Allowing Myself

…to feel, to love, to be.

Tag: nap

But first, rest

There was a new moon on Sunday – and I slept right through it. What a way to welcome in this new season, eh?

Sunday morning, I rollerbladed the dog to the Farmer’s Market (how LA of me, I know). Cruising through the stalls on my skates, I picked out blood oranges, rye bread and farm-fresh eggs. Back at home I cooked a full breakfast. We watched the Flyers game and ate our food.

And somewhere in the 3rd period, I started to nod off. And slept for over an hour, on the couch. H woke me up to ask if I wanted to go climbing, which I did – was looking forward to it all week – but I just couldn’t get moving.

I ended up back in bed, post-shower – warm, clean and more sleepy than before. The sliding door was open and a strong breeze was outside, rustling through the palms. I slept, fairly deeply, for over 3 hours. Each time I woke up, I listened to the breeze outside, felt the cool sheets, and just knew I needed to keep laying there until I felt filled back up.

It took until Monday morning, sleeping in later than I normally do, to finally make me feel rested.

Two weeks ago I attended a conference on higher ed social media. Last week, I spent the day at the YouTube Space in LA.

Both events set my mind churning with ideas.

I am not sure how to capture all of them. Not sure what to do with all of them. I can feel the potential for my work expanding and I can feel that I’m lagging behind. There’s not enough time to capture, organize, do.

Then something clicked – these big ideas I’m having, that could catapult me right out of my current space, are too much. I’m falling into the Mars retrograde problem of all show & no go. I don’t want to talk a big game, I want to create, produce and have something to show for my work.

It’s not about revamping my resume (though it needs an update) or about finding a new job (I like my current position). It’s about going deeper into what I do well and what I can create in my current position. It’s about the work I do for myself.

It rings true for my ideas about flow too – that I need to be ride the waves, be present, act on what’s in front of me, and honor the seasonal shifts.

So I think my day-long nap on Sunday gave me a new perspective – in a subconscious, processing way. There is a certain knowing I’m experiencing in the past month, a confidence in feeling that I am kicking butt, that I am prepared, that there is opportunity for me to step up my game.

But first, I needed to rest.

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Weekend Away

 

 

 

We went up to Ojai, CA this weekend for a wedding. Even though Ojai is only 90min north of Los Angeles, we decided to go up on Friday and spend the extra night away from home.

This turned out to be a perfect idea.

Not only did we need the change of scenery and time together, but our little adventure was so much fun. It was relaxing, easy-going, and really just fun. While our honeymoon was jam-packed with craziness, this weekend was more inline with how I believe we should vacation: pick a few things we want to do, and then wander.

Friday
-Drive up to Ojai from Malibu, CA. Gorgeous drive up the coast.
-Check into adorable hotel. We stayed at the Capri Hotel. I didn’t snap a photo, but our room is pictured above. Friends who also stayed thought it wasn’t great, but I loved it. The only issue was super thin walls (and the obnoxious kid next door). We had room 108, which the manager said is he favorite.
-Nap for a bit. Kiss for a bit. Lounge.
-Head out for dinner. We walked the main street (less than 1 mile long) and chose to eat at the Ojai Pizza place. It was clearly a local joint. I don’t recommend. For what we ate and paid, it wasn’t worth it. But we weren’t interested in a fancier dinner being on a budget, so it worked fine for us.
-Eat a oreo ice cream
-Go back to the room and pick out a movie. Try the hot tub first. It is luke warm at best. We last no more than 8 minutes in it and go back to the room. I brew chamomile tea.
-Watch Alien, the 1979 science-fiction horror film on VHS. When H realizes he has to rewind the tape, he has a weird momentary flash-back to being in middle school. It’s been on my mind to watch this entire trilogy and low and behold, the hotel had a copy.

So for the extra $200 to be there a day early, eat crappy local pizza, and watch a movie on VHS, maybe it doesn’t seem like it was worth it – but after having a roommate for the past 5+ months, it was exactly the quality time I needed with H.

Saturday
-I wanted to hike, but H forgot to pack sneakers (of course). He was exhausted anyways, so we walked into town instead. Ate breakfast at Bonnie Lu’s Country Cafe. Again, nothing remarkable. Certainly not our local joint here in LA. The staff was extremely friendly, but the food was meh. It was so nice to just sit and chat with H about work and his ideas about stuff he’s doing for grad school.
-On the walk back we picked up a card and a toothbrush (I forgot mine). We wandered through a few thrift stores. We wanted to window shop more but walked the wrong way, distracted by another issue, and ended up back at the hotel.
-We stopped by a garage sale that had a super old radio – the kind with dials and warm speaker sounds. It was $110. We didn’t splurge on it, but we definitely contemplated it.
-Back at the hotel, we reviewed the trail maps and headed out to the Old Baldwin Rd trailhead.
-Walked a loop for about an hour. It was slow and easy (again, H didn’t have shoes), kind of boring but better than nothing. Would love to go back and do a ridge hike.
-Back at the hotel again, H naps. I play around on Instagram and try napping, but the noisy kid next door doesn’t stop ALL DAY. It is super overcast or else I could sit by the pool. Finally around 2:30pm it clears and the sun comes out.
-Sit by the pool for 45 min. The sun is strong and the pool area is quiet. Bliss.
-Get ready for the wedding and head over
-Enjoy the wedding, dancing, food and friends.

