When I was a child I resisted afternoon naps. On one occasion, a couple of weeks after visiting the zoo and buying a monkey mask, I was sent upstairs to have the nap. In a bout of childish rebellion I donned the mask, made monkey noises and hopped down the stairs like a chimp.
During my adolescence, I would read well into the night. I loved science-fiction and fantasy and would easily continue reading for a few hours after my bedtime. There was once a scenario where I placed the bedside lamp beneath the duvet and read under the sheets. My mum came into the room and switched on the main light and asked if I’d been reading. I said I hadn’t, only for mum to whip back the blankets to reveal the lamp. I’d been so engrossed in the fantasy world of the book that I hadn’t noticed the singeing smell of the blankets as a hole was being formed by the heat of the lamp.
Now that I’m older, I’m aware of the importance of sleep. Sleep helps your mind to function so a more productive day is made possible. Consequently, I suggest that if you’re not into a healthy sleep routine then this week’s activity is to begin establishing a healthier sleep cycle. There have been numerous suggestions regarding the best time to go to sleep and, recently, I read a sensible one. Go to bed when you first start to feel absolutely exhausted. This time will differ for different people. Try out different bed times. What you shouldn’t change is the time you have to wake up. Decide on a waking up time and stick with it throughout the whole week, whether you have to wake up for a particular time or not.
For those who have a good bedtime routine, maybe use this week’s activity as a time to get into a healthy routine you know needs to be established in your life? Whether that’s eating breakfast, maintaining better dental hygiene or exercising, the ball’s in your court. And, yes, it does feel a little weird giving you a bedtime suggestion…
On the basis the activity this week, for those of you unlike me and have a healthy bedtime routine, can be very different for each of us it would be wonderful if you could first write what you decided to do followed by what you experienced on each of the days. Again, it will hopefully be useful for the future you or reader.
HOLD UP! WAIT…SOMETHING HAPPENED…
As opposed to successfully accomplishing this week’s daily activity before posting this week’s ‘task’, I suddenly became very busy with finishing my course, celebrating my birthday and getting a job and neglected to tackle arranging a more sensible bedtime. Sorry! However, I remain fond of the anecdotes I shared above so I’m not going to change those and, in a way, I feel that with any form of healthy routine there’s elements in our childhoods that reflect us rebelling against practical habits. Furthermore, going sleeping well is important though, as I discovered this week, not always practical. Consequently, I’ve decided to be a bit unpredictable (sorry…) and change what I’m doing for this week’s activity (feel free to go to bed at a sensible hour, if you prefer to stick with how this post started out…)
Decision (the new one…)
Go for a walk for half an hour (suggested minimum amount of daily exercise for a healthy lifestyle) and try to reflect on the Jesus Prayer (‘Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me’).
I walked down to the coast with the book in my pocket, repeating the phrase over and over. Trying to focus on those words and chewing on its meaning can be fairly tricky. However, on returning back from the walk I felt reinvigorated and closer to God.
I walked through the town, chewing over the phrase. It was a pleasant walk, saw a couple of people I know and ended up with taking some baked beans to a friend’s house for a Christian Union event. The next few hours was spent with people I didn’t, usually, hang out with: so that was very pleasant. Feel I’ll continue chewing over the phrase during moments of the rest of the day, as I’m feeling tired and there’s a weight on my heart that I need to chat to the Big G about.
Today was my first shift at Falmouth Hotel: walking to and from that place was in the vicinity of 1/2 hour (not to mention, the distance and time then walked to my friend’s in the evening and back). Anyway…The Jesus Prayer is starting to become part of just a way of thinking, as in it enters my mind when I least expect it at times: which is great. I still need to learn to let it sink to my heart, as it were, and to reflect on the fact that this is a prayer said not only by me but members of the larger church family. This, in itself, is a gentle reminder that Christianity isn’t a solo thing but a communal and family thing.
I’ve done bits of walking today – I’m sure it all adds up to half an hour! Have some more walking to do later (to get some beer and cider in for a board gaming session this evening). Anyway, this morning my mind started to wander and I started to struggle. However, the Jesus Prayer entered my mind and, with the strength found from that and located in Christ (I know that sounds wishy-washy, but it’s reality. True and deep reality) the struggle ended and I refocused on God.