I’m a very sound sleeper. I’m that person that can get on an airplane, instantly close her eyes and be drooling on your shoulder by the time we leave the runway. I can shut my eyes after an intense yoga class, open them what feels like minutes later, and be alone in the studio with all the lights off.
In other words, not only do I like my sleep, but I am very good at it.
So I found myself in a strange predicament the other night when I woke up at 3am and was unable to fall back asleep. I just lay there in the bed, staring into the darkness, waiting for the sleep that always comes to descend. But it never did. At any rate, my awakeness did nothing to stir the sleeping dog next to me. She was snoozing (and snoring) quite peacefully with her head on my pillow. Yes, this is the same 80 pound dog I’ve written about in the past. When she’s got energy, she’s like the Energizer Bunny. When she’s out of energy she sleeps like the dead.
And the longer I lay there not sleeping while she lay next to me sleeping peacefully, the more I wanted to kill her. Why did SHE get to sleep when I was stuck awake? I did the same exercise as her, took the same hike, in fact, I probably worked HARDER since I have half the amount of legs as her! It’s MY bed and I can’t even get rest, now I’m going to be tired for work and cranky and…
TIME OUT. Do you see the spiral of negativity happening? Thankfully, I did, too.
Just because she was enjoying a peaceful sleep was not grounds for me being sour at her. In fact, I’m sure there have been plenty of people I’ve sat next to on red-eye flights that were envious of my ability to sleep in a cramped and uncomfortable space. I was observing someone else having something I didn’t currently have and was focusing my frustration about my current situation onto them instead of the real source – myself.
Sound familiar? We’ve all done it. Coworker gets a raise? Shoulda been me. Neighbor wins the lottery? Not fair! Significant other is super happy and you’re in a bad mood? All of a sudden they’re getting the full brunt of it.
The truth of the matter is, it feels good to be happy for other people. When you recognize someone else receiving or doing something that makes them feel good, share in their joy! When you are in a good place how would you feel if someone gave you the cold shoulder or the whiney story because they weren’t in your shoes? When you can recognize and appreciate other people’s success, it can motivate you to strive toward feeling good as well. But only if you allow it to.
I never did fall asleep that night, but I decided that my fate was to get through some e-mail. And surprisingly I was not tired or cranky the next day, a nice long walk with the dog gave me good energy for the whole afternoon. By the time the night rolled around I had already forgotten I was functioning off of little sleep. And that night I slept like a baby.
Or like an 80 pound dog.