Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sleepless in Burbank & More Good Reads

Before I offer up some more reading recommendations, I wanted to check to see how we're all doing with the early morning time change.

Until about 10 years ago, it never bothered me. I set my clock forward or back, depending on the time of year...and, done!

Somehow, though, with midlife, the hour differential really throws me for awhile. Last evening, after dinner and some down-time, I set three tabletop clocks back, and fell asleep earlier than deep, in fact, that I woke at 2 AM (standard time), and have been awake since then.

At first, I didn't move. The radio is always on at night, to KUSC, as a sort of classical music "nightlight" for my ears (I can't sleep in total silence!). I thought the soothing melodies wouldn't have a sedative effect, but that didn't happen. So, rather than lie gazing at the ceiling with mounting irritation, I got up and made the best of the situation. It's now 5:55 as I write this, and in almost three hours I have: watered the front lawn (I use manual rather than automatic controls), checked my email, chatted with a few equally-insomniac friends via Facebook, caught up on some work-related paperwork, washed a few dishes in the sink, fed Tiggy, cleaned the litterbox, downed most of a pot of coffee, and stocked up my briefcase for today's work.

Based on my past few years' experience, it will take a day or so to settle back down to my usual sleep pattern.

Moving on to my latest list of useful material for midlife, I noticed that this list appears to be female-centric. I'd like to point out, however, that to be a more conscious individual, it is wise to acknowledge and nurture the "opposite" of one's gender. A man can honor his anima (inner feminine aspect) without compromising his masculine self-concept. Likewise, a woman can be aware of her animus, (inner masculine aspect). These ideas are just a small component of Jungian theory, which is too complex to fully discuss here.

Earlier today, I posted a reference to some of David Whyte's work on my FB page. Equally, I recommend the audiobook by Marion Woodman, The Crown of Age: The Rewards of Conscious Aging. She discusses the archetype of the crone, to which I alluded in my previous post, and points out that the wisdom inherent in crone-hood is not solely for females; males can see themselves as possessing knowledge of the years. So much for dismissing our elders as "old fools!"

Amazon and other booksellers have a list of Woodman's many and varied works. Two that I pulled off my shelf are: Coming Home to Myself: Reflections for Nurturing a Woman's Body & Soul (coauthored with Jill Mellick), and The Owl Was a Baker's Daughter: Obesity, Anorexia Nervosa and the Repressed Feminine. The latter book is very timely, given our individual and collective fixation on weight and body image.

Another by Jean Shinoda Bolen is Crossing to Avalon: A Woman's Midlife Pilgrimage. Indeed, midlife--for men and women--can be seen as a crisis, which is paralyzing, or as a journey, which can be undertaken literally OR psychically, and be a step toward continued development.

Although it might not be to everyone's reading taste, I also suggest going to and look at the magazine Crone: Women Coming of Age. Issue #4 had an interesting perspective of financial crisis in "Thank you, Bernie Madoff: Catastrophe as Compost for New Beginnings."

Have a good Sunday, all, as we venture into November....

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