Can We Talk?

October 1st Thursday Thought

Today’s question is …

Sleep: What things help you sleep at night? Or, are you a night owl? Do you get enough sleep or wish you could sleep more?

I don’t really have any one thing that helps me sleep. I’m a pretty good sleeper, overall. I go to sleep easily and even if I wake up at night, I tend to go back to sleep pretty easily. However, I am a light sleeper so I wake up easily.

According to my Garmin Tracker, I get, on average, about 4.5 hours of deep sleep per night. I try and sleep at least eight hours per night but I feel more awake and alert if I get closer to ten hours. Since I have cut caffeine out of my diet, I sleep WAY better than I used to. I feel I fall asleep faster and get more rest now that I’ve cut out caffeine. I don’t take medications, though occasionally I will take a Benedryl, which used to work wonders for my sleep but not so much anymore or Tylenol which actually seems to work the best for me.

I’m a flopping fish though when I sleep. I am constantly changing position or just restless overall. It got so bad that Kevin started sleeping in a different room and we have continued sleeping in different bedrooms. This doesn’t mean we aren’t getting along or our marriage is in trouble, it simply means we were desperate for a decent night’s sleep. It’s really hard to sleep with someone, especially when you’re a light sleeper or you sleep with someone who is constantly shifting around.

I used to be a night owl but now I am definitely an early bird. I get up at 5:15 in the morning every weekday and I find myself naturally waking up at 6:30 during the weekends. I can’t keep my eyes open past 9:00 anymore.

Here is an interesting video on sleep. Kevin and I talk about our sleep quality all the time. I thought he would especially appreciate the “science” behind sleep.

Focus: Do you find it easy to focus? Or perhaps think focus as a camera lens – do you zoom in or zoom out?

I can be very focused and have learned, with my current job as a medical assistant, to block out the noise around me whenever I’m working, or on the phone with someone. I focus best though when it’s absolutely quiet. I feel razor sharp when it’s quiet and I have to have quiet whenever I write. I also feel like I doing a pretty good job of multi-tasking. I can focus on one task but be aware of my surroundings and think ahead to the next step or the next thing I need to do. For example: when I’m on the phone with a patient on clinic days, I can tell you where my doctor and mid-level are, what my nurse is doing and listen to snippets of conversation from our medical secretary while she’s on the phone. I lose focus when an unexpected, outside source, interrupts me, like one of my co-workers walks up to me to ask me a question in the middle of everything and it’s like a game of Jenga, everything comes crashing down and I have to “reboot.”

Being able to do this, be hyper focus as I like to call it, is handy at work and makes me feel like a boss by the end of the day. But it SUCKS every last bit of mental energy out of me which is why I’m nodding off while watching YouTube videos at 7:00 at night.

I have been working a bit from home lately because there are simply not enough hours in the day to get everything done at work, and I’ve been listening to these Jazzy YouTube videos lately. It doesn’t necessarily make me focus any better but it certainly relaxes me. Give it a try.


Can We Talk?

September 24th Thursday Thought

Today’s questions are …

What does it mean to live a good life?

To me, living a good life means being kind to people. To be satisfied with my life choices and if I’m not satisfied, then changing things in my life to MAKE it satisfying. Living a good life means being comfortable in my skin. To finally be happy with who and what I am. And to also be satisfied with my physical appearance. We are all uniquely different and that makes us uniquely special. It takes a long time to acknowledge and accept that fact and sadly, some people never accept that, but once you have made peace with yourself, it’s easier to make peace with other people. Living a good life means being patient and empathetic to others. Everyone has their own problems, their own history, which in turn shapes who they are as people. Recognizing and accepting that goes a long way to understanding, and tolerating, people around you. Living a good life means having faith in something bigger than yourself. To have hope. To have dreams. To accomplish goals. To HAVE goals. Living a good life is working hard, saving most of what you make and spending wisely leaving plenty left over to enjoy in your twilight years. Living a good life means being responsible for one’s actions, to thinking before acting. Living a good life means searching for, and finding, YOUR happiness, however that looks for you personally.

Why do we dream?

My explanation is: it’s your subconscious trying to get your attention. However, a better explanation comes from Psychology Today:

  • A component and form of memory processing, aiding in the consolidation of learning and short-term memory to long-term memory storage.
  • An extension of waking consciousness, reflecting the experiences of waking life.
  • A means by which the mind works through difficult, complicated, unsettling thoughts, emotions, and experiences, to achieve psychological and emotional balance.
  • The brain responding to biochemical changes and electrical impulses that occur during sleep.
  • A form of consciousness that unites past, present and future in processing information from the first two, and preparing for the third.
  • A protective act by the brain to prepare itself to face threats, dangers, and challenges

I know it’s fun to discuss, and try to interpret, Kevin’s dreams. He has some doozies. ha!

Where does your self-worth come from?

Most likely from your family. Your parents are an integral part of shaping who you are. If your family doesn’t have good morals, compassion, empathy, kindness and ethics, chances are, you won’t either. Hence the reason the nuclear family is SO IMPORTANT. I think surrounding one’s self with positive and uplifting people feeds a healthy self-worth. Unfortunately, many people do not recognize toxic people until their self-worth has been chipped away to virtually nothing. If do not feel good after spending time with someone, then it’s time to cut that person out of your life and move on to people who motivate and offer honest, positive feedback. It’s also important to recognize one’s own flaws and to actively work on correcting those flaws. Why are you impatient? Why do you lose your temper so easily? Why does it matter to you so much that someone like you? Why do you need praise? Why are you a perfectionist? Once you have those honest conversations with yourself, then you are in a better place to be honest to those around you.

