This morning my iPad wasn't working- no sound. I checked all the usual spots- maybe the airpods or headphones were connected or maybe my speaker was connected. Nope- all "normal".
Next I did something very unusual. I turned it off. I powered it down and let it rest. Guess what? It worked. A few hours later I turned it back on and now I'm listening to lovely music as I work at my desk. Magic!
Normally this type of incident would send me over the edge. I'd poke some buttons only to get more frustrated with not being able to fix the problem because honestly, I don't really understand how the thing works in the first place, and that would get me even more frustrated. Then I'd probably start looking for a replacement, assuming that the contraption is broken beyond repair and once again being thankful that I have Apple care for just this type of situation. Yes- I have a slight tendency towards over reaction.
This time though I stayed calm, simply turning the thing off and continued on with getting ready my day. Luckily I don't rely on my iPad for work- it makes teaching class easier, but I can get by without it. Cool! No harm, no foul.
Why was today different? Why was I able to calmly turn off the iPad and go about my business without having a nuclear melt down? Because I had just done the same thing to myself.
For the past few weeks I have been letting one of my demons "drive the bus" so to speak.
"Sometimes I wrestle with my demons, and other times we just snuggle" ~Tim Ferris from a meme his mom gave him.
I have many demons- versions of me that are not examples of my best self. One of my stronger demons is my 12 year-old self. Let's call her Kali Ray after the Hindu Goddess of Death and Destruction. When I allow Kali Ray to be in charge, things go sideways fast.
Instead of acting like a mature, level headed, even- tempered 46 year old mom who, I act like a rebellious teenager. I stay up late because can, telling that boring 46 year old "you're not the boss of me. I can make my own decisions. And by the way- they are GREAT choices! Like, the BEST!".
Umm- no, they're not great choices. Too much sugar, not enough vegetables. Playing Clash of Clans when I'm supposed to be working. Feeling sorry for myself because my foot hurts (plantar fasciitis flare-up). All the typical behaviors of a rebellious teenager who doesn't want to do the stuff she's supposed to do.
Sound familiar? Now you may not react like I do, but I'm guessing that when one of your demons is in charge, self-care goes out the window.
Now this wouldn't be a problem if it weren't for the path of destruction left behind. When I let Kali Ray be in charge for too long I'm what get's destroyed. I can't live on chocolate and 5 hours of sleep. Trust me- I've tried. And I keep trying (that's my version of insanity- doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result).
So I go back to what works. I start my bedtime routine right after dinner by washing my face, brushing my teeth, and taking my bra off (TMI- sorry). When it's time for bed I turn the TV off instead of setting the sleep function. I use my lavender filled eye pillow and put on a sleep story from the Calm app or I listen to a podcast- something chill.
I finally did that last night. And it worked. I slept great and today I feel great. I'm in a good mood for the first time in 2 weeks!
I know what works. And when I do it, I feel great. So why can't I stick with it? Why is it that I only come back to doing my healthy sleep routine AFTER I've been struggling.
Basically, why do I keep letting Kali Ray, my little 12 year old demon, drive the bus?
Because that's what I'm used to. It is a habit. It is a habit that no longer serves me. Yes- this is the simplistic answer, and there is a lot more to it, but habit is a big contributor.
What's the answer? Keep plugging away. My job is to keep doing the good stuff- the healthy behaviors. I need to keep building that healthy sleep routine muscle. The more I work it, the stronger it gets.
That's why EZ Fit in 10 is all about making fitness as quick and easy as possible. To help you build that muscle- literally- by moving for 10 minutes a day. Every day.
The more we practice those healthy behaviors- like exercising everyday, eating vegetables everyday, drinking water everyday, and turning the TV off at night, we get better at doing those things that help us be our best selves.
Today's action step:
Write down what happens when you're demon is driving the bus. If you're feeling brave, post your answer in the comments. It's much easier to snuggle with our demons when we share our experiences. Plus I bet we'll all see that we have pretty similar stories.
Next week: Going a bit deeper into why we keep letting that demon be in charge.