Sometimes life is so busy. There’s work, there’s play, there’s challenge, there’s stimulation. The body gets tired and the mind gets worn out. In fact, the mind gets a better work out than the body, at least in my case. And by the time my husband says it’s bedtime, my body just wants to stay in that perfect spot on the recliner, because I’m just beginning to get relaxed. Does that happen to you too?
So it was Wednesday night and it was time to start heading upstairs to bed. My husband got a head start, because he was more tired than usual. I got busy with my last-minute-before-bed chores. I know, I should really do some of those things earlier (prepare my coffeemaker, do the cat litter), but it’s my routine. Then I decided to have a last minute bowl of cereal. (Apparently Mitt Romney likes his late night bowl of cereal, too – go figure!) Well, I can tell you that THAT never happened. I opened the cereal cabinet and it was an ant fiesta! ¡Ay Caramba! There were at least a hundred ants up and down the cabinet. We had been having turf wars in the kitchen for some time, but I had never seen so many at once.
So I quickly and carefully emptied the cabinet and began spraying and wiping down. And a few minutes would pass and the replacements would come in. “Don’t even think about it,” I would say, as I sprayed and wiped, “No party in my kitchen!” I felt like the bad guy, spoiling all the fun, but I’m not crazy about having ants with my Cheerios, if you know what I mean.
Anyway, between the ant control and folding my laundry (yeah, I know, I should have done that earlier too), I was up for an additional half hour. This, after a busy work day and the work I brought home to do as well. But what could I do at this point? I had to stay up and deal with the ants. Can you imagine what I would have found in the morning if I hadn’t gone for the cereal that night? I shudder.
Finally, I washed up and laid myself down to sleep. Already sleeping like a baby, my husband was oblivious to the house party we had been throwing. I closed my eyes, thinking that it wouldn’t matter so much about the amount of sleep that I might get, as it would the quality of the sleep. So all I needed was to get a restful sleep.
Then an idea came to me; a very simple idea to quiet my active, overstimulated mind. I would not think about ants, I would not think about work. I would not even think about my blog (a favorite place my mind goes). Instead, I would visualize each of these things as being a white, helium-filled balloon. In my mind, I pictured holding the “ants” balloon, and then letting it go, watching it climb higher and higher, and then disappearing from my view. Next, I let go of the “work” balloon, telling myself that it was gone from my thoughts for the rest of the night. I did the same thing for my blog and any other concerns keeping my mind busy. The result was that I felt my body relax and become ready to settle into sleep. It was such an effective visualization and it took no time to do. I’m going to keep that one in mind to try more often. Try it for yourself when you feel like you can’t settle your thoughts.
Speaking of balloons…River was over on Thursday (River Day) and she was trying to tell us about something she wanted to watch on television. She said it a couple times, but my husband and I just weren’t getting it. Then the light bulb above my head came on and I knew. She wanted to watch “Ballon Rouge”. She was speaking French!
You see, a few weeks ago we were looking for something entertaining to watch together from Netflix, and I came across Le Ballon Rouge (The Red Balloon). It’s a wonderful 1956 French short film, directed by French filmmaker Albert Lamorisse. The story is about a little boy and his (very unique) red balloon, and their adventures in the Ménilmontant neighborhood of Paris, France. The film has very little dialogue and is live-action (not animated). Impressively, it won numerous film awards, including the Academy Award for best writing and best original screenplay (1957). The little boy is played by Pascal Lamorisse, the filmmaker’s son, and a little girl who appears in the film is played by his daughter, Sabine. This is a charming movie that will grab your attention, as it did for River, and have you misty by it’s conclusion, as it did for me. You can view the 34-minute film by clicking on the link below (courtesy Internet Archive). If you watch for only five minutes, you will be hooked. Enjoy!