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I Like To Nap… So Sue Me… Positive Addictions.

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True story …

I spend a lot more time napping and less time reading the news now than before.

Addiction Confession: I used to be a Globe & Mail’aholic and I still consume too much CNN and Chocolate!

I know that Brett Kavanaugh is huge in the news, but what can I do other than watch the children give each other bloody noses in the government schoolyard? Will my observing make a change? I think not.

I know that Trump thinks that Canada and Justin Trudeau are being nasty and unfair in trade negotiations … SAD… (boo hoo donald… you don’t even deserve to be capitalized a**hole). Will my opinions be the butterfly-wing flapping that miraculously changes the tide of trade? I think not.

I know that drinking lots of lattes will/won’t give me cancer, heart disease, impotence, flatulence, and the inherent ability to speak Italiano. Will quaffing less caffeine improve my quality and quantity of life? I think not.

I know that my Hamilton Tiger Cats football team (BTW, the Tiger Cats were a “question” to a Jeopardy answer this week!) will struggle to win their game against BC this weekend, but will my cheers tip the scale in their favour? OK, on this one I think I can have a positive effect! (Last minute UPDATE: Hamilton 40 – BC 10… I’m right!)

Chocolate and Tiger Cats are addictions that will sizzle along with me as they slide my chilled corpse into the crematorium chamber.

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Football AND chocolate donut… OMG!!

The point I’m going after this morning – and I think I do have a point – is the old “don’t read/watch the news” … be the one to “create the news“.

News noun vs News verb.

I’ll never write AI code. I’ll never run a successful entrepreneurial company. I’ll never win an Olympic medal. I’ll never cure Ebola or Irritable Bowel Disease.

But that doesn’t mean I, nor you, should despair. Nope.

A human being’s success isn’t always measured in the millions or billions, like McDonalds’ hamburgers. One or two great burgers can be life changing.

A lot of our personal victories can be counted on our fingers and toes. A lot of success needs a telescope or microscope to recognize.

Creating the news can be a small-scale operation like those mini-loans operations in Third World countries that give women opportunities to be courageous and self-sufficient.

Saving … improving… the world can be intimidating. It looks like too big a bite for most of us “non-lions”. It’s like a huge tsunami wave coming at you, perhaps a giant skyscraper tumbling over you, crashing in a monstrous wave.

Disaster.

But step away, go a kilometre or two inland and that terrifying tsunami shrinks into a gentle manageable wave that pushes and tugs at our fragile knees and toes but allows us to stay upright and do the job we want to accomplish … to stand and be counted as making something happen.

To be the news verb and not the news noun.

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Did I mention naps?

Can naps be labelled an addiction?

People get confused when I say “I need a nap“. They think I’m hip and 21st century-cool saying, “I need an app“. But I’m not cool.

Doesn’t matter. Naps are an important part of my “create the news” plan.

Sleep is my creative bliss time… I often do more productivity-wise with my eyes closed than open.

Sleep and nap time are where the old sub-conscious puts on its big boy pants and goes to work.

The challenges of navigation through difficult music passages, new blog ideas, personality frictions, altered approaches to tutoring… they all hatch on the nap front.

All of the thought and planning personnel needed to make good stuff happen for me is sitting down restlessly, yet patiently waiting… patiently waiting in the inner office of my mind.

They’re sipping lattes, eating donuts and cinnamon buns – where’s the fresh fruit? – and chattering quietly but the meeting hasn’t been called to order yet.

At this point, I stand up and leave the room (nap).

They don’t appreciate me watching over them, so I happily vacate the space and away they go. Suddenly, the buzz in the room takes on a spirited youthful energy and life as the zzzz‘s emanating from me in the outer office increase in intensity.

Twenty minutes or half an hour later, I stir back to the surface, wipe away the sloppy drool at the corner of my mouth, then open the office door.

I rub my eyes as my faithful representative at the adjourned meeting gives me a synopsis and plan based on the group’s deliberations.

Answers and remedies and focussed ideas flow on broad rivers that were filled as I snored. BEAUTY!

It’s a pretty great day when not only can news be a verb in our lives, but so too can the power of napping transform into a verb… ACTION.

The morning is morphing closer to an afternoon and I can feel the zeal and energy slowly drain, like thick syrup, from my head and my fingertips.

