Just Stop

It's an incredibly challenging time to be alive. And trust me, that's not a political statement.

I'm managing more work than I've ever taken on, all conveniently bound by ironclad contracts that make slacking off or even asking for a mere extension damn-near impossible. Additionally, my 12-year-old dog was vomiting for a week straight, I'm playing landlord to multiple properties that are thousands of miles away, and for the first time in my life, I'm doing things like "forgetting to eat lunch" which is a huge red flag for someone who finishes one meal thinking about the next.

Here's the sick confession though: I kind of like it. The chaos, that is.

I feel alive when I'm busy. When I'm firing off emails and turning in work. It's the reason I can't meditate or take a vacation without wifi. And for the most part, I handle it all well. "High functioning" is what the therapist calls it.

But I'm still human. And the same thoughts that keep you up at night are the ones that keep me up at night. I just have a triple order of them, which is only a good thing when you're talking about French fries.

That said, I haven't slept much lately. Every night, I lay awake in my bed planning my next move, trying to get ahead of tomorrow, and attempting to answer a myriad of questions that flow in while the rest of the world winds down. And then I wonder why I'm exhausted and defeated in the morning.

But last night was different. In an unprecedented moment of clarity, I said just two words to myself as I crawled into bed: "Just stop."

Just stop because tomorrow isn't here yet; now is here. And now is bed time.

Just stop because you don't have the answers to the questions. And they won't come to you between now and 7am.

Just stop because the scenarios you are going over in your head are out of your control. And no amount of ruminating changes that.

So just stop before you even start. And go to sleep.

It was like five-second truce I made with my inner self and I couldn't have been more OK with it. I put the phone on the charger, turned my white noise app on, gave my dog a smooch and shut my eyes. I had the best sleep I've had in months.

There's a degree of peace you need to make with yourself, on your own time, in your way. It's like a deal you have to strike, especially when times are tough. For me, that'll likely never come through things like meditation retreats, traditional prayer, or even regular exercise.

But I have been newly-enlightened by the concept of "just stop" and am ready to make that part of my fresh start.