It started early yesterday morning.

The cell phone never seems to be more than three feet from me, even when I’m sleeping at night. Especially at night.

Its incredibly loud ringing shattered my sleep about an hour before the alarm was set to go off. The phone is always set on the loudest setting. I often find myself in noisy, industrial settings. I make it vibrate all the time too, just in case. The whole effect is very effective at shocking the system into the awake (and mostly coherent) realm when it goes off at night.

We need you at work. Now.

“OK. I’m on my way.”

I splash some water on my head, which serves the dual purpose of helping pry my eyes open so I’ll be safe driving in and knocking my hair down so I’ll be a little less frightening when I get there. Skipping the shave saves a couple minutes (but doesn’t help the fright factor).

Cook some water in the microwave for a cup of instant coffee while I get dressed. Then it’s out the door.

Surely I’ll be able to duck out a little early in the afternoon to get that time back and get to the things I had planned for the day?

Not a chance. Too much going on. We need you here. Gotta get it all done before I go.

Then this morning at 1:30 AM it started again. Water. Coffee. Clothes. Hit the road.

Another day’s schedule out the window.

Stay on Course Despite the Storm

The Perfect Storm
It is easy to feel overwhelmed when life throws a storm at you.

A good dose of sleep deprivation has a way of magnifying the problems.

There are times when we all feel a little like the Andrea Gail from the movie The Perfect Storm, in that final inevitable scene where the little fishing boat is clawing and scraping her way up that giant steep wall of ocean water desperate just to make it over the top of one more wave.

Will we make it? Or will this be the wave that swamps and sinks us?

How do we stay on course despite the storm?

A Little Grace Required

Remember that scene in The Fellowship of the Ring where Frodo was running for his life because the black riders were chasing him?

Arwen was tending him just after the water had washed the black riders down stream. But Frodo was fading fast.

Arwen: Frodo? Frodo, no!
[Frodo begins to have a harder time breathing]
Arwen: Frodo, don’t give in! Not now!
[She holds Frodo close to her body and begins to cry]Arwen tears
Arwen: [voiceover] What Grace is given me, let it pass to him. Let him be spared. Save him.

There comes a time when we all need a little grace.

If you’ve ever spent anytime around AA folks you are probably familiar with the Serenity Prayer

God, give us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things that should be changed,
And the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.

How do we stay on course?

We focus on the things that you can change, not those we can’t.

  • If we have obligations beyond our control, we accept them with serenity.
  • Where changes can be made to better our situation, we exercise courage to make those changes come into reality.
  • And we listen, watch and pay attention so that over time we learn which things are which.
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