September 12, 2019,

Someone thought they saw you nodding off the other day.

Don’t worry. You weren’t driving.

In fact, you weren’t doing much of anything during a moment you were supposed to be doing a lot of something.

With passion and deep interest.

Something important like your job.

Which you don’t like.

Or having a meaningful conversation in your relationship.

Which may range from uncomfortable to extremely painful.

As the Southern expression goes, the light was on, but nobody was home.

How often does that happen for us?

We love real life experiences and at Femcompetitor Magazine, when we preface a passage like that, understandably though the names have changed, there is no dramatic effects for theatrical purposes or to move the story along.

The following passages are real and actually did happen.

Which brings us to Winston.

Winston worked in a job that he hated for twenty years to fulfill his responsibilities in organized religion and to a wife who was not remotely on the same page with him.

They had children.

To say that Winston sleep walked through life is like saying the Kardashian family are kinda’ wealthy. That Alicia Silverstone is kinda’ cute. That Katie Holmes is kinda’ of a babe. That Sweden kinda’ has great looking blonde beauties. That curvy model Iskra Lawrence looks kinda’ sexy in a bikini. That…

Okay we’ll stop that.

It was hard though.

Why? Because we were not sleep walking through those sentences. We had a certain energy about it. Right?

Something that Winston lacked.

What Winston did to get him through the pain of climbing out of bed early in the morning every week for twenty years so that he could drive down a crowded freeway with other often angry sleep walkers was to numb himself so that he literally didn’t feel anything.

He would medicate on the weekends by playing tennis, very passionately mind you, and watch movies with keen interest.

Movies and tennis. He clearly missed his calling in life.

But before he knew it, 5pm Sunday had rolled around and he absolutely dreaded what was coming.

That was our common experience.

What does it mean to sleep walk through life according to at least one definition by someone else?

fciwomenswrestling.com femcompetitor.com, Pexels.com Ivan Oboleninov

In an article that we enjoyed at personalexcellence.co, the writer Celestine Chua educates, “These are people who live their lives in an unconscious state. Being conscious is not about being physically awake. Many people are physically awake, yet living unconsciously. They are not fully aware of who they are, the larger context of life they are a part of, and their real purpose in life.”

True that. Well said. Ditto. We agree. You go girl.

Okay, enough of that.

We do feel passionate about what she said though.

Now we simplify by providing you with the lessons learned.

What causes us to sleep walk through major periods of our life and possibly all of it if we are not careful?

Several major events.

One is playing it safe at a major intersection in our life instead of taking a risk to do something more exciting and internally frightening.

Why don’t we turn to film for examples.

The Four Feathers is a classic film about not taking risks.

The Four Feathers is a 1939 British Technicolor adventure film directed by Zoltan Korda, starring John Clements, Ralph Richardson, June Duprez, and C. Aubrey Smith.

Set during the reign of Queen Victoria, it tells the story of a man accused of cowardice. It is widely regarded as the best of the numerous film adaptations of the 1902 novel of the same name by A.E.W. Mason.

Here is the storyline regarding the 2002 remake by the great movie reviewers at rogerebert.com, “The Four Feathers” tells the story of Harry Faversham (Heath Ledger), a young British soldier, circa 1875, whose father is a general and who finds himself in the army without having much say in the matter. He is engaged to the comely Ethne Eustace (Kate Hudson), and when his regiment is ordered to the Sudan he cannot bear to part from her and resigns his commission. He acts primarily out of love, but of course his comrades consider the timing, conclude he is a coward and send him three white feathers–the sign of cowardice. A fourth is added by the patriotic Ethne.

Disowned by his father, renounced by his fiancé, disgraced in society, Harry must regain his good name.”

The film is timeless and if you decide to watch it, what made Harry find his passion in life was losing his good name.

Armed with that passion, it is fascinating what he was willing to endure to get it back.

The next entry as to what might make us sleep walk through life is after we actually dared to take a risk and were severely disappointed by someone else.

The epitome of that situation is The Heiress.

fciwomenswrestling.com femcompetitor.com, Paramount Pictures photo credit

The Heiress is a 1949 American drama film directed by William Wyler and starring Olivia de Havilland as Catherine Sloper, Montgomery Clift as Morris Townsend, and Ralph Richardson as Dr. Sloper.

Written by Ruth and Augustus Goetz, adapted from their 1947 play The Heiress. The play was suggested by the 1880 novel Washington Square by Henry James. The film is about a young naive woman who falls in love with a handsome young man, despite the objections of her emotionally abusive father who suspects the man of being a fortune hunter.

