Indulge Your Passion
Week 11 of 'The Great Wake Up!'
This was the week of the Great Wake Up experiment where we quite literally had to wake up...that is, wake up one hour early. The idea was that this would give me an extra hour to do the things I keep meaning to do, but never seem to find the time for.
There are lots of things that fall under that category for me. Plenty of things I want to do. Read more, write more, meditate, watch films, exercise, listen to music, play more, laugh more. There are always (and I suspect always will be) things that I wish I had extra time for.
But what I really want, over and above most other things, is more sleep. I never seem to get enough. So being asked to get up an hour earlier than I normally do was something that I didn't think would be possible. And I was reluctant to try it as I know how exhausted I am when I wake up at my normal time, let alone any earlier!
So as a compromise I decided to put an hour aside during the day to do those same things I would have done had I got up earlier. I thought that would be in keeping with the overall aim of this weeks experiment. Some may call that cheating, I call it being self-compassionate and making the most of my body's natural energy.
Over the four days I watched a film that I'd wanted to watch for a while, I spent an hour each evening reading and I wrote even more than I normally do. I stopped wasting time on social media and constantly checking my emails and instead focussed on doing things that I would otherwise convince myself I'm too busy for.
And then on the final day I managed to get up an hour earlier. I've been training for the London Marathon and the thought of coming home from a long, tiring day at work and having to go for a run fills me with dread. So much so, that on many occasions I haven't been able to do it. Instead I've lounged about, looking for any excuse not to do it and often finding myself suddenly fascinated by some obscure programme on TV that under any other circumstance I wouldn't have had the slightest interest in!
So on the final day I did wake up. I woke up an hour earlier and I ran. And I have to say, it felt good. I no longer had the thought of having to do a run hanging over me. I got it done and I was free to move on with the day. I felt energised and in the evening there was no lounging about and instead I was able to give more attention to the things I value.
This experiment has taught me that just because something might work for others, it may not necessarily work for me. By honouring my own needs I was able to amend the experiment slightly in a way that not only worked for me but also met the spirit of what the experiment was trying to achieve. That's something I'll take forward and try and use in other areas of my life when I need to. For someone who has always had a deep fear of breaking rules, this has made the experiment the most valuable so far