Photo Prayer 2021-30 -- Waking Deception

Unlike Descartes, who was often deceived in dreams while sleeping, I am often deceived on waking. Having slept, I almost always awake with the optimistic feeling that I can fulfill my obligations with plenty of time left over to explore new opportunities and climb new heights. Soon, however, a sense of want replaces that feeling of plenty. The hours are few and my accomplishments fewer. That’s when I take a nap. Nothing gets done but I wake again feeling there is time aplenty, even though there is not. Perhaps a lesson is to be learned here, but what is it?

Photo of a photographer in the Painted Desert, Arizona.
Image copyright 2015; text, 2021 by Danny N. Schweers.

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Kerry wrote:
So true! ☺️

Cookie wrote:
Kinda makes you wonder what this guy is shooting for. Good shot on your part. [DANNY REPLIED: It was sunset, so perhaps he is shooting the clouds in the east. Then again, he could be posing, his idea of how he wants to be remembered. He and I were college roommates at U.C. San Diego. I majored in Physics and Philosophy; he in English Literature. We both became photographers.]

Ernestine wrote:
Sometimes I have the same feeling and end up in the same way. I think if we knew the answer we would act accordingly. To me, I know I don't always follow the Holy Spirit that Jesus left to comfort us. So, with that thought, I know I have failed. With God's forgiveness, we can try again. Peace and Blessings!

Nancy wrote:
Perhaps that time is a precocious commodity ❤️

Mark , a practicing psychologist, wrote:
The lesson is that sleep replenishes our energy, when we get enough of it, and in all four measured EEG levels. Probably the most rapid-cycling wavelength (alpha, or REM) is the level at which the brain processes day-residue data, either consolidating input or dumping it. The amount of REM sleep each day decreases from about 8 hours at birth to about 2 hours at age 20 to about 45 minutes at age 70. In general, this is probably because the brain has integrated most of what needs to be integrated by age 70 and is able to (more or less) efficiently dump extraneous data by the time we reach end-of-life data-procecssing. That you tend to wake up fresh and energetic can be a sign that your brain does an efficient job of dumping useless data -- such as self-devaluing data. If you tend to see a discrepancy between your opportunities and accomplishments as the day progresses, you may only need to tweak what you expect of yourself a bit. By age 70, we need to do a lot of tweaking re: our bar of expectations. We're not going to pole-vault 18 feet and we probably shouldn't try to accomplish anything that requires climbing a ladder (although I still do that) or assembling a new barbque pit ... if we can find someone younger to lend a hand. But we can still take great photographs and write thought-provoking reflections!
DANNY REPLIED: Thanks for your thoughtful response! I hope others find it illuminating. I especially like it that you use the word “can” in the 2nd paragraph = “That you tend to wake up fresh and energetic can be a sign...” and the word “may” in the 2nd sentence = “ may only need to tweak what you expect of yourself a bit.” Saying what might be gives your words much more authority than making claims that do not admit exceptions. Recently I have been trying to put on my calendar the tasks I hope to do in the next few hours. Right now is 2:00 p.m. and there are six tasks I hope to accomplish by 7:00 p.m. I have not just woken from sleep, so perhaps this is realistic. And that makes me think I should arrange tasks on my calendar when I am feeling the least optimistic, before sleeping rather than just waking. I turn 75 on September 17.
MARK REPLIED: Thanks to some good mentors, I've done a lot of polishing in my use of linguistic qualifiers due to writing probably tens of hundreds of psychological reports of varying kinds over close to 45 years. Those reports have to be carefully worded since they can end up in court from time to time, and sometimes are written specifically for court. I'm impressed that you put tasks to do on a calendar. For the most part, the only things I put on a calendar are my appointments with patients, although I use a Franklin Planner, so I sometimes get a few other things in there. I do write down on our kitchen calendar when it's time to change the AC filter (every 3 months). I'm sure I'd get a lot more done efficiently if I scheduled other tasks, e.g Quick Books updates, bank deposits, sorting through the mail for what to keep & what to toss, studying up on an issue, home repairs & maintenance, even recreational things like dinner get-togethers and movies and calls to my 103-year-old aunt in NYC. But I don't, and stuff tends to pile up, which I dislike. I've never mastered how to prioritize some things without neglecting others. I'd say I set my bar of expectations too high in certain narrow niche areas, and too low in the rest. And I question how much I can change in that regard. I turned 73 in June.

Dennis wrote:
Many are called. Few get up.

Stephanie wrote:
So that guy climbed the giant pan of brownies and he’s feeling triumphant. Accomplishment does that. Is it optimism that makes us set excessive daily goals, or is it that we want to feel the triumph of overcoming our aging nap-seeking limitations? I like to think that the dynamic nature of the universe is reflected in us and we will never stop moving forward. It’s the direction of our energy that’s important, not the speed. [DANNY REPLIED: Actually, I rarely feel triumphant. More often it is relief that the job is done, coupled with a sense that the task got done only because I have ignored all my other tasks. Most times, though, I am more than willing to put everything on hold, not just for naps, but to read. I just finished “Pride and Prejudice”, an annotated edition I had yet to read. That was a pleasure!]

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