my attachment to practicing the violin. Performance time has been postponed indefinitely. It’s a heck of an instrument to master. It requires muscles and body postures that are not used for any other purpose, therefore without constant practice I find I lose my ability to play well quite quickly.

Sleeping upwards of 9 hours per night requires that I spend less time doing things in my spare time. If I have to chose between calling my mom and practicing the violin, I’ll call my mom. Spending time with my husband, family, or friends vs. the violin? My loved ones win every time. Time relaxing with a movie vs. the violin? At this time, I’m choosing to relax. I like this new, less uptight self. I don’t want to get myself caught up in a project that’s going to re-activate my inner over-achiever.

I don’t want to get to the end of my life and realize that I spent too much time trying to get things done. Just like they say that no one, on their deathbed, ever regrets that they didn’t spend more time at the office, I doubt that anyone wishes they spent more time practicing violin. Maybe I’ll find time for it again at some point, but right now, I have other priorities.

Don't be a slave to your schedule. Be a slave to the rhythm.


darcknyt said...

Sounds like good advice. Slowing down and enjoying life is never a bad thing. And if we all stressed a little less, maybe the world would be a happier place.

savia said...

Star of Bethlehem is one of the components of Rescue Remedy, so it makes sense why it would help you feel less anxious.

Good luck with everything, darling!

wigsf said...

"Tonight, we are slaves to no one, but the rhythm."

You know, if you get everything done, you'll be done. Always be doing something, therefore you'll always have something to keep you going.

Some people believe, once you stop doing, you start dying. With that in mind, never complete a darn thing. That's why I never do all my laundry. I always keep a loads worth of dirties, so that I can having something to do tommorow.
Also, I'm really lazy, so this philosophy and me get along like bestest friends.

Jenski said...

Sounds like a good way to be. I've been trying to go with the flow - some days it's easier than others. I should get me some of this Star of Bethlehem!

SoMi's Nilsa said...

Love this post. If only we could all unwind and listen to our internal rhythms instead of the ticking clocks in the world around us!

LL Cool Joe said...

I'm going through the opposite stage to you right now. I'd given a great many things up and had become very lazy really, and just was doing what I had to and then slobbing around. I put on weight and became a bit blobby.

I've now started "doing" much more and I have to say I'm loving being busy!

DarcsFalcon said...

Schedules have their place, but winging it can sometimes be infinitely better - especially winging it within the confines of a schedule.

9 hours of sleep a night? I am SO jealous!

Glad to hear you're feeling so much better and more relaxed. THAT is ALWAYS a good thing. :)

Kate said...

This is how I discovered that my body likes to go to bed at 9 p.m. It's glorious.

powdergirl said...

Your body knows what it needs at any given time, you just have to listen to it.

Other than that I can't relate, I'm the anti-scheduler and can't stand routine.

There's probably some merit to finding a middle ground...

unsigned said...

Grace Jones!

NicoleB said...

I am glad you are able to relax and stay a bit off a strict schedule.
I was never one that could do that :)

Sparkling Red said...

darcknyt: Truer words have never been spoken. Especially with respect to big, busy cities. We all rush too much.

savia: Ah, Rescue Remedy, my old standby for emergencies. I didn't realize that the pellet form of Star-of-Bethelehem was an old, trusted acquaintance in a new package.

wigsf: My father has an industrial-sized roll of plastic wrap that he's been using since the 1960's. He's had it for so long that he says he's partially convinced that he'll die when he gets to the end of the roll.

Jenski: The homeopathic format is under the plant's Latin name. I don't know what that is, but being a scientist and all I'm sure you can find it. :-)

Nilsa: I stopped wearing a wristwatch a few years back. When I don't know what time it is I just remind myself, it's Now.

LL Cool Joe: Finding a healthy balance is good. I doubt that I'll ever find myself doing too little. I'm too much of an overachiever.

DarcsFalcon: I got 9 hours last night, and easily could have slept more. I'm lucky I have the choice. I don't know how the parents of small children manage.

Kate: I'm hearing you. My eyes start to get droopy at 9:30. It's probably an HSP thing, needing lots of sleep.

powdergirl: My husband is an anti-scheduler. We're getting a long much better now that I'm not pressuring him to make plans for things he'd rather not make plans about.

Unsigned: Grace Jones rocks!

Sparkling Red said...

Nicole: Really? That surprises me, because it seems that your days are fairly unstructured.

Scarlet said...

No, towards the end of your life, I can't imagine you wishing you had spent more time on the violin, and I believe we all go through stages, meaning you'll probably take it up again when you're ready.

My body just wants to kick back and relax sometimes and with all my obligations and activities, I feel less energetic than I've felt in a long time.

I should do more of what you're doing!