For me, the action phase of behavior change begins with clearly deciding I wish to alter my current behavior. This can be confusing, particularly as it relates to my unhealthy sleeping patterns.
Sherry, the woman who married me, goes to sleep the moment her head hits the pillow while I stay up for hours pondering the world’s most riveting issues.
In my dreamless world, there are many questions to be considered before daybreak. It’s as if I am a sleepless superhero shielding Sherry and other cavalier sleepers from needing to worry about the blockbuster decisions that surround us each day.
For example, here are three of the captivating categories that drew my attention last evening:
What if tomorrow everyone who lives in Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania, decides to move to Gering, Nebraska? So many problems. How could our country redistribute all those U-haul trailers west of the Mississippi? Would the Boiling Springs Steakhouse have to close its doors?
What if Brett Favre is coaxed out of retirement by the Chicago Bears to play in a Monday Night game against the Packers and he wears his real comfortable jeans and throws the winning pass to my grandson, Carter? Would Aaron Rodgers text Brett to tell him how much he appreciated being Brett’s understudy for all those years in Green Bay?
A decade after his death, should I continue to keep in my sock drawer my father’s two-fold wallet, which holds his Social Security card, three one-dollar bills, his Elks Club membership and an old photo of two kids in cowboy hats, neither of which is me?
In a few hours, Sherry will awake and hop out of bed refreshed, eager to jump into her day. I, on the other hand, will carry the weight of the mental and emotional work that has captured my mind since 10 last night.
So I am faced with a decisional balance: Do I apply all the dos and don’ts I have studied for getting a solid night’s rest or do I stay in my chronic contemplative state and continue to be the Sleepless Superhero for the world and beyond?
For now, I will seek instant gratification by flipping over to Sherry’s side of the bed and “accidentally” kicking her contented, rhythmic-breathing body floor-ward.