The other night, I was lying down to sleep. I was all set. My night time routine had been completed, and I was ready to drift off. My mind slid through the trivia of the day and caught on an email that I’d reviewed just before the end of the work day. Caught and fastened on with a sudden, sharp spike of panic. 

See, I had read that email at the time, and sent a reassuring reply, but something was percolating through my mind. That something was the realization that if I didn’t take care of a particular clean up task, I would be setting up our processing team for a WHOLE lot of work they shouldn’t need to do. 

I’m not going to go into excruciating detail on what I had to do or why. That’s not important. What’s important is how I dealt with it. 

In the past, I might have leapt out of bed and headed to the computer to try to do damage control RIGHT NOW. Or I might have stayed in bed, but been unable to fall asleep, haunted by the error and afraid that I wouldn’t remember to fix it in time when I woke up. 

Instead, I took a few minutes to embrace the panic. I asked myself how I could fix it. The first plan that came into my head was completely unworkable (editing a few hundred records one by one). The second plan would still leave some clean up to be done, but definitely reduce the immediate impact on the processors. 

So I reached over to my nightstand and pulled out the notebook a friend gave me. I flipped to the back, because I planned to tear the page out, and I wrote out my 4 step plan to fix the issue as best as I could. Then I tore the page out and went to the bathroom, where I folded it so it wrapped my Kindle. No way I’d miss that in the morning! 

Then, like a freaking miracle, I went back to bed and actually slept. 

I derailed the panic train before it could derail the sleeping train. After all, I like the sleeping train a lot better than the panic train – who doesn’t? 

I had an opportunity to create a monster that would ruin my night’s sleep and negatively affect me the rest of the next day. And I turned it down. Not this time, no thank you, been there, done that, threw away the t-shirt. 

I’m still not as good at falling asleep as my husband. But maybe I can learn. 

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