In 1996, The Heiress was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

The stellar review team at variety.com enlighten, “Olivia de Havilland, in the title role, is the homely daughter of a wealthy physician. A social shyness that cloaks the quick wit and puckishness has kept her suitor less despite a sizeable wealth that will be augmented when her father passes. Montgomery Clift is the first male to show her attention. The father sees through his courting, tries to break up a quick engagement.

Clift plays the difficult part of an ambiguous character who is more opportunist than crook in his fortune-hunting.”

At some point the young lovers agree to meet and elope but one of them doesn’t show.

He believes that eloping will cause her father to disinherit her.

Watching Catherine Sloper continue to wait for the love of her life minute by minute, then finally and painfully realizing that he is not going to show is excruciating.

Broken, she gently picks up her bag and barely crawls back into the house.

She sleep walks through the rest of her life, financially rich, but bitter and lifeless.

If you’ve never watched The Heiress, place it on your 2019 bucket list.

The last aspect that we will consider that may propel us into a sleepwalking state is a severe loss.

The Accidental Tourist is a 1988 American drama film starring William Hurt, Kathleen Turner, and Geena Davis. It was directed by Lawrence Kasdan and scored by John Williams. The film’s screenplay was adapted by Kasdan and Frank Galati from the novel of the same name by Anne Tyler.

It was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score, and Best Supporting Actress for Davis, which she won. John Williams was nominated by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for Best Original Score.

The team at commonsensemedia.org summarizes the story perfectly. “Macon (William Hurt) writes travel guides for globetrotters who want adventure-free trips. A year after his young son’s death, Macon is further damaged when his wife Sarah (Kathleen Turner) announces she’s leaving him.

Depressed and alone, Macon’s only remaining companions are his bizarre siblings and his dog.

The dog’s strange behavior leads Macon to Muriel (Geena Davis), a wacky dog trainer who lives alone with her young son. Macon finds Muriel forward and rejects her romantic overtures, but Muriel persists and Macon eventually moves in with her. When his wife Sarah calls, Macon attempts to return to his old life, but realizes that Muriel’s extraordinary openness — her “oddness” as he calls it — brings him out of his shell and makes him a better person.”

Simply put, that off beat Dog Walker brings him back to life and he finds a new passion, yes symbolic, in helping raise her little boy.

He no longer sleep walks through life by writing play it safe travel guides.

There are some powerful lessons from real life and the Hollywood movies which, even when they don’t say there are, often actually are based upon someone’s life experience.

One of the most important things to understand about not sleep walking through life is that when you reach a crisis, it is rare that someone else can bring you out of it.

The Accidental Tourist is not the norm.

The Heiress and The Four Feathers are more common.

You have to do something to change your own fate. You have to find something that ignites you. If you are waiting for someone “to make you happy” or “feel good about yourself”, please don’t hold your breath.

We knew of one beautiful single mom who appears to have been beaten down by her ex-husband who fought her from a stronger position. According to her, he cheated on her, left her and is now married to the woman he committed adultery with. It appears she had been finding fulfillment in life through her children because when our friend asked her what she is passionate about in life, she couldn’t come up with an answer.

Now he appears to be winning in court and will take her children away to live with him and their new Step Mom.

Sounds horrific but unfortunately it is based upon a true accounting.

The question we have, now that her children might be leaving…

Who will she live for now?

We firmly believe in this often treacherous life, you need to find your own passion and fire starter. Yes it is important to live for your children but it is also very important to find your pathway too, because even in the best of marriages, the children eventually leave.

Assisted Living facilities are filled with people whose spouses died previous to them.

We are of the belief that one approach is that, in the new online world, which can propel so many entrepreneurial options, you should begin to seriously think about yours.

As a subordinate, even in the best of jobs, your fate is still at the whim of others.

Even if you find the “love of your life” while you are still wearing your rose colored glasses, you may eventually find out the hard way that you are not theirs.

Simply put, try and get your own vehicle going where everything else revolves around your life and you are in control of your own fate.

You now become the master of your fate. Not the puppet where others are pulling the strings.

Is it the only solution to end the sleep walking?

No.

But in our experience, it is a great place to start looking.

With your eyes wide open and passionately awake. 

fciwomenswrestling.com femcompetitor.com, Pexels.com Jopwell photo

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Opening photo Paramount photo credit

https://personalexcellence.co/blog/sleepwalking/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Four_Feathers_(1939_film)

https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/the-four-feathers-2002 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Heiress

https://variety.com/1948/film/reviews/the-heiress-4-1200416115/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Accidental_Tourist_(film)

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/movie-reviews/the-accidental-tourist