Normalize Taking Naps

Before I sat down to the computer tonight, I thought, “I’m just going to grab an old post to share.” But when I actually sat down and followed guidance to interlace my finger and take some deep cleansing breaths, I knew that new words would come from my heart.

Image of a woman sleeping with natural hair in two strand twists and a light blue blanket draped over shoulders. Text in purple script states Normalize taking naps. Subtitle states When we rest, we get to reset and can approach life with more energy, balance, and clarity. SISTAMoms logo

Today was a day of epiphanies and growth, struggles and triumphs, frustrations and blessings. I am in a dance of letting go of the old and launching into the new.

It’s funny how habits that don’t serve us can be the hardest ones to release, while new practices are hard to…. practice. I would think that the thing that brings me what I want would be the easy choice, but the grooves we’ve made by walking that other path makes it real easy for our wheels to take us down the old route.

Let me tell you something I learned about ADHD, from my therapist. When I was in school (undergrad intro Psych class), I learned about “object permanence.” It’s the reason why you can play peekaboo with a toddler but not a newborn. Once you cover your face, you’re gone to that infant. Well, the same “out of sight, out of mind” happens with some people with ADHD.

I don’t know enough about it (because it’s still new to me) to know how common it is percentage-wise, but I know for me, it’s a big challenge. When I have an exciting new project I’m working on, it has my focus up until it becomes too challenging. Once I hit a wall, I pivot and do something else. My intention is to get back to it. I’m just taking a little break. But what happens is I completely forget that I was working on it at all. Weeks and months can go by and then I’m looking through the files on my computer for an image and then I find the designs I created for that project. Sometimes I laugh at myself. Sometimes I do the Homer Simpson facepalm (“Doh!”). And other times I get really down on myself for failing to complete yet another project.

The same thing happens with my workouts and healthy eating plans. I’m going strong until something shifts in my schedule that causes me not to do the new practice and then it’s “out of sight, out of mind.” By the time I remember, I have to start all over from scratch, or just lack the same level of drive I had when I began originally.

With that said, I am trying to gather myself to complete outstanding projects, while I pivot toward my next chapter. I’m doing this while navigating life, raising a teen, building a business, doing a ton of inner healing, and stepping into what I feel is most natural to me, while stepping over all the insecurities it brings up.

I’m in a place of feeling extremely excited and extremely burned out simultaneously. If I shared with you all I’ve navigated while showing up here, you’d never believe me, but the thing is that I love doing this. I love sharing insights and uplifting posts. I love making sense of the circus that aspects of my life can be. AND I need a vacation. If I actually believed people would give, I’d start a GoFundMe to send myself and my daughter on a vacation, cuz boy do we need it. It’s been a rough year or two. And we keep rolling….

I looked at myself on my phone this evening and even the SnapChat filters couldn’t hide the fatigue. It’s like my eyes have started packing bags for our vacay. πŸ˜…

I need a breakthrough. I need a blessing. I need some time away by the water. I need to remember what ease feels like. I need rest and relaxation to reset my mind so I can keep doing this work, and the other important work I really want to get to…. #songwritingπŸ₯°

And in the meantime, I need to figure out how to consistently show up, despite how my brain works, and despite the fatigue. Or…. better yet… maybe I need to figure out how to rest without guilt.

A thought came to me this evening about that clichΓ©, “You snooze, you lose.” I realized how often there are societal messages that warn us against ease and relaxation, in favor of being constantly alert, vigilant, and busy. If you take a midday nap after 9 years old, you’re “lazy.” If you’re up working ’til late, “burning the midnight oil,” you get congratulated and inducted into “Team No Sleep.” And if you’re a mom and share the week’s worth of tasks you completed today before bed, you’re called “such a good mom.”

I’m exhausted of being exhausted. I want to rest without the guilt. It’s hard enough managing this squirrels-juggling-while-riding-unicycles mind of mine without adding massive levels of sleep deprivation.

The times when I’ve been kind to myself and taken a guiltless, midday nap, I’ve seen MIRACULOUS things occur. Some of my greatest triumphs have occurred while I was knocked out sleeping. πŸ˜† I remember being just overwhelmed and frustrated one day, so I took a nap to get the ugh off of me. I woke up, checked my email, and had a message that my children’s book I’m Proud to Be Natural Me! was now in multiple libraries in the Chicago Public Library system. I had been trying forever to do it on my own, but it seemed like I was just getting in the way. One librarian and one phone call and I was asleep while it was happening. I have so many stories of having major shifts occur while I was resting. And I believe that sometimes our angst is what’s blocking the flow of what’s already ours. (And given that angst is my most prominent emotion…. I probably need to be sleeping way more. πŸ˜†

Even though I know this about myself… that I gain clarity, I reset my focus, I shift out of negative emotions, and I approach my work with a vibrant second wind, I still force myself to stay up all day and night because I don’t want people looking at me like I’m lazy. But today, I really thought about how much I’m probably getting in my own way. If I’m not focused, I’m not doing quality work. I’m staring at the computer.

It’s time to let all that go and just stop caring so much about other people’s opinions. I’m at point where I people can just think what they want. My family can call me “lazy.” They can assume that I’m not trying. They can believe whatever they want. I’m gonna let myself sleep when I’m tired. I’m going to challenge myself to go to bed when I feel I haven’t done enough to earn sleep. I’m going to gift myself rest so I can have the clarity of mind to be productive when I’m awake. I’m gonna let people’s opinions be theirs… so rest can be mine. And I’m gonna start tonight.

I’m going to bed as soon as I post this. If you see me up, tell me to go to bed. πŸ˜†

If you’ve been running your body down “burning the candle at both ends,” maybe it’s time to check in with yourself, or meditate on how often you allow yourself that level of deprivation. For me, it’s become a lifestyle, and I’m tired of feeling tired. I’m getting some rest. Maybe you should, too.

Goodnight…. I mean, Blessings!

Marlene Dillon Empowerment Specialist
Co-Founder of SISTAMoms with Yvonne Monique Livingston LLC
Owner Chief Empowerment Officer of MDillon Designs & Publishing

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Published by Marlene Dillon Empowerment Specialist

Marlene Dillon is the CEO of MDillon Designs & Publishing. I teach girls to believe in themselves and choose relationships that support their goals. I teach children that their dreams are possible and that they are lovable. I teach parents to communicate with their children in healthy ways. In short, I.U.S.E. people. Inspire. Uplift. Support. Empower.

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