I’m a good sleeper, and I realize I’m lucky because far too many people have trouble getting a solid 8 hours of deep rest. My husband manages no more than 3 to 4 hours in a night, on a good night, and that’s not unusual. Most people I meet complain of an inability to get a solid night’s sleep so I truly value my body’s cooperation here. Quite honestly, I don’t know how people function without a full 8 hours of sleep every night, I just couldn’t do it. (I get 10)

Now my husband is sharp, witty even, and a clear thinker, despite his lack of sleep, so obviously sleep deprivation doesn’t affect us all in the same way. When I’m deprived of a good night’s sleep my thinking is foggy, and I’ve actually caught myself stuttering because I can’t get the words out clearly. In short, I turn into a vegetable; an incoherent turnip!

I love my sleep time and look forward to it. I even like the ritual of bedtime. After supper my husband cleans up (that’s our deal and since he does little else, I hold him to this) and I relax with some television. By 9:00 I head up to bed, my herbal tea is steeping and will be delivered eventually. I wash up and enjoy a little reading, while I sip my tea, then turn on the news, which invariably puts me to sleep….and there I stay sleeping soundly, and, (if my husband is to be believed), snoring apparently, until morning.

It comes easily to me and I’m not going to question why, I’m just grateful it does, but I do feel for those who just can’t seem to get enough mind rest. I suppose there’s a case for ‘active minds’; the events of your day simply linger in your subconscious keeping your brain awake, ever thinking.  But why is it some of us can turn it off while others can’t? (I can hear my husbands voice clearly saying ‘because you’re a dope and the rest of us aren’t’)

There are countless sleep aids on the market and when one is desperately over tired they are a God-send, but unless your chosen aid is a natural product there’s a risk of addiction and the last thing a body needs in addition to exhaustion is a chemical dependency.

Have you ever watched a sleeping child? They sleep without abandon; arms comfortably overhead, mouth open and breathing is deep, and when they awaken they have  a rosy cheeked glow and the rumpled hair that clearly says I’m rested and ready to play…..until nap time. (Maybe we need to spend more time learning from our children,,,they’re clearly doing something right)  

Studies have shown that certain foods contribute to drowsiness, those high in protein in particular because of the tryptophan, an α-amino acid found in proteins. So maybe we need to change our eating schedules – load up on eggs, spinach and salmon right before bedtime. Just don’t wash it down with a nice Pinot Grigio cause that’ll counter-act the effects of the tryptophan. (Alcohol is a stimulant…who knew?)  Apparently hot cocoa is the best night time drink but I’ll risk insomnia before I give up my nightly wine!

I guess at the end of the day those of us who easily enjoy a good night’s sleep are just plain lucky, and those who don’t are destined to be on an endless quest for the right sleep aid/routine. I’m just glad I don’t fall into the latter category.

I wish you a good night’s sleep, and long live the bedtime ritual!


Can I ask a stupid question?

My husbands’ answer when I ask this question is “Better than anyone I know”, but let’s ignore him for now.

I don’t claim to be a great mind. I did not win any scholastic awards at school, and I consider myself to be of average intelligence, but I am curious about some things.

For example, I was watching a recent news broadcast covering a plane crash. Their search centered around finding the black box which provides the details of a plane (or boats) last activity prior to the crash. The commentator went on to describe the importance of the black box, stressing its’ ‘indestructibility’. Now I’m no scientist but if a black box is indestructible, why don’t they just build planes and boats out of the same material and avoid the whole destruction in the first place?

And if we are all truly descendants of the seven daughters of Eve, how come more of us don’t look alike? I would expect to see a lot more “me’s’ out there.

And why is milk that’s gone sour bad? Isn’t buttermilk just soured milk?

If Dolly Parton stood on her head, would she smother?

If you truly could ‘have it all’, where would you put it?

If the disciples consumed the blood and body of Christ, does that make them cannibals?

If man, with his superior intelligence, can invent sophisticated polar orbiting satellites that can monitor the entire earth’s orbit and predict weather conditions, why do they rely on the appearance of a rodent every February to predict the coming of Spring?

And if we need seeds to grow watermelons, how can we be harvesting ‘seedless’ watermelons?

The list goes on and on because like all humans, I am curious, and curiosity is a natural and healthy reaction.  It doesn’t always cast us in an intelligent light, but it displays an ‘ever thinking’ brain. (such as it is)

Sometimes my curiosity takes the form of confusion because a situation puzzles me. Other times it intrigues me, prompting that ‘need’ to know the answer. Either way, it’s a good indication that my coconut is in working order, and the older I get the less I am self-conscious about asking what might be deemed a stupid question because I’m more interested in the answer than the reaction to the question.  And I’m fairly certain that I can’t be the first person to ask stupid questions. Some might  just think them too absurd to voice out loud, but I’d bet money they’d be all ears for the answer when someone else does!

So I will continue to pursue answers to what others might think are stupid questions, and when I get the answers that satisfy my curiosity I’ll move on to something more intellectual,,,,,, or maybe not…..because maybe ignorance really is bliss, and I’m in a happy place.


