Tag Archives: sleep

How to Alleviate Sleepiness (better) [Lessons from 2021]

11 Jan

-water alleviates tiredness more than caffeine

-a walk helps get rid of sleepiness

Sounds like something some health-nut would tell you.  Believe me, despite all the things I’ve listed here that may seem extreme–I am not really healthy, and it’s NOT my focus. It’s just that little repeated efforts really do add up.

I live in a desert so water is crucial. The air is dry, and it gets pretty hot. Plus any exercise, sweating, sugar, salt, caffeine further depletes hydration. So I always try to drink water throughout the day. And it is true-being hydrated feels like having more energy.  Caffeine just made me jittery or more irritable.  Water, I’m talking a LOT of extra water, does help.  But like, a lot.  Like 30 cups by lunch.  And you actually legitimately feel better. 

I suggest working up to it. And I’m telling you getting 4 cups a day is the biggest hurdle when you haven’t really been mindful. Because drinking extra will make you pee extra. And you just don’t feel thirsty. I know. But if you can just make a habit of getting 4 cups of water in the earliest possible in the day–any above and beyond that are really not a big deal. I don’t know why. I don’t make the rules.

Also, aside from water, taking vitamin B helps energy. That’s why they put so much of it in energy drinks. And vitamin B without all the caffeine won’t dehydrate you, which actually makes you feel more tired (think hangovers). So vit B in the morning, and at that afternoon slump. Best part about that, it’s not going to keep you up all night like a late coffee/tea might.

Another thing that helped us feel less tired is another counterintuitive thing. Walking on lunch and after work.  It was way more helpful than sitting, which actually made us feel more tired.  So get that heart rate up next time you’re sleepy and wishing for a nap during the work day!

And you know what I found out makes me most tired of all?  Living in an extrovert’s world.  I used to be exhausted on most work days when we had to go to the building (vs. working from home).  Just the anxiety of second-guessing every facial expression, how fast I was walking, each interaction was tiring.  Now that I’m at home working after work I just feel normal.  I don’t get tired for several more hours.

I’m still working on energy though. I’m often very tired and dragging a$$, so any other tips would be helpful.

Sounds

23 Jan

Lately I can’t sleep.  Again.  Between residual caffeine and my brain waking up with Cool in the early morning, I find myself tossing a lot.  I can also hear our next door neighbors coughing at night.  And they cough a lot.  Because they’re heavy smokers and they probably have COPD.  And there’s a retch on the end of the cough, which is gross.  So the coughing wakes me periodically-or precludes sleep all-together.  I was restless Thursday night for all those reasons–and the fact work sucks right now (I won’t go into that–it’s a whole other long story).

And while I was trying to go to sleep, I could hear the rustling of a creature up behind my head.  On the floor to my upper left.  Normally I would assume it was one of the cats messing around.  But I knew it wasn’t on Thursday, because I’d shut them out of the room.  Side-note:  I love nothing more then a cat sleeping on the bed with me.  It’s one of life’s greatest joys.  But Goose won’t let Choco-Luv on the bed anymore.  It’s some sort of deal only they know about that they worked out.  And no amount of coaxing will make her ignore their rules.  And Goose will nap real good during the day.  But at night he wants to play “under the covers.”  Or he meow-meow-meows for food.  Or scratches on the closed curtains trying to get on the sill to look out his window.  Generally he’s a nuisance.  And since I already haven’t been sleeping well, they’ve been getting shut out.  So I knew it wasn’t a cat.  But I also knew it was something alive.  It was rustling in the way only a live creature can.

suckers

Obviously I’m freaking out.  What could it be?!  Mice/rats?  That’s the only thing that I could think of.  And that’s super-creepy for many reasons.  1]  There was a small or possibly nest of small creatures in the house–in our room no less.  2]  The sound was coming from under my clothes rack near a corner.  So possibly said-rodents were nesting in my clothes/shoes-eww.  3]  Cool was out of state at her Mom’s funeral, so I would have to deal with the problem by myself in the middle of the night.  4]  But the biggest worry of all is that our bed is a futon mattress–that is directly on the floor.  The creatures–whatever they were–might run over me in my sleep/wake (terrible in either scenario).  Or I’d find them IN the bed at some point.  Needless to say, no sleep was going to be had–I was majorly squigged out.

mouse baby

Don’t get me wrong–I’m an animal-lover.  But not wild, pesty animals, in my house–outside of a cage.  Pet-store animals are different.  They’re bred to be pets, handled, sweet.