Fatigue and Fulfillment: The Journey of Discipline and Its Gifts

I’m not sleeping well.

It’s not because terrible things are happening. It’s just things – lots and lots of things – are happening. I won’t bother listing them because that feels an awful lot like complaining or the start of a one-upmanship battle with you.

And I know you have lots and lots of things, too.

My body is trying to communicate with me via rhinovirus. I don’t have time for such nonsensical mutterings. I don’t succumb to mucus.

I told a friend of mine that I feel like I’m functioning at between sixty and eighty percent lately. But I’m still moving forward, and for that, I’m a rock star.

When I think about it. I am surrounded by rock stars*.

Here’s to Elizabeth whose hubby retired early this year. They sold every stick of furniture they had ever collected in their marriage, packed up the dog, and moved across the country. Here’s to the fact that their rental house isn’t available for a few weeks, and they are couch surfing with Elizabeth’s (completely crazy) family.

I celebrate Louise who is about to see kid #2 and #3 off to college while saying cheerful and available to her beloved (who has huge life ambitions himself and depends on her for their manifestation).

I recognize Marie who lost her husband to COVID and is working full-time, raising a child, and running a small business on the side. Here is someone who hasn’t slept well in something like four years.

…and I could go on and on.

I guess it is easier to be a rock star when you are in the company of them.

I watched a video this past weekend where a rock star business owner named Jaime Cross quoted Aristotle by saying.

Better the pain of discipline than the pain of regret.


Being eyeball-deep in the “discipline” section of that quote really sucks, though.

This morning, I got out of bed before dawn. This was not by choice. I had been awake for hours. I was tired and cranky. I also filmed the video below from my backyard.

Even during the “discipline” phase, life gives you gifts that even mucus cannot diminish.

I won’t insult your intelligence by word-fully delving into the psychological significance of sunrise. I know you get it.

I hope that if you are eyeball-deep in the discipline phase of anything that you both receive and recognize the gifts along the way.

Because you are a rock star.

*Rock star names changed because I’m too tired to ask their permission to use their real ones.


Dr. Melissa GratiasMelissa Gratias (pronounced “Gracious”) used to think that productivity was a result of working long hours. And, she worked a lot of hours. Then, she learned that productivity is a skill set, not a personality trait. Now, Melissa is a productivity expert who coaches and trains other businesspeople to be more focused, balanced, and effective. She is a prolific writer and speaker who travels the world helping people change how they work and improve how they live. Contact her at getproductive@melissagratias.com or 912-417-2505. Sign up to receive her productivity tips via email.


  1. Debbie Mooney Raven

    I love this, Melissa. What a wonderful perspective of this phase of life. And WOW what a gorgeous view and to think it’s at your back door. I use to dream of being on the beach daily because there is something about those waves lapping in that is a calmness to my soul. Soak up all those little gifts girl. You have been a ROCK STAR for many years and just don’t realize how BIG of one you are! Hugs – Debbie (Ables- from any years ago – LOL)

  2. Julie Bestry

    You may be tired and snuffly, but you are funny and motivating.

    This reminds me a bit of Judith Briles telling us at a NAPO conference about twenty years ago that when you get a compliment, you should reply with, “Thank you for recognizing my magnificence.” Life is hard work for most people, but nobody has to operate at 100% all of the time. Showing up, diligently, in whatever way we can may earn us that pain of discipline, but if it keeps us from feeling the pain of regret, it’s eventually worth it.

    Feel all better soon!


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