Today I’m grateful for the sleep that I got last night.
I’ve always had trouble getting to bed and going to sleep. Since I’m still a man-child, when evening comes I never want to go to bed, but last night I was able to get myself to work in an evening bookend (as Brian Johnson calls it) and hop in the bed at a decent time. Of course, I wasn’t perfect about it – I still played on my phone and had the TV on, but I told myself that it didn’t have to be perfect. And I shut it down at a decent hour, and ended up getting 7-1/2 hours of sleep. And I’m grateful for the whole process, imperfection and all.
Today I give thanks that I’m up at 3:56 AM and going in to work for a few hours on a Saturday.
There are so many things to be grateful for here. I have a job. They want me there. I’m getting paid overtime. Traffic will be outstanding since it’s a Saturday morning. I’m getting paid overtime for it. It’s only for a few hours, so I’ll still have most of the day to myself.
What’s not to be thankful for???
This morning I’m thankful that I’m up at 3am for no reason at all.
I’ve actually started to enjoy getting up early. It gives me time to write, to meditate, to read – to do all of those things that I never seem to make time for once the day gets into full swing.
On the other side of the coin, I’ve learned that, for my physical and mental health (mostly the mental), I need to get enough sleep. It’s not something that I can skimp on.
There’s a difference between getting up because one wants to get stuff done, and being up because one can’t fall back to sleep after laying in bed for an hour (plus).
It’s all good, though. I’m grateful that I can get this extra early start to the day. I’m grateful that I’ll have plenty of time today for a nap. I’m grateful that I’ve I’ve learned that shit doesn’t have to go as planned for life to turn out to be fantastic.
This morning I’m thankful for not having anything to write about this morning.
Writing this blog is now the first thing that I do in the morning. I get out of bed, put some clothes on, take the dog out, feed him, grab a cup of coffee, and sit down to write.
From the time I’m out of bed, I start thinking about what sucks in my life that I can write about and work on being grateful for. It’s interesting – the opposite of positive visualization, but not quite the same as the Stoic practice of negative visualization.
Sometimes stuff is already there, like when I was worried about my insurance (both times!) or that I wouldn’t have anywhere to put my car during the snow or some other super important god awful issue that was going to ruin everything in my life so why not just kill myself?
But on some days, like today, I have to run through things in my head trying to think of something that sucks. Sometimes it doesn’t take very long – I just realize “Hey, I’d like this to change” and I’m off to the races. But this morning went something like this:
- Man, it’s cold out here while walking the dog. I could write about that. But the cold really feels good on my skin, and it’s helping me to wake up. I’m actually glad it’s like this today.
- How about that little fight Tracy and I had last night while we were driving to the party? Naw, that was pretty great too. I’m glad we fight sometimes – it brings out the honesty in us, and we always end up laughing at ourselves after.
- Being up at 4am because because Discipline Equals Freedom? Holy Moley, I actually got my ass out of bed on a Sunday morning. I don’t have to be up, I want to be up. Nothing sucks about that.
And so on, and so forth.
So I realized… I’m not just looking for stuff to be thankful for this morning. I’m actually grateful for stuff, and I’m reviewing that stuff in my mind.
I’m starting my day with real, honest gratitude.
So there is something to be grateful for when I can’t think of something that I’m going to try to be grateful for.
Today I’m thankful for not getting enough sleep.
Last night was one of those nights. I couldn’t fall asleep until just a bit before midnight, and here it is 4:50 am. I’d set my alarm for 5:30, but woke up at 4 and couldn’t fall back asleep, so I went ahead and got out of bed just before 4:30.
I like being up this early, so I can write, meditate, exercise, and read before heading off to work. I’m thankful that I’m up early enough to get all of that done – and will work on loving the tiredness that will be with me today.
This morning I’m grateful that I’m going to work on my day off.
This is another one of those “of *course* I should be grateful” moments, but when they asked me yesterday if I wanted to come in, my first thought was “But muh day off!” I’d been looking forward to lazing around, catching up on some sleep, and generally being unproductive.
Instead of that, now I get to be of service – to my fellow employees, to my bosses, to my wife, to the people who will be receiving our product, to the people who had a hand in creating our product, to the people who will be using our product to resell it or create new product from it, to my bank account, to the people who will receive the extra money that I’m going to spend because of this…
Yeah, it’s a much better thing that I’m doing than what I was going to do. As Marcus Aurelius said – I rise to do the work of a human being.
This morning I’m thankful that I “had to” get up at 3 am… because I got a job that I start today!
I put “had to” in quotes because this definitely isn’t something that I don’t want to do. I want to be up early enough to prepare for the day by meditating, exercising, reading, and writing. It’s a gift to be able to do this stuff, and I’m happy to start being up before the birds so that I can participate in it.