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RESET.

I know. I know. I haven't been paying enough attention to you and you're ready to break up with me. I didn't post any sort of momentous goal-setting, new-leaf-turning, happy-2009-themed post. The inauguration I've been waiting and working eight years for came and went withOUT a slew of ecstatic rambles. I have 1,500+ photos waiting to be processed from both my California vacay and my recent trip to Atlanta. My iBook has crashed with a full hard drive and, despite my attempts at off-loading to an external drive, I've yet to own the reality of needing an entirely new laptop (that...ahem...I can't exactly afford).

Folks, I'm in a creative funk. I haven't even begun to process my photos because the whole system runs at an annoying snails pace, what with it being overly full and all. I've really missed it. I've sincerely missed tinkering with my pics and chatting with the internets. Is my lack of blogging causing this funk or is this funk causing my lack of blogging. What the hell ever. The point is that I finally broke down tonight and braved the uncooperative computer. I only managed to crank out a few edits before I felt it necessary to wax poetic on circadian rhythms......

I am not a morning person. It's just not my thing. I have incredible respect for people who beat the sun in a race toward our day, but I'm more likely to be the night owl wide awake at 3:30am. I have, at various points throughout my life, tried with conscious intention to become a morning person. I really do turn on to the idea of having my own secret space before the chaotic world whirs to life around me...but I assure you that I turn off as soon as my alarm blares.

All of that to say, I know I've truly checked into a vacation when my circadian rhythm resets. I know I've truly checked in when I am up every morning with (or before) the sun, feeling fine, plenty of energy, happy to be there, even feeling creative as I snap hundreds of photographs of this that and the other thing. It takes a while for my stressed out system to reset, but once it does, it's magic. I think that's of the most beautiful concepts in the whole world: our inherent circadian rhythm (and not just because I hear Michael Stipes soothing voice singing every time I feel the phrase roll off my tongue). The academic in me cringes at the thought of citing Wiki, but I'm about to cite Wiki nonetheless. Should you not enjoy my description of the circadian phenomenon, read more here.

Circadian rhythm, very simply, refers to the sleep-wake cycle that all life forms complete in roughly 24 hours. Have you seen flowers that open and close, leaves that turn in on themselves then fan wide open, tides that ebb and flow like clockwork, animals that sleep and wake with only the cues of the moon and sun...? Then you get the idea. Many humans, though certainly not all, have managed to screw up our most basic, instinctual rhythm with unnatural light, stress, bad habits, etc. We medicate, we try yoga, we join three different gyms, we journal, we pay therapists to listen to our angst...and guess what? All we really need is the sincere chance to reset.

Reset. Not rewind. Not pause. Full. Complete. Total. Reset. The level of stress with which I enter a vacation dictates how long it will take my system to reset, but I do always manage to reset (usually just in time to go home and screw it up again...). My most vivid memory of this powerful shift in rhythm was in Kaua'i with my girlfriends. I have never felt that grounded in my entire life and I have never felt that grounded since. We woke up when the sun came up. It didn't matter what time it was. We went to bed when the sun went down. It didn't matter what time it was. We floated about in the ocean all day and, particularly for women (don't get me started), there is no force on earth with greater healing power than the tides. I very nearly approached this same nirvana during my recent California vacation. By the last half of my trip, I felt the sun rise over and over and over. It was magical. It was healing. It was exactly what I needed. It's now a distant memory and I would give anything to find it again.

slowly but surely

that she might have a story of herself