I'm in a kayak and incredibly, it’s not because I fell in there, drunk at 5.57am.
Also, unlike that time I found myself being strapped into the passenger seat of a rally car at 8am because I had volunteered the night before to call notes, 'for the craic'; I wasn't hungover either.
No. This was sober, pre-meditated, early morning activity.
I'm no stranger to early morning shenanigans, but what is new, is for early weekend mornings to be the start of a new day and not the end of a wild night.
I’m still marvelling at the novelty of full-night-sleeping and not in a pool of nightmares and sweat, thank you very much.
I used to be queen of the all nighter. Jesus I wouldn't close an eye for fear I'd miss a thing. And I rarely did. There literally isn't a party, I haven't attended.
And now here I am, chasing the dawn chorus across Lough Gill with a bunch of strangers, who are also not drunk and I even have a paddle? Mental!
I was always a night owl and thought, whatever kind of bird you were, you stayed that way. Never did I think I would become an early bird, waking up with the lark.
One of the most rewarding side effects of sobriety for me has been the quality of sleep I'm now enjoying. There seems to be a rhythm to it.
There was a time I would spend all night, tossing and turning and spinning on my axis, cursing the sleep that wouldn't come. Then when it did, often too late in the game, it meant every morning was contaminated by the struggle of the night before and into the day it would eat.
My mornings would start off with resentment over all the sleep I didn’t get. I would fall into a slump at 8-9pm, 'too early' to go to bed, watch a movie instead and before I knew it, it was 2am and not a child in the house, washed.
A few weeks ago, I was doing homework for an online self inquiry class I'm taking with Meadow DeVor. The lesson was based on the concept of ‘reaping what you sow'.
I was getting tangled up in story [no surprise there], so I decided to abandon words and map out on one sheet of paper, all the ways I was spending energy and to what, I have been giving myself.
As you can see, I was investing a lot, in behaviours that have been contributing to the ongoing depression I’ve been in, this past while.
This map also illustrates, my failure to acknowledge the investments I have been making in my recovery. I’m really great at overlooking my efforts like that.
The most interesting and self destructive way I was spending and giving, was with time; investing heavily, in sabotage.
What did I earn for it? More depression.
Am I happy with that? Is this the kind of return on investment I want for my life? No. There are better ways to invest my time.
I realised that I will never have the quality of recovery I desire, if I keep investing in the habits, that impede it.
So, while I have most definitely been devoted to my ongoing, continuing care, I saw in this map, the degree to which I still have a foot in camp, self destruct.
Another interesting connection I made recently, and one I'll write about another time, led me to the realisation that in my self imposed bodily exile, I learned to fall out of trust with, completely override and disregard, all cues from my physical self.
The information I have now, is that my body, is a very reliable source of information and because of this, I've been paying more attention to it, than I'm used to doing.
I noticed something about my morning routine.
I'd been consistently waking every morning, naturally, at least and hour or two earlier than I'd set my alarm. Every time, I would reach for my phone, look at the time, confirm it was ‘too early’ and go back to sleep.
This second sleep is the killer. I swear, it fucks something up in me because when ‘the right time to get up’ [What's that about?] arrives and my alarm goes off, even though I've had ‘a lie in’, I awaken like a bear and what do I do?
I play the snooze game. Yay!
Snooze. Snooze. Snooze. Snooze. Snooze. Snooze. Snooze. Snooze. Snooze. Snooze. Snooze.
And it’s infuriating. I hate it. And yet I do it so, invariably, I would start my day on the wrong foot, procrastinating and therefore setting myself up to be annoyed with myself and the world.
I don’t think I need to spell out the domino effect this has on one’s day.
So I decided to try an experiment. I banned all devices from the bedroom. In fact, no devices upstairs, whatsoever. I also have no clock in the room. It’s just me and my body and night and day.
I figured I could trust my body to wake naturally and she does, without fail. Every morning, I awaken, not knowing what time it is, just that I feel rested so I just get up and guess what?
I'm a total early bird! Who the bleep knew?
No more playing the snooze game. No more pushing out the day. No more numbing out at night, scrolling end-and-mind-lessly. It's over, dear internet people in my bedroom. I’m booting you out, because I love my new morning and night routines.
There's nothing more luxurious than sleeping late and enjoying a drawn out, languorous Sunday morning occasionally, we love that in Pilgrim HQ.
But when sleeping late becomes something one habitually does as a form of procrastination, well... that's a whole other show, Rickie.
What are your start and end of day routines? Do you have boundaries around your devices?
Always, Amanda xx