Thursday, January 24, 2013

Uplifting Things

I just saw something in yesterday's Wall Street Journal as I waited for my middle son while he ice skated tonight talking about the proportion of American workers who don't get enough sleep and who then have a substantial loss of productivity while at work which is referred to as presenteeism.  That, of course, is not uplifting.

I am probably as guilty as the next guy when it comes to insufficient sleep because I enjoy doing so many things.

What I have been finding recently is that there are things that definitely lift me up and they lift me up even more when I can share them with others.  And they can take me from being sleepy to being ready to go and do some more.

For instance...

  • Playing bass.  Especially in my church's worship band.  Especially when the songs are ones I know when.  Especially when the songs are upbeat.  It can give me a lift and leave me ready to take on other things when I get home from either mass or just rehearsal.  
  • Teaching.  I love it.  I see it becoming an even more important part of what I do on a day to day basis at work.  My own teaching.  Overseeing educational processes in general.  I know that both days when I taught my "new prep" (in other words the first time I am teaching a course) this week, I came away from the end of class just on top of the world.  And teaching Sunday school gives me a lift too. 
  • Running.  No matter how tired I am at the start of a run and no matter how much I feel like I am dragging myself through the first half of a run, I often (but not always) feel stronger as I go and just feel the exhilaration when I am done.
  • Spending time with my kids.  Sometimes they are draining.  But usually it is just exciting and more exciting as they get older.
  • Talking with Sherry--as long as I am not already beyond tired.  But when I am awake and we engage in conversation we talk about really interesting stuff that matters to us both and makes our world go around.  
Each of these is so essential to my existence.  Each of these is made even better because they involve sharing with others.  Running is the one things on the list that I can really do on my own--but even that is so much better when I am with my team or my training partner.  Or tonight the simple example of someone at the Y asking me when I was done my 12 mile workout with 10 of them at 7:19 pace if I was a marathon runner and how long I'd been doing it.  Sharing experiences is uplifting.  

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