It is not quite 9:00 p.m. On a Thursday night, and I am on final approach to calling it a day. My first client arrived 12 hours ago; the last one, four total today, left at 4:30 p.m. The remaining four hours of my workday were spent answering e-mails, writing, paying bills, a trip to the bank, and phone calls. At the end of a day like today, I feel the satisfaction of exceeding the arbitrary “quota” of business for the day, as well as the sense of having really worked at something. I am tired and ready for bed.
As I help others to regulate themselves so that they can get more and better sleep and rest, I have become more aware of my own needs for solid sleep, as well as for time when I am not booked to the limit. I know from experience that I am likely to get sick if I burn the candle at both ends — something I cannot afford to do. Looking forward to the schedule for the week ahead, I must make “deposits” of rest and self-care now, because I will be “drawing down” those accounts in the near future. To perform — that is, to work at the highest level of which I am capable, I must tune into my physical sensations of the need for sleep, good food, movement and exercise, and joyful recreation. I have learned not only to notice and monitor those sensations, but also to honor them and fulfill the needs expressed in wise, healthy, and productive ways.
So, for tonight, despite many temptations to stay up later, I’ll be in bed and asleep 15 minutes from now. I am already in my pajamas; teeth brushed, face washed, and anticipating the welcome horizontal plane. The soft sheets, warm covers, and cool darkness beckon me to let go of this day, and start again, anew, tomorrow.