Opens the door . . .

I recently posted about a book that my dear friend and spiritual sister Anita suggested I read. Last night my wife asked me to help write the review the seller asked us to write from the website where we bought the book. The last line of the book review was, “Opens the door to the greatest challenge of your life.”

Well, that may not be true for everyone, but it is certainly true for me. I completely believe that the Toltec wisdom was on to something profound, but for me it presents a major challenge.

Until I was about 11 years old, I do not remember having any internal voice in my head. The book I’m reading (now for the 2nd time) calls that voice by a few different names, including “The Voice of Knowledge” and “The Prince of Lies”. Both are accurate – but as I was saying, I never heard that voice until I was about 11 years old. That was about the time I learned that I could use memory to replay music in my head without hearing it on a stereo or radio.

That was, for me, 48 years ago. Since then, that voice has progressed from being a jukebox to being an ever present companion. It is so constant that I never feel I’ve slept anymore. That voice presents dreams, illusions, fantasies, and evaluations of current events in my head during the hours I am trying to sleep. It never stops, and I never arise from trying to sleep feeling well rested. Plus, now that I’ve read this book, I have to ask myself one question – “How do I know the difference between truth and lies?”

Some things, with the help of the book, are almost easy. If a decision is based on fear or hate, it is based in a lie. However, there are other things that I consider that are harder to quantify. For example, I’ve seen X-ray and other evidence to support that my body’s bone tumor caused permanent damage. Is that true only because I believed the “medical professionals” who said it did that? What about the arthritis? The migraine headaches? Lies in our “Voice of Knowledge” can be inherited from others – so where do I draw the line? How do I go about proving what is real from what isn’t?

I’m starting to regret telling my wife to end the book review with the line, “Opens the door to the greatest challenge of your life.” It’s beginning to feel like a vast understatement.


Updates . . .

Two things we’ve done this past week have been upgrades.  The first was a new toilet, and the second was upgrading the bed my wife sleeps on.  Both require more exposition to understand.

When we bought this house 9 years ago, it came with that ugly “early ’70’s Harvest Gold” colored toilet and bathtub.  Now, the bathtub can be recolored, but not a ceramic toilet.  In addition to that, the tank on the toilet held 3.3 gallons of water, and used all of it for every flush, making it a huge water waster.  After talking to our plumber, we realized that if we replaced it now, we could pay it off in a year or two with the savings on our water bill, AND have checked off one purchase we would need for the future total bathroom remodeling project.  So we did.  The toilet we got has a dual-flush system to increase how much water we save.  When we only pass fluids, we can push one button on the tank and it only uses 1 gallon of water to flush.  When there is more material to flush, we push the other button, and it uses 1.4 gallons of water.  It looks great, and works perfectly. We’re happy with the result.

Shortly before we decided to move forward with that project, my wife made a trip to the chiropractor complaining about waking in the morning, EVERY morning, with back pain.  The chiropractor looked her over, and told her she probably needed a mattress that provided better support.  My wife took that to mean a firmer mattress my wife sleeps on. But, when she priced mattresses locally, the prices she saw ran from $250 to over $3000.  So as a compromise, I suggested we trade beds until we’d saved the money to get her new mattress.

Enter act 2 of that saga.  She had planned to go shopping for the mattress this morning.  In the interval time, I’d been having trouble sleeping on the same bed she did – to me it felt like a brick already.  I couldn’t imagine how you’d make it more firm, short of removing the mattress and putting a 4″ thick steel slab on the box spring.  But Merlin (one of our cats) decided to NOT let me sleep at all last night, and I realized it wasn’t about how FIRM the mattress was, but the unnatural way that my body had to bend to try to sleep on it at all.  The only points of my body making contact with the mattress were my shoulders, hips, and ankles – none of the area between those spots.  So, I had an idea – a Memory Foam Mattress Topper, to provide full support to all contact points of the body whether she’s on her side, back, or front.

When she got up this morning, I’d already briefly searched eBay just to prove my theory was possible, and explained to her what I’d figured out – including that the mattress topper was, at worst, half the price of the very cheapest mattress she’d intended to look at.  Also, no delivery fee, because she’d be able to put it in the car to bring it home with her.  She liked that.

Ultimately, that is what she got.  It worked so well, when she tested it after we finished installing it, she loudly exclaimed, “WOW!  This feels like one of those luxury hotel beds I always want to get lost in forever!”  Of course, the FIRST member of the family to actually sleep on it is – MERLIN.  LOL!

Are you sleeping enough?

