Hey there, it's Susan Peirce Thompson, and welcome to the Weekly Vlog.
So my kids are home from summer camp. Oh, David and I have our kids back. Oh my gosh, we're excited. It's wonderful. I've been spending the last few days helping them unpack and doing all the laundry and then folding all the clothes with them and then going, "Wait, let's not put these back into these dressers that have all of these clothes that you don't need for school. Let's go through them," and just getting clothes that are too small purged out of their closets and given to Goodwill, and it's just wonderful to have them back. Really, really sweet times, hanging out with the kiddos.
And I want to rewind now about a week as I was facing the kids coming home from summer camp. So my kids go to summer camp for the summer, which they love. I was a summer camp kid too. I had the blessing of going to sleepaway camp for like six weeks during the summer, and they were the happiest times of my life. I mean, I was so well and happy and thriving and alive and connected at summer camp, and my kids feel the same way. And it's such a blessing to watch them go and enjoy themselves and come home even more clear in their identity and responsible and responsive and connected. And they don't have their phones all summer at camp, and they get to just be with human beings. And of course, it's great for me and David to get some time together, some time alone, just some grownup time, some time to prepare for what it's going to be like, not that long now, when we're empty nesters.
So about a week ago I was facing, oh my gosh, it's four days now... It's three days now... It's two days now until the kids come home from camp. And I was like, oh no, I haven't really settled into my routine. I expected to be so much more steady, grounded, in a rhythm, in a rhythm. How am I not in my best rhythm? I've had all this time on my hands without my kids here.
And I hit a little bottom, like a little crisis about it because really I was not doing my morning routine the way I feel best. There's this Yiddish saying that I love and it's: "Lose an hour in the morning, chase it all day." Lose an hour in the morning, chase it all day. And that's the state that I was in still. I was not fully doing my meditation every morning. I mean, for me, usually what it looks like if I don't fully do my meditation is I feel too tired or not well, or I'm sick, or I'm getting over being sick and what I do is I do my quiet time in bed. I crawl into bed... crawl back into bed, let's be clear, crawl back into bed, set a timer for 30 minutes. I do 30 minutes of meditation and start it lying on my back in bed and I fall asleep. So it's kind of like, "I'm going to go meditate, wink, wink."
And to be honest, that's fine sometimes. I mean, I remember when I had COVID for stretches of time, and it was absolutely how I needed to do it. We talk about a floor and a ceiling when it comes to habit stacks, the ceiling being the full everything up to the highest amount of doing everything fully and the floor being the minimum just on a day when you need to do the minimum. And there's times when it has to be shorter or more gentle. And that's my way of doing my meditation more gently. It's easier on my back. I have kind of chronic back pain issues, and so sometimes I'll do it because my back is hurting.
But really there was no reason for me to be doing this morning after morning, except that I was tired and I wasn't quite getting enough sleep. And I was having a hard time doing my Egoscue exercises first thing in the morning, which is where I need them to be in my morning habit stack. And now my kids are coming home from camp. Why am I not solid with my morning routines? What have I been doing?
So I sat down and I took an inventory, and what became really clear is I wasn't getting to bed on time. I wasn't getting to bed early. And so I wasn't getting quite enough sleep, so the mornings would come around and I would feel like I just needed a little bit more sleep. So I would crawl into bed and meditate in bed, and then I would kind of not want to do my Egoscue exercises then. So I'd make them up later in the day. But then having that, you need to do your exercises, you need to do your exercises in my head all day long is not a nice way to live a day. And I wasn't on my game. And I realized it's because I had a part of me that was so reveling in having evenings with David, and by myself if he was out doing something else, just these evenings. And I was getting caught up in doing things and I was going to bed too late.
And what I realized is I need that manager part of me, that task-master manager part of me to get on my case again, to get to bed early. That getting to bed early for me, actually at this phase in my recovery is usually the linchpin thing. It's the thing that makes everything else work. If I'm getting to bed early, I'm getting enough sleep, I can get up and nail my morning routine, and then I'm launched into the day feeling on top of it, alive, thriving, well, happy, productive, as opposed to scrambling and behind, lose an hour in the morning chasing it all day. So I started getting to bed on time and nailed it for a couple of days in a row. My kids came home. I couldn't be happier.
So I just thought I'd pass that along for those of you who are wherever you're at in your journey, for me, getting to bed early really is the linchpin. And that's the Weekly Vlog. I'll see you next week.