Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Day 109 I'm Slipping....on My Sleep: Lessons on Being Inconsistent

I posted a while back about having sleep issues...having a hard time getting to sleep at night, being a "night person", blah, blah, blah. I'd started taking melatonin every night at about 9 pm, and for several weeks, I was doing really well. By 10:30 or so I'd be ready to go to bed, and I'd be in bed nearly asleep by 11.

And then I fell off the wagon. I stopped taking the melatonin regularly, and sure enough, I stopped going to bed at a reasonable hour....letting my bedtime slip to 12 or 12:30...or even 1am, and then being miserable in the morning.

And the irritating part is that I know what I need to do to fix this problem. I need to be consistent.

I've always hated that word....being consistent. In my mind it was synonymous with "boring" or "predictable" or "unspontaneous". And not being consistent has caused me no small amount of problems over the years. On the contrary, its probably been the single largest character flaw and source of conflict in my life.

My hubby has been a very patient man. And I have to give him all the credit for being my own personal "life coach" in this particular area, being consistent. When we got together, we blended families, my kids, his daughter. And I had been previously oblivious of how being inconsistent had been impacting my life.

Oh sure, there were at least a few areas in my life that I was very reliable about. But there were many, many more areas where I wasn't consistent at all.

And there is nothing like the stress and conflict of blending families to shine spotlights on areas of inconsistency. He and I each had our own ways of doing things. To be honest, he had his own way of doing things, and I had notions of how I did things....that might change daily.

Over the years that we've been together....through many, many.......many conflicts and stressful moments, I've finally come to the realization that being consistent isn't a personality flaw. It isn't a characteristic that somehow sucks the creativity and fun and life right out of you. Being consistent doesn't make you boring.

It makes you capable.

I never got that. I never understood the connection between accomplishing goals and being consistent.

I used to think that accomplishing goals was purely a matter of brute force and enthusiasm. But the notion of steady, consistent steps in the direction of a goal....well, that just eluded me. I just believed that all I needed was the desire, and somehow I'd get there. I've always considered myself a "determined" person. Ironically, the idea that being determined also included being my mind, those two things never crossed paths.

Hind sight is 20-20, right?

And wonderful spouses have the ability to change your life. (Right Allan?)

Through several years of hubby coaching, guiding, nudging, pleading, and arguing, the notion of being consistent has started to sink in. I am MUCH more consistent today than I ever have been in my life.

Don't get me wrong....obviously I still have a long way to go...hence the sleep issues that brought me to this post.

I still have a bit of a blind side that makes it difficult for me to see clearly the steps I need to take, the ways that I need to be consistent in order to be successful. But that brick wall is getting smaller all the time. I'm learning to embrace the idea of being consistent.

I'm learning that consistency is not the opposite of spontaneity or creativity. They are not mutually exclusive. As a matter of fact, they compliment one another.

 Consistency allows me to have enough order in my life to leave room for spontaneity and creativity, without causing chaos.

And the hidden gem in this lesson for me is that learning to be consistent in my diet, learning to be consistent in taking care of my health and my body will eventually leave room for me to be spontaneous, without wreaking havoc on myself. I don't plan on spending the rest of my life never eating another piece of cheesecake again. But careening thru life, eating anything and everything without regard to portions, nutrition, frequency...well that's just one area of inconsistency that I want to be done with.

And I thank my hubby for showing me how valuable it is to be consistent.

1 comment:

  1. Yep! The slow and steady, day to day things are what get us where we want to go. It took me decades to learn that lesson. I'll take consistent and boring any day if it means I get to be thinner. Being fat, sucks so hard.