One of the services that I use to monitor the “world” of the internet is Stumble – I click on the Stumble icon in my browser, and it randomly jumps to a new website based on general categories I’ve indicated an interest in. I also periodically get a newsletter where they highlight some sites I might like based on reviews I have written on their previous recommendations.

One recent newsletter caught my attention with an article about SLEEP. Probably because the last couple of years I’ve had a real problem with getting enough. I am certain that I haven’t slept 7 consecutive hours in over 3 years, and there are whole months that go by (especially in spring) when migraines and arthritis pain tag-team to force 2 or 3 tries at sleeping to reach an accumulated total of 6-7 hours.

Anyway, this article was worth a careful reading to me, and I thought some of you might like it as well.

I’m a 1%-er!

Everyone knows what the term “1%-er” usually refers to – those people who have such success that they are in the top 1% of all income earners.  Well, that is NOT the 1% that I fit in.

But, I was taking a “quick survey” on the VIP Voice website a little while ago.  It was about how many hours of sleep you typically get at a time.  They had 4 possible answers.  After I made my selection and hit return, it gave each answer with the percentage of replies that chose it.

And that is where I hit the 1% segregation.  The people who chose the same answer I did account for only 1% of all survey respondents.  I don’t know if that is good or bad, but it is amusing!

A crazy dream . . .

The last time I slept, I had a dream that was “wayyyyyyy out there”.  Calling it bizarre would be a kindness.

In the dream, I was a professional assassin.  I was “usually” pretty good.  Then I got a job where I had a significant travel to get to the meeting for the details, and when I arrived in the area, I rented a car.  I put my “gear” in the car, in the trunk (or as you Brits would say, in the boot).

After the meeting where I got the assignment, I stopped to fuel the car.  While I was inside the service station paying for the fuel, a car thief nabbed MY RENTAL CAR.

Through the rest of the dream I was frantically chasing that car thief around trying to get my stuff back, so I could go to work.  LOL!

Synchronicity and best-laid plans . . .

About a week ago, I decided (or admitted) that I was probably drinking too much coffee, because it has been months since I have been able to sleep for 8 hours in one stretch.  Perhaps years, I’m not sure.  What I am sure of is that lately I’ve been on a cycle that goes something like this:  up for 12-14 hours, down for 2-3, then up for another 10-12. Rinse and repeat a few times, until exhaustion gets so extreme that you collapse in a restless mess for 12 hours, and wake up with a migraine.  Yes, that does figure into a cycle that is longer than a standard 24 hour day – hence a totally unpredictable schedule.

However, trying to do something about it has proved to be more of a challenge than I had hoped, due to some outside circumstances caused by

You see, most of the discs traded on Swap-a-DVD are used, so nobody in their right mind would order one and claim receipt of it on the site without first watching the DVD to be sure it isn’t horribly scratched/cracked.  Basic common sense, right?

So, just when I’ve decided to cut back on my caffeine intake, Swap-a-DVD notifies me of not one but 2 titles that I have on my wish-list that are now available, and I have enough credit on account to get them both.  One problem – they aren’t individual movies – they are full seasons of a TV series.  2 full seasons, consecutive – or almost 50 episodes, at 45 minutes (average) per episode, and they all came in at once.

Well, I got through the earliest season last night (well, early this morning, around 1 am my time).  I’m going to rest for a while, and probably start the next season tonight after my wife goes to sleep.

But, I’m promising myself that I’m absolutely cutting the caffeine starting next week.  *grin*

Oh, and one other update – it has been over 5 years since I last took off my wedding ring – afraid that I wouldn’t be able to wear it if my weight continued to increase (which it did).  Well, I now have it back on, and if anything it is almost loose!  This paleo diet may not be for everyone, but it IS working for me.

Peculiar dream . . .

I had a dream while sleeping yesterday that was very strange.  I’ve written in the past about dreams where I was flying – in the manner of Superman, not a pilot.  This was one of those, with a twist.

In the dream, I started doing somersaults in the air, then added barrel rolls, and was just generally playing around.  All of that was fine – it got weird when I suddenly started traveling.  First, a slight shift of my gaze to the left, and I’d be over Seattle.  Then a slight shift of my gaze to the right and I’d be over New York.  One or two barrel rolls later my awareness expanded to where I was everywhere – all at once.  There was a calmness bordering on serenity that went with this.  I didn’t freak out until the phone rang and woke me up.  But my heart was pounding and I was bordering on hyperventilating at that point.  If I could have gone back to sleep, I guarantee I would have.