Choosing Joy in Exhaustion

19 Dec

snoozeMy blog has kind of turned into a weekly pregnancy update and nothing more. What can I say? I would love to blog. I have time to blog. But I have nothing to blog about. The only reason why I blog once a week is because of the whole “counting down the weeks” thing. Otherwise, my brain is useless.

I partly blame being tired. For the past week or two, I get up early enough to spend some time reading the Bible but my mind just won’t engage. I zone out in front of my open Bible until I concede that it’s useless and either start getting ready early or use that time to take a mini nap. (Usually the latter.) I finally understand what it feels like to not be a morning person. You stumble around in a half-conscious daze for the first three hours you’re out of bed. By noon, you feel mostly normal.

When I’m tired, I let everything slide. Making the bed sounds like too much work. Cooking dinner – too much work. I have energy for one thing and one thing only: doing nothing. Even the things that I enjoy doing and am always glad for doing later, are still thrown out the window with the excuse, “But I’m sooooo tired.” 

I know you’re probably thinking, “She’s totally screwed when she actually has her baby.” I’ve had that same thought. And that has spurred me to the realization that I need to learn how to live tired. Not survive tired. Not make it through another day tired. LIVE tired.

As a human, I love comfort. I love ease. I run from struggle, challenge and difficulty (unless its one I have intentionally chosen, like running a marathon). Being tired brings this all into the forefront because it’s a constant “I don’t like this!” feeling. My natural tendency is to focus all my available energy on wishing I wasn’t tired and to heck with the rest.

But I don’t want to look back on any time in my life and see that I sacrificed all of my priorities because I was tired. I don’t want to wish away the first months of my daughter’s life with longing to not be tired. That’s allowing my circumstances to dictate my response. It’s me playing the self-pity card and refusing to contemplate anyone else’s needs but mine. It’s a waste of life.

As I thought about this Monday on my way to work, I was brought back yet again to this:

“Life change happens when we accept life with thanks and ask for nothing to change.” (Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts)

I can acknowledge that operating with insufficient sleep is challenging. It is challenging. But like with any other circumstance, I can rise above it and refuse to let it have the final say. I can determine my attitude instead of allowing my circumstances to do so. But it won’t just happen – I have to be intentional. With every moment, I have the option to choose ease or to choose joy.

I CHOOSE JOY.

And maybe an afternoon nap.

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