I know this sound

I flipped my laptop closed and murmured my daily mantra.

Today is done, gone the sun, try try again tomorrow.

I clicked off my bedside lamp and slid my laptop under my bed for safe keeping. I set my phone for 5:34 a.m. and turned on my sleep fan app. I rolled over on my right side with my odd combobulation of my right head flopped over the top of my head to subconsciously twirl the hair on the left side of my head as I tried to drift off the bed. But I wasn’t actually tired. I was just trying to be responsible and self-caring by forcing myself to go to bed.

As soon as my head sunk that extra 1/2 inch into the pillow I heard it immediately. I knew this sound.

I could hear my heartbeat racing through my pillow. This has always been a cue for me of pretty intense anxiety. I have not done much in the past week to curb my stress and worry over some federal labor law changes that will have a pretty substantial impact to Sparrow’s operating budget. My brain started racing of all the “what ifs” I can’t get this figured out in time. Then my brain made a quantum leap to 6 year old me enduring a silent anxiety attack in my bed.

More nights than none when the lights turned off that was a sign for my brain to turn on when I was a little girl. My heart would feel like it was going to jump out of my chest. I felt like all four limbs were concreted to the mattress. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t breathe and I couldn’t make a sound.

That childhood scene is where my mind’s eye just turned its paralyzed view tonight after hearing my heartbeat through the pillow. But I couldn’t have that happen.

The Journal of Experiential Psychology recently published an article by Allison Wood Brooks entitled Getting Excited: Reappraising Pre-Performance Anxiety as Excitement.  The findings of this study seem to show intentionally seeking an alternative behavior from anxiety to excitement. In other words, people who chose to reappraise their anxiety, which is typically seen as a negative emotion, to excitement which can promote more positive emotions feel more excited and are hence more productive rather than paralyzed.

Tonight as I try to lay back down and fall asleep sin apprehension my reflection is to choose excitement over figuring out this puzzle and keeping the precarious balance of what is best for Sparrow and what is best for my employees and trusting God with every piece. This may be the first rubik’s cube I ever get to figure out in my lifetime!


Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Matthew 6:34


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