Sunday
-We eat breakfast in the lobby – they provide some small items, coffee and tea. I have a hot chocolate.
-Shower, pack up and head out.
-I drive so H can do work in the car
-I am super sleepy. We make good time home and I promptly take a nap for the rest of the afternoon.

It may seem boring but this weekend really was just what I needed. I thrive on quality time with H and easy-going traveling to new places like that. I love to wander, eat, window shop, nap, relax and read. The weekend had everything I could’ve wanted (well, more sun and quiet room, but close enough). Really happy we went.

Naps

This week I was in Boston for work. I arrived late after a delayed plane, so I wasn’t eating dinner until 11pm EDT the first night. After a clunky and uncomfortable 5 hours of sleep, I was up at 6am, not so terrible, except that my body  felt more like 3am. Jet lag is a bitch.

But this isn’t a post about Boston. Instead, it’s about the 23 hours of sleep post-trip I needed to finally feel normal again.

Friday I flew back early – touched down in LA by noon PDT. Somewhere around 4pm I went down for my first nap. I slept 3 hours. It felt amazing. Afterwards, I was still able to sleep 8hrs, going to bed at 11pm.

Saturday morning was good, but I was back on the couch by 1pm and slept through 4pm. I was frantic with how tired my body felt and how much I thought I had to do. “Tell me I can sit here and doing nothing,” I asked H. “Relax,” he said. “Just sit and watch hockey”.

He made me leftovers for lunch. I ate on the couch. The dog cuddled with me. I didn’t watch hockey. I napped through the game and then some more.

Energized from sleeping, I rallied and went out to dinner with friends. By 9pm though, I was yawning and ready for my bed again. Asleep by 11pm, before H turned off the iPad, and slept a full 8hrs again.

This morning, with the sun streaming in, after odd dreams and my bladder feeling like it would burst, I woke up. “I think I finally got enough sleep” I told H. He laughed. Apparently he and my sister were calling me Miss-Sleeps-A-Lot.

But I wanted to write about this for a few reasons.

One: I never used to take naps. Take time out for rest when I have so much to do? Never. But H loves to nap. I used to be jealous, that he could “check-out” in that way, but now it’s the whole “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em”. Naps do something for my brain and body, like a quick reset button for my energy, a clean slate for my mind.

Two: I didn’t know how to nap, for me. Now, I set a timer for 30min, 1hr and 15min or go for a full 3hrs. If it’s a longer one, I prefer taking a quick shower afterwards. If I do this on a Friday night before we go out, I can stay out and up until 5am no problem. If I catch 45min and a shower before a work event, I can handle the noise / people / event chaos with more energy and less anxiety.

Three: I didn’t prioritize self-care until recently. Now, instead of feeling guilty, weak or stupid, I just nap – and I feel better. End of story. There’s no glory is powering through. This goes for skipping exercise (or not), for eating healthy (or not), and for sitting at the computer for another hour (or not). By listening to what my body really wants, I am able to satisfy my needs and move on. Less fighting, less frustrations and certainly, less tears.

So, I’ve been napping. And while I felt self-conscious about how much sleep I wanted the past few days, I knew that the less than 20hrs of sleep I got during my 4-night trip (I usually need 7.5 hrs per night to feel good) AND the overwhelming amount of people, meetings, and traveling I navigated warranted the need for more sleep than usual. And it’s nothing to be ashamed of – I worked my ass off last week and my body needed this rest to catch up. I’m almost certain I’ll sleep my average 7.5 hours tonight and wake up tomorrow back on track.

But even if I don’t, I can always squeeze in a nap.

How about you? Do you nap? What are your napping secrets? If you don’t nap, why? I would love to hear about your experiences. xo

This Grateful Season – A List

Thankful for:

  • Siblings
  • Husband
  • 3 hour naps
  • Putting myself first
  • Dog parks
  • Leftovers
  • Puppies (young and old)
  • Friends who write amazing emails
  • Friends who take you into their home
  • Friends who make sure you read good books
  • Hot tubs
  • House envy
  • Giving in
  • Asking for help
  • Yarn
  • Books, esp murder mysteries
  • Movies
  • Shirtless Daniel Craig & Ryan Gosling (see previous bullet)
  • 4 day weekends

____________

For the month of November, I write each day about something I’m grateful for and call it Grateful Season. It’s my way of reviewing the amazing year I’ve had and helps me focus on blogging during the crazy holiday season uptick. Feel free to join me – just make sure you let me know!

The Ups and Downs of Things

Been feeling a little blue. Been needing more help / support than usual. Thought seeing my therapist yesterday would help, but it took a whole lot more. After crying in the car because my self-care plan of doing work at my fav coffee house back-fired, I ended up just putting myself to bed. An hour long nap was the key. Afterwards I felt healthy enough to vacuum the entire house and get my shit together for my event that evening. And then I got a mani / pedi.

The event itself was fabulous. I should never doubt the power of hanging out with other women.

I didn’t get home till after midnight. This morning I have a hangover. But I’m packed and ready to travel again. It’s so weird to me the ups and downs of things. How I can be hysterical and alone in the morning and surrounded by community and love at night. Do you ever get that?

So grateful I had the time and flexibility to take that nap. Not sure I would’ve reset to myself again without it.

Hope you’re having a lovely Thursday. xo