Thursday, October 06, 2011

Finding Rhythm

I'm in my sixth week of this temp job, and last week was the first week where I began to feel like I was catching my breath, and finding a new normal.

I tend to forget that adaptation takes more time than I think it will.

This job starts earlier than anywhere I've ever worked.  I need to be in the office at 7:30 am.  That means I need to be at the bus stop at 6:30 am.  And that means that my alarm clock goes off at 5:30 am.

That's right, this avowed night person has been starting every day at 5:30 am!  That's a full two hours before the current sunrise, y'all.

It's pretty much horrible!

And it has definitely taken some adapting of schedules and rhythms.

You see, over the last year I've discovered that my much despised mornings are easier if I wake up with about an hour before I have to be out the door.  It really only takes me maybe 15-20 minutes of that hour to get out of bed and out the door.  The rest of it is spent waking VERY slowly.  Checking a few emails, or reading a few blog posts.  Anything that can be done from a prone, still curled up under the blankets, easing into the day kind of position.

Another newish rhythm has to do with sleep.  On weeknights I try to carve out the last hour before my lights need to be out as a time to wind down.  No television, no phone calls, no computer screens, or cell phone screens.  Just me and some time to write, read, pray and think.

That rhythm has been challenging since, with the early mornings, I need to have my lights out by 10pm, 10:30 at the latest.  That means I need to be done with emailing, blog reading, game playing, web surfing, and television watching by 9 pm.  Do you know how hard this early to bed thing is for me???  Let me just tell you - going to bed that early is almost worse than getting up so early!

Add in full days in an emotionally draining office environment, the need to juggle a family, church and social life, and the ongoing process of exploring my one word for the year, "heal", and it's been quite the struggle to adapt.

I feel like I'm starting to catch a second wind, finally, six weeks in.  Like I've made some strides in figuring out what does and what doesn't work.  Like I'm adapting to this crazy new schedule of sleeping and waking (or at least hating it a little bit less as I recognize that discipline in this area is paying dividends in physical and emotional health - and by extension my mental and spiritual stability).

It's a good thing, and a hard one all at once, these new rhythms.  Nothing I would have expected or chosen, but an encouragement to find footing even in this newest of spaces and challenges.  And that, my friends, is something I'm grateful for.


christianne said...

Ouch. This sounds so hard.

One thing I love about what you shared here is the way you've incorporated self-care into this new rhythm: an hour to slowly ease into the day, getting to do some things you love before ever getting out of bed, and an hour at the end of the day to just care for your heart-space with quiet, reading, writing, and prayer. Sounds lovely, even though I can imagine it takes a measure of discipline -- waking up that hour earlier, finishing those screen-based activities an hour earlier, too.

I'm thankful for the financial provision this temp work is providing you, but I know from what you've shared that it's been hard on multiple levels. Here's to the request for grace to be given you in just the right measure each day.


Lisa said...

It has been quite challenging, and I'm definitely glad it finally seems to be feeling a bit more "normal", and less like I'm fighting it and forcing myself into the discipline to make it work. It's flowing a bit more these days, and I'm really thankful for that.

I'm going to write about some of the good parts soon... maybe even tomorrow :) (One of them is a new liturgical prayer book I picked up and am loving!)

Love that request for grace given in just the right measure each day.