Awake

Awake

I’ve never liked waking up. In fact, I clearly remember that as a young girl my mom would coax me out of bed and into the kitchen where she would have a blanket waiting for me on my chair. I would promptly cocoon myself under the blanket—the only site of me being the small hand that would emerge from behind the blanket to snatch up the carefully cut up pieces of donut or muffin and fruit that my mom so lovingly prepared for my easy consumption. (Hello, Mother of the Year anyone?  But that’s another story)

I feel like there must have been a time in my adult life where waking up wasn’t so hard, but I might just be romanticizing. All I know is, waking up these days reminds me of that young girl long ago, as I stay in bed until the last possible second, fighting and clawing every step of the way.

This may surprise some people, as those who know me know I’m actually quite a morning person—in fact, morning is usually my best and most productive time of day. The being up is not the issue; the waking up is. I dread the coming day, no matter what lies ahead, when I first start to stir. I curse it, bemoan it, and generally think horrible thoughts about my life and everything in it. And then, because of my denial, the day SLAPS me across the face with children and schedules and THINGS TO BE DONE RIGHT NOW! There is no gentle entry to the day with my current strategy.   And, every night I think to myself “tomorrow I’ll wake up early so I can take my time/get that thing done/make breakfast” and then the morning comes and, well, let’s just say this is not top on my list of Things I Do Well.

I have to wonder what this is all about. Because truly, all I need to do is get my feet touching the ground (and walking towards caffeine) and my outlook completely changes. Instead of seeing my day for what it seemed as I lay under the covers (Darkness! Evil! Dragons!), I see my day, and my life, for what it actually is (Sunshine! Roses! Rainbows! Okay, not completely, but you get my point).  So, why is it so hard to get my feet on the ground? Why is it so hard to just start?

But I suppose that’s life. The thought of a thing is usually so much harder than the thing itself, for me anyway, and I can so easily get caught up in the thinking that I push off the doing (like lying in bed until my children and day are literally flying at me).  It makes me think of the Lao-tzu quote: “A journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step.” The thing I’m dreading, whether it be the day ahead, the appointment that needs scheduling, the conversation that needs having, can feel like a 1000 miles. But I just need to remember to take the first step, to just start moving. Every step gets easier after that.

How can you put your feet on the ground, and just take the first step?

Erika-Brand

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Erika Petrelli

About Erika Petrelli

Erika Petrelli is the Senior Vice President of Leadership Development (and self-declared Minister of Mischief) for The Leadership Program, a New York City-based organization. With a Masters degree in Secondary Education, Erika has been in the field of teaching and training for decades, and has been with The Leadership Program since 1999. There she has the opportunity to nurture the individual leadership spirit in both students and adults across the country, through training, coaching, keynotes, and writing. The legacy Erika strives daily to create is to be the runway upon which others take flight. If you enjoy these blogs, you should check out her interactive journal, On Wings & Whimsy: Finding the Extraordinary Within the Ordinary, now available for sale on Amazon. While her work takes her all around the country, Erika calls Indiana home.