I’ve been typing away here for a few hours.

Thanks for joining me in this sunrise to high noon journey.

I can now go forward in my day and make that news verb a reality, but…

… only after I’ve grabbed a quick nap… such a terrible addiction!

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I Live a Whole Life Inside My Head

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Walter Mitty

(This is the 1947 film- there’s a newer version of the movie coming next year with Ben Stiller as Walter Mitty)

In Grade 9, I was in Mr. Batchelor’s English class in Ontario, where we read James Thurber’s short story “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” (it was made into a movie too). To this chubby, barely pubescent 14 year-old lad he was sooooo cool; the main character Walter Mitty lived a vivid and exciting imaginary life inside his head as an escape from his everyday, mundane existence. And even Mr. Batchelor was kind of a “Mitty-like” character himself- he was eccentric and also kind of groovy (that’s ’70’s speak!) in an odd sort of way. I liked him a lot!

The Secret Life of Bill Clinton: The Unreporte...

I don’t think that Walter Mitty had the same secrets in his head that Bill Clinton dreamed about!

As I age, I’m finding Walter Mitty rising to the surface in myself…I spend a lot of time inside my head daydreaming and thinking, and just generally becoming more distracted from real life. I’m not withdrawing from the world in any substantial way. It’s not an anti-social sort of event, so long as you don’t think that saying, “talk to the hand” a lot is anti-social!

It’s probably a reflection of how immensely boring I really am, but when I talk to people, I can often see their eyes glaze over. They retreat within their head to their own imaginary “Walter Mitty” world that has nothing to do with what I’m saying. Maybe they’re saving the earth from nuclear annihilation or environmental catastrophe. I can’t tell. Of course, in today’s tech-heavy world, much of what used to be internal thought and reflection has morphed into texting and online interaction that distracts folks from the here and now.

(Sometimes, the ideas flow through my head like a fountain)

We all have obstacles that surface daily and often struggle for a solution that works for us and hopefully for others too (what we like to call a win-win situation). I enjoy being on my own and just letting my thoughts flow in all directions … sometimes it’s productive or creative imagining or  “what will I do about the challenge I have to deal with tomorrow” stuff.

The subconscious is an absolutely AMAZING entity that solves problems and brings up creative ideas. I can’t count the number of times I’ve sought a fix or an idea that just won’t come to me consciously, and then, as if by magic, when I let it go and allow my subconscious to ply away in the hazy recesses of my frontal cortex, VOILA, the answer surfaces, sometimes in 5 minutes, sometimes it takes 5 days! I have great faith in the brain as a computer that works in the background even when we’re not aware.

(Just as an aside…using the term subconscious is frowned upon by the academic psychology crowd, who prefer the term unconscious. I personally prefer subconscious because unconscious implies a coma-like state to me. So bear with my use of subconscious, OK?)

But daydreams are like night dreams that you have when you’re sleeping- they dissolve quickly and can be lost forever, or at least for a long time, so I always try to write the helpful ideas and thoughts down as soon as I can. I’ve found that sending an e-mail note to myself from an iPad (iPhone or any other device would work just as well) works great day or night.

Other times, my daydreams are far more airy-fairy. I just time travel into scenes from my past and people I’ve known. Fortunately, I don’t seem to dwell on any of the negative experiences, but indulge in the fun and pleasurable moments. There’s a lot of joy for me in recounting driving my newly purchased  ’67 Rambler car when I was 16 (at least when it didn’t need repairs!), or inadvertently blocking the exits to the gym while kissing a lovely young thing at a Grade 10 dance. Being smooched on by my Aunt Nina has just a little less appeal, but it’s all part of a life, right?

I’m not completely like Walter Mitty; my daydreams don’t revolve around self-aggrandization…I don’t pilot jet fighters or do brain surgery in my imaginings…Oh alright…I might admit to sometimes seeing myself as a woman-pleasing, wonderful Latin Lover but that just might be TMI for you to handle.

(This could have been me at the Grade 10 dance…it was the only time we kissed)

I think all of us live another life inside our heads to varying degrees. It’s an escape and respite when we’re worn down and need a break. It’s a way to resolve our issues and problems that nag at us. It’s a route to accessing our inner creativity.  How much of a Walter Mitty are you and what does life look like inside your head?

(“Walter Mitty” is the ice below the surface)