The Luxury of Time for Stress!

Trying and failing to get a baby off to sleep at naptime provided another chance to watch my mind in action, ruining another perfectly good 45 minutes of my life.

I have just spent about 45 minutes stressing about getting my daughter off to sleep for her morning nap. After walking around as long as I could with her on my back, to no avail, I finally lay down and gave her some milk. She just wasn’t going to sleep. I had a guest sitting in the kitchen, who seemed happy enough reading and drinking coffee, but I still felt I shouldn’t be ignoring her. There were so many things I could be, or should be, doing too. And she should have been asleep half an hour ago. We were up at six this morning. I was really quite tense and stressed out by now, my eyes were aching. I’m so tired, I thought, thoroughly sorry for myself by now.

And then I realised what was going on here. I was tired, yet there I was lying on a bed. All I had to do was close my eyes and they wouldn’t hurt so much anymore. I had just been walking around the garden, feeling the newly warm air. We’re having some strange Spring throwback, or preview, with patches of snow still remaining. The air smelled of earth. It was not such a terrible way to spend the morning.

Basically, I had tied myself in knots with one expectation and hung my happiness on meeting it. As I laughed at myself, the realisation came that I had the time to get myself stressed and caught up in my own expectations, and this time itself was a certain luxury. I obviously was not in a life threatening situation here, I wasn’t running away from a tiger or anything. And then I opened my eyes, a little less tired now, and noticed that my daughter was asleep.

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