Picture it — Western North Carolina, 2012. It’s a Monday and it’s rainy and you feel like you live in a clichéd Carpenters song. And then you wonder why it couldn’t be Top of the World? Because how fun would that be?
The rain falls outside like a leaky faucet you can’t fix.
The gray clouds hang so low you could reach out and grab a handful and put it in your pocket. Although why you would do that, I don’t know.
The air is slightly cool; not nearly cold enough for mid-January in the mountains…and that makes you so mad you could cuss if you were a cussin’ woman. But you’re not, because your husband is a pastor and that would be in poor taste. That, and cussing is such an uncreative way to express yourself. So for the sake of goodness and brain-boosting power, you try to find other ways to express your disdain for the rain because it’s winter and it should snow already.
And you chuckle out loud to yourself for a second, because you realized you rhymed that last sentence.
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So for me, it’s been a great start to the new year already. Our church started a 21-day Daniel Fast on January 1, and so there’s just six days left. (Not that I’m counting.) I always look forward to the Daniel Fast each year — yes, it’s hard to get off the sugar and all the other foods that are amazing and delicious and make the world go ‘round — but the rewards that come with it are phenomenal.
- Spiritual life: big leap
- Overall health & wellbeing: much more energy and clarity
- Cravings: starting to disappear
But perhaps the main thing that keeps me going for the 21 days and then beyond? Sleep. When I’m doing the Daniel Fast (or any other eating plan where you cut out processed foods and sugar), my sleep is BEYOND AMAZING. It’s deep sleep. Hard sleep. Waking-the-dead sleep. Total-and-complete-shutdown sleep.
One day last week my alarm went off and I pushed snooze. No because it was an “Oh I don’t want to get out of bed, I’m too comfortable” reaction, it was more of a “There’s no possible way whatsoever my body will move at all. Just pushing snooze was more energy than my body had to give, and therefore I need more sleep” reaction.
It’s almost as if my body is making up for the months of insomnia I experienced last summer, and soaking in all the nutrients from food and fresh air from running and just hibernating.
It’s the greatest feeling in the whole entire world.
It’s common knowledge that there are often times I’m so happy to be in bed that I laugh myself to sleep. And it’s also common knowledge that when I make the bed in the morning, I longingly look at it and whisper, “I’ll be back soon” to it. But the past two weeks, there is no moment of opportunity to laugh. My head hits the pillow and I’m out. And the longing looks in the morning are deeper and more heartfelt. I’m literally counting down hours from 3 o’clock on.
Yes, I just wrote about five paragraphs about how much I love sleep.
Sort of a low in my blog life right now.
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So eating well and sleeping well have been fab so far in 2013. And to raise the stakes a little, I’m also exercising regularly. Because yep…I signed up for a race. A 15k (9.something miles). My first (and last) race was almost two years ago and was a half marathon. (I always say, if you’re gonna go — go big. ‘Cuz why not?)
After that kicked my tail and then I just stopped running for a good long while, I realized that I need a significant goal to get me out of the warm bed and away from the DVR and get out there. Because once I’m out there, I am in love with it. I love being totally alone, no distractions, running and hearing my shallow panting and turtle pace and a few birds and just the other day I saw an owl! It flew right in front of me across my path. It was awesome.
The 15k is mid-May, which gives me plenty of time for my body to get into the rhythm again and find my groove.
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I guess what I’m trying to say is I don’t really have a point to this post.
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How about you? How is 2013 treating you so far? What are your goals for this year?
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UPDATE: This just brought all sorts of sunshine to my day. You must read.
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2013 off to a good start for me too. I have not slept well since Skylar arrived. I sleep good on the front end but not great an hour or two before alarm. I long for a full night’s sleep again. Glad to hear you are gearing up for another race.
Just started the Daniel Fast with my church yesterday and am already loving it!
Oooh, an owl. How very cool is that?! Sleep: I am SO with ya, sister. So with ya. 2013 is getting off to a great start – and I very much need to get back into the exercise groove regularly because, I too, feel so much more alive when I do.
Love this post.