My husband can fall asleep within seconds. There have been times when he has literally fallen asleep in the midst of saying , “Good night”. It makes me crazy!!!! Truly, it makes me envious.
Sleep is often elusive for me these days. It can sometimes take me an hour or more to fall into a sound sleep, in spite of observing recommended bedtime routines like no caffeine, no snacking, and limiting technology (although, I am absolutely guilty of a final Facebook scroll).
Laying still, in the dark, cozied up with the husband and the pups, all seem to be the ingredients necessary for my brain to become fully awake and engaged with Life. It’s the time when the stories begin.
These are not sweet, sleepy, lullaby-like stories of childhood. These are the stories of adult life.
I wish I’d accomplished more today.
I hope I don’t forget to do that chore tomorrow.
Why did I respond to this work email with a “ok” instead of saying I was loaded up right now?
These bedtime stories are almost always centered around productivity, shortcomings, and frustration with myself.
We are all storytellers for ourselves. We tell ourselves stories constantly throughout the day. Stories about anticipating a day that will be too full (my husband, who sleeps so peacefully, is terrible about predicting how hard tomorrow will be….and yet he sleeps!), stories of how we didn’t produce enough, how we came up just a little short.
We tell ourselves stories of who we think we are, and our stories, honestly, are not always kind.
If I close my eyes for a second, I can conjure up the memories of my precious boys as babies and toddlers, snuggled close, the scents baby shampoo and toddler goodness filling the quiet night air. They are cozied up in the crook of my arm as we read one last book for the night. It is always a slow book, a sleepy book, a book about how much they are loved and how perfect and just right they are.
I always wanted my babies to fall asleep knowing they were loved.
What if, just for a few nights, we could cuddle up with our deepest selves, the self that shows up when the house is still and the lights are off, and tell ourselves a good-night story of love and acceptance and gratitude? A story of how who we are and what we do is exactly who we are meant to be and precisely what was meant to be done? Stories of gratefulness for full lives and limitless opportunity for growth?
What if, our bedtime story went something like this:
I am exactly who I am meant to be.
I am perfect in the present.
I am not what I accomplish…those are things I do, but now who I am. And I have done well today.
I am precious, and loved, and sacred and full.
I am grateful for this day that I’ve had the privilege to journey through, and I am excited about tomorrow.
I am grateful for being me.
Nite Nite, Self. I love you.