For the holidays this year, we drove to France, via the Eurotunnel1. We had planned our trip a few months prior, and booked an early crossing based on N.’s sleep schedule at that time, hoping to reach our destination in time for her nap and avoid any sleep pattern disruptions.
As the departure date approached, N.’s sleep pattern eventually did get disrupted for unrelated reasons, and, as a consequence, so did my partner’s and mine. An early departure didn’t make sense anymore, and was in fact potentially dangerous — driving while horribly sleep deprived is not a great idea.
I like to think of myself as a flexible person, but on many occasions, I really am not. Instead of going for the obvious solution of changing the booking for a later train, I tried hard to fit a square peg into a round hole. I spent the day before the departure stressing out about how little sleep we were going to get, how we might miss the train, how terrible it would be to drive long distance without a proper morning coffee, &c., until finally, late at night, the lightbulb lit up above my head.
So: we rebooked the ticket for a later crossing, had a decent night of sleep, and a smooth drive, with N. taking her nap in the car instead of at the destination. An obvious move, in retrospect… but something did need to click for me to be able to break out of the negative mental loops I was stuck in, and to summon the agency to make a better decision.
I wonder what happened there? I wonder which other areas of my life are affected by similar negative loops (I suspect the answer is “most of them”), and I wonder what I could do to further develop this skill of self-awareness. In the meantime, this post will serve as a record for posterity of this small win.
Which… what an incredible feat of human ingenuity! Have you seen this thing? You drive your car onto a train, then the train goes under the fucking ocean, and 30 minutes later you emerge in another country. It blows my mind every time I think about it. ↩