Here is an excellent comment on a thread about self-worth:

“Self-worth is something that you can never derive from external surroundings, it is something you derive from within. It does not have any measuring scale. It is a position which one holds for oneself. Self-worth is an internal state of being that comes from self-understanding, self-love, and self-acceptance. Self-worth is steady and unflinching, and therefore, holds power to radically transform your life for the better.

Having a high degree of self-worth means feeling worthy of good things. It means feeling deserving of happiness, health, wealth, success, and love — irrespective of the difficulties you face, the disappointments you experience, or of people’s opinions.”

Can We Talk?

September 17th Thursday Thought

Today’s question is …

The most surprised you’ve ever been….

I don’t like surprises. I like surprising people but not don’t surprise me. There’s something about losing that small bit of control over myself in the split second that I’m taken aback by something.

With that said, I haven’t been surprised often in my life. I think it’s largely due to the fact that the people in my life know that’s a sure fire way to piss me off so they don’t do it.

However, there have been a few times I’ve been pleasantly, and not so pleasantly, surprised in my life.

When I was pregnant with Blake and my water broke at 3:00 AM eight weeks before he was due to be born. I was in denial. I convinced myself I was NOT in labor because it was way too early and I just sucked it up and went back to bed. (My water broke on the toilet – a little TMI for you). When the contractions became too much to bear I finally cried uncle and called my doctor’s office at 9:00 AM. Whey they heard my story they told me to immediately go to the ER – Blake was born nearly three hours later – a whopping 4 lbs and 12 ounces. (He spent six weeks in the NICU because his lungs hadn’t fully developed). That was an unpleasant, and pleasant, surprise. And it shows how incredibly naive I was. To be fair, it was my first pregnancy and I was clearly clueless.

This next surprise was in our first house together. It was a rental house. Somehow, and I still can’t believe he pulled it off, Kevin hid a HUGE curio case in our spare bedroom. He covered it with a quilt, or something and I just never saw it. I know that sounds crazy, how can you not see a huge curio case? But I never went into that bedroom, we used it as storage and it seems like there were quite a few other big pieces in that room and I just never … realized that it was in there. He unveiled the curio case on Christmas morning. I had wanted something to put all of my Precious Moment figurines in, I was getting quite the collection and no place to put them, and he was tired of seeing them accumulate, I suppose. Anyway, I was GENUINELY surprised, and impressed, that he managed to pull one over on me. I’ll never forget that Christmas, it was fun. (Side note: Speaking of Precious Moments – are those still a thing? Kevin and I were talking about them the other day. I wonder if they are worth anything? Because I have quite a few to get rid of if that’s the case).

One of my most unpleasant surprises was in 2010. The kids were at school, Kevin was on his was to work, and I was pattering around the house when I got a call from an unknown number. Of course, I didn’t answer the phone because 1. I hate talking on the phone and 2. I especially hate talking to salespeople. But I (thankfully) checked the message right away). It was from a man I didn’t know telling me there had been an accident. I could hear the sirens in the background. He said that Kevin had been in a motorcycle accident and they were taking him to the ER. Kevin had asked the man to call me. I have never experienced such raw fear before that moment. I immediately changed into presentable clothes (because of course, I had been cleaning house and looked like something a dog would have dragged into his master’s house) and raced to the hospital. Kevin had shattered his pelvis and they were shipping him to a medical-teaching school for specialized treatment. (i.e. to put the bag o’ glass back into a pelvis – that’s how the ER doctor described his pelvis to me). I will never forget that stomach dropping, nausea-inducing, moment in my life.

Maybe that’s why I don’t like surprises overall, because the surprises that I remember are not GOOD surprises. Hmmm ….

Your turn.

Can We Talk?

September 10th Thursday Thought

Today’s question is …

In what ways would you like to change the world?

Opinions. I’d like to teach people to listen with an open mind, to weigh all of the options, from both opposing fences, and then to come to a fair, logical and informed decision.

Too many times, people are only getting one side of the story. Whether that’s from media, from friends, from family … how many times have you listened to a friend complain about a spouse, or something that happened at work, or a time when they got into trouble and you based your opinion on what that friend told you? You reared your righteous indignation on behalf of your friend and automatically rallied for your friend’s predicament or side?

Only to find out later, that there were TWO sides to the story and lo and behold, your friend wasn’t as “innocent” as he/she led you to believe?

Or you listen/watch a news story and you get worked up over THE INJUSTICE of it all, only to find out later that OOPS, that news outlet didn’t exactly give you all of the details and maybe, just maybe, it’s not as cut and dried as they (the news outlets) wanted you to believe.

Nothing – NOTHING- irritates me more than to not be given all the facts.

Another example: teaching evolution in schools. Okay. Fine. Teach evolution, but also teach creationism. Then leave it up to the individual to make his/her own informed decision. It’s insulting to only give one side of the story and then to expect people to just blindly agree with that side.

Facts are pesky little things, but they’re also necessary little things.

So, moral of this post? Get ALL the facts, THEN make up your mind.

Your turn …