Who you are…

“You are not defined by your job.”

~ by a very wise woman

I pour myself into pretty much everything I do—it becomes part of me. I did this in high school, college and now, in my career. I’m learning, albeit slowly, that this attitude can be deadly, especially when it comes to my career.

The last few weeks were extremely rough. Not only did I work a lot of late nights, but it was an extremely critical week in the sense that, through no fault of my own, things were just going wrong and all roads of criticism led to me. Every evening I would drag my weary self home only to be frustrated by the idea of getting up the next day to go back for more…

On a particularly low day, one of my lovely co-workers came into my office and said something that rocked my world. She said, “Lynette, you are not defined by your job.” It was that simple. It was something I had never thought of before. I was so down about everything, because I was taking everything personally, as a personal attack on ME! I realized, in a wave of relief, that this job isn’t all there is to Lynette Fager. I’m a complete person without it; it is only a part of who I am.

I wonder where this attitude came from? Is it ingrained in my personality? Or was it brought on because I grew up so fast. *Sigh* a post for another time, I guess.


Oh Sleep, Oh Dream

When I was in college, my sleeping habits were sporadic at best. My last semester, I average something like three hours of sleep a night. Crazy, right? If I was struggling to maintain consciousness, I would stay awake with a mixture of collegiate energy, caffeine and sheer willpower. And I loved it! Sleep was an afterthought, not a necessity.

And this is when I knew I was maturing (a euphemism for “getting older”):
Sleep became, not only a necessity for a good day, but a requirement to function.

I have to come to grips with this. Coffee is now a vital component to my morning, not just an afterthought because it tastes good. Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day isn’t just something old people do, it’s what I do. For the first six months this new set of sleep requirements became part of my life, I resented it – not only resented it, I abhorred it! It was the biggest inconvenience to my schedule I could imagine. All this sleep stole time from me! But now (and I see this as a sign of growing and maturing), I respect it. I like hearing the bedtime alarm on Josh’s phone, because it means that my tomorrow will be a good day.

But there always seems to be a dark cloud to accompany a silver-lining, right? My dark cloud is my inability to actually fall asleep. Ironic? I think so…

I go to bed now, for the first time in my life, grateful for the rejuvenation sleep offers and yet, sleep alludes me. Instead of embracing me as an old friend, sleep snubs me and leaves me hanging, like an overlooked fist bump. Its as if sleep toys with me, wanting me to know that it knows I’m there, waiting on it, but it doesn’t want to actually look like it acknowledge me, because then snubbing me would seem rude, and of course, sleep can’t seem rude. But sleep chooses to add insult to injury, sleep embraces my husband as if they were old lovers, warmly welcoming him within moments of his head touching the pillow. And I am left, staring at the ceiling, wishing so desperately to join him in the Land of Dreams.

This relationship I have with sleep, this make-out-buddy mentality that sleep seems to have for me, comes and goes. For a long while, sleep seems to love me and meets me at a moment’s call. But then, as so many relationships that are built on sand, sleep grows weary of me. Sleep chooses not to visit, chooses not to care. At least not until sleep seems to need me again (who knows why…), and then sleep returns and we have a blissful relationship yet again. I’m always left wondering, though, how long will it last this time before sleep finds someone else?

Maybe this is sleep’s subtle payback for my neglect during college? Maybe this is sleeps way of saying, “you didn’t need me then, so I don’t need you know!” Is sleep really so petty?

Oh sleep, how can make it up to you?