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changing the highlight reel

I did not sleep well last night.

I went to bed at a normal time, but woke up around 2am to noises with one of the dogs.  It startled me a bit.  Then I went to get the dog, and he ran from me.  By the time I wrangled him and put him in my bed, my mind had officially reached the “I’m awake” zone.  You know the place.  It’s where, despite your fervent desire to go back to sleep, your thoughts come flooding into your brain like a tsunami.

And 2am thoughts are very rarely (for me) the happy go lucky thoughts.  They are the doom and gloom.  At 2am every thought is stressful.  Every thought reminds you of something you should have done or something you should not have said.  My thoughts, in these nights of fitful sleep, are a highlight reel of horror.

Have you ever noticed how big these problems feel in the middle of the night?

Needless to say, after that night of frustrating sleep, I struggled to get up this morning.  But once I did convince myself to get out of bed (and I made my first cup of coffee) things started to look up.  The problems, that seemed so large at 2am, don’t seem quite so daunting.  Make no mistake, there are still problems and challenges.  They just don’t seem so hopeless in the morning.

I often wonder why that is.

Sometimes I think it’s because, in the morning, I start to look at these challenges with a bias towards action.  Yes, I still have things I need to face.  But once I am up (and have put my big boy pants on) I get to do something about them!  I like that.  It feels productive.

But I think the change also happens in my mind.  I change the highlight reel.  In the middle of the night, that highlight reel is filled with anxiety.  In the morning, I start thinking about what I can do about it.  Once my mental highlight reel changes, my attitude changes with it.

What is your highlight reel showing you?  How can you change it?

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