— Life —

Don’t Hit the Snooze Button on Life

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When I worked in banking, there used to be an area called Special Loans that dealt with companies that had breached the terms of their loan agreements. The men (and they were all men in those days) who worked there were a cross between your meanest high school math teacher and Clint Eastwood’s character in Gran Torino.

One of our large corporate clients ran into financial trouble, and I was asked to work with Special Loans to help turn the business around. Our key contact was the company’s founder who, after decades spent building his business successfully, was in danger of losing the company. To add insult to injury, we discovered his good friend and CFO had been stealing from him for years.

Needless to say, the founder was less than thrilled. He took out a lot of his anger on us, with delightfully personal attacks. I complained about his behaviour to a colleague, who responded: “Some people hate to be woken up.”

Waking up is hard, but necessary. I think we are meant to be fully conscious and embrace what life has to teach us, instead of anesthetizing ourselves from life’s harsh realities with food, shopping, and the Kardashians. “Snap out of it,” as Moonstruck’s Cher would urge.

When we are first awakened, however, it can be very tempting to go back to bed.

When I received a wakeup call after my marriage failed, I simply hit the snooze button. I threw myself into a quest for a new career and perfected my tennis game. Divorce was not going to shake me.

Head, meet sand.

I’ve learned that when you hit the snooze button, the next alarm tends to be a lot louder.

For me, it took dating an abusive narcissist to serve as my wakeup call. It wasn’t pretty: think about being shaken from a forty-year slumber by the entire cast of Stomp.

Suddenly, I understood my angry bank client. Now that I was no longer in the denial stage of embracing my loss, I moved quickly into anger. Some days, I’m still there.

My client’s story has a happy ending. He was able to stop the losses and turn his business around. He sold his company for a tidy sum and is now a prominent philanthropist, which was his passion all along. Waking up was painful, but it served him well in the end.

Waking up has served me well, too. I now listen more, have deeper conversations, have stronger friendships, and know what matters to me. I know what love looks like and am not afraid to give and receive it more freely.

Life can be oh-so-cozy under the duvet, particularly if it has a high thread count. Still, I don’t think we are meant to live our lives asleep. The clarity that comes with the awakened life is a gift, even if it’s not entirely welcomed in the initial light of day.



  • carla birnberg May 25, 2016 at 9:19 am

    Waking up is hard but necessary. WOW IS THAT WHAT I NEEDED TO SEE TODAY.

    • Jen Lawrence May 25, 2016 at 1:25 pm

      So glad it spoke to you, Carla.

  • Susan Tolles May 25, 2016 at 10:58 am

    What a great boost, Jen! It is so easy to stay in our safe spot, clothed in fear and self-doubt. Life begins OUTSIDE our comfort zone! Taking a big leap can be scary, but oh so worth it in the end.

  • Jennifer Connolly May 25, 2016 at 11:07 am

    Fabulous Jen! A wide awake life is the best one to live. I hate when it takes too many alarms to wake me up. Thanks for the shake! Xx

    • Jen Lawrence May 25, 2016 at 1:24 pm

      Those alarms just keep getting louder, don’t they, Jennifer. xo

  • Rena May 25, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    So very true, the longer you but something off the worse it is.

  • Alana Mautone May 25, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    Oh, do those alarms get louder. Do you ever pay in the end – but it is so tempting to snooze life. I know; I am snoozing an issue right now.

    • Jen Lawrence May 26, 2016 at 9:13 am

      I think we all like to snooze, don’t we!

  • esrcornell May 25, 2016 at 5:22 pm

    Love this – and what a timely post! I’m not sure that I’ve been hitting the snooze button, but I’ve definitely been taking a few too many naps… thanks for making me aware of it~!

    • Jen Lawrence May 26, 2016 at 9:14 am

      Thank you! And yes, those naps are tempting, aren’t they!

  • 1010 Park Place May 25, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    I think all of us have an area of our lives we need to get a better grasp of… I’m working on them! xoxox, Brenda

    • Jen Lawrence May 26, 2016 at 9:14 am

      I think we are all beautiful works in progress. A vehicle like 1010ParkPlace can help us on the path! xo

  • Sue Williams May 25, 2016 at 8:54 pm

    Very insightful post. I used to tell my children back when they were in high school “beware the snooze button”! Thanks for sharing.

    • Jen Lawrence May 26, 2016 at 9:15 am

      Thank you, Sue! It’s a good lesson both practically and philosophically.

  • Donna Lee May 26, 2016 at 9:33 pm

    Hi Jen, I feel like an outsider, and I’m actually now a bit concerned; as I’ve never hit the snooze button, and I never nap.

    • Jen Lawrence May 30, 2016 at 12:05 pm

      That’s OK, Donna. We are all different! Thanks for your comment! xo

  • Esther Zimmer May 27, 2016 at 2:06 am

    Yes, I’ve definitely snoozed on some areas of my life – no more though! Although that’s not to say those areas have been slapped awake, they are definitely a work in progress. Great piece, as always, thanks Jen. Esther xx

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