Excuse me while I swallow my words

While shopping recently I was browsing a rack of tops with a friend when I happened upon a particularly ugly (or so I thought) sweater.  Pulling it up to show my friend, I said, “Good God, look at this. Isn’t it hideous?”  As soon as the words came out of my mouth I saw a woman standing in front of me wearing that very sweater. (I still think it looked hideous) Needless to say, I was somewhat red faced. I crammed the offensive item back into the rack and moved on down the aisle muttering a quasi-apology. Realizing taste is very personal and unique to each of us, I was suddenly conscious of my habit of thinking out loud and it occurred to me that without meaning to, my opinion could offend another. Surely I can’t be the only person guilty of speaking their mind? That said, it got me thinking.

Is it really wrong to tell it like it is? I mean that same woman might have laughingly looked at my attire and thought it ugly. (She’d be wrong of course, but it’s a free country….) Or maybe it could’ve prompted her to rethink her fashion sense. Either way, isn’t it our very differences that make us interesting, unique even?

In another scenario, my husband and I were at an intimate dinner party, some years ago. During a discussion about various foods my husband happened to mention he loathed rice and had all his life. He went on to describe them as tasteless pellets. Well, you can imagine the look on several faces around the table when each was served an Asian stir fry on top of a pile of (the offending) rice. Most were completely unaware of the furtive glances between our hosts but my husband looked clearly uncomfortable. Needless to say he shoved down as much as he could, boasting about how delicious it was and how he’d been converted. (I still hear about his ‘sacrifice’ to this day) Now, like me, he had no intention of offending anyone, he simply spoke his mind. (had they served potatoes, this awkwardness could’ve been avoided)

Is it our subconscious that speaks without thinking or are we very much aware of our flippancies. And what are the repercussions of honestly speaking our mind?  I mean it’s not like it could kill you. (If uttering untimely or inappropriate things is truly the innocent result of the subconscious mind how is it Don Cherry hasn’t choked to death yet?)

I’ll admit there are times we regret having spoken out loud – we’re all guilty of telling it like it is on occasion but that can’t always be bad. No matter how carefully we choose our words there will always be someone who misinterprets their meaning. As long as we are open, honest, and sensitive to our delivery, we should always speak our mind because life is too short to hide behind our unexpressed thoughts, besides, speaking your mind clearly and intelligently can influence others to see your point of view. Not everything is seen as a criticism. (Ok, the sweater was truly ghastly but I suppose I didn’t need to voice it out loud)

That said, there are situations where tact and diplomacy must take precedence. If it’s constructive and adds value to a conversation, spit it out. If it in any way offends another, or halts an otherwise pleasant conversation, bite your tongue, cause nobody wants to hear it.

Me, I’m a work in progress. I aim to be engaging and open in any conversation and for the most part I succeed, but if I’m faced with a situation where my emotions get the better of me, biting my tongue might be too little too late.  Maybe I’ll try pulling my hair instead.

Excuse me while I swallow my words

Coming full circle

My children have all moved out and bought homes of their own and because they are in a growing mode and my husband and I are now in shrinking mode, it makes sense to pass along household items that are still of use and can be better utilized to a start-up household, so we offered out furniture, recreational items, and linens, now better suited to a growing family.

While sorting through the many videos and DVD’s we’d accumulated it dawned on me that my husband and I are no longer building a life, rather we are starting to wind it down. This was a startling revelation. For the past several years I‘d considered myself to be middle-aged but I realize now, that would mean living until I was 110 and that’s not going to happen, so I have to face reality. Truth is, it went by really fast.

When I hold my granddaughters I could swear it was just a couple of years ago I held their mother the same way. Has it really been 30 plus years? My only regret is that I couldn’t have slowed it down and if, at any time, I neglected to ‘stop and smell the roses’, it’s now too late because that bloom is now off that rose, and I can only hope for another opportunity to blossom.

After much deliberation I came to realize that opportunity presents itself every day, and this bit of wisdom only came with maturity. My life was so busy with jobs, and family, and car pools, and school…it all seemed like a blur and I fear I missed some wonderful moments because I didn’t take the time to really appreciate them, so focused was I on just getting through the days. Now when I look around, I see a host of special moments. Not all are mine, but that’s ok. I now see any moment as an opportunity to stop and reflect on its’ importance, and I’d like to think I now carry that lesson so that others can benefit.

If I can teach anyone younger, anything at all, it would be to make yourself consciously aware of each moment before it slips away. Take the time every day to find something beautiful in something very ordinary. It doesn’t have to be a lot of time because, as we know, life has a way of ‘getting in the way’, so choose your moment and make it count because once it’s gone it’ll never present itself in that way again. Look for the value in everything and everyone….don’t let a busy state hinder your path to growth.

There is a very distinct pattern to our lives and if I had to map its’ path it would look like a wagon wheel. We are all meant to explore, question, learn, and process; taking avenues off our core route to broaden our knowledge, and returning to its’ centre to continue on our journey. The results fashion our personal profile, and ignoring those ‘moments’ denies us our opportunity for spiritual growth….and yes, this too is a lesson that comes with maturity.

Better late than never.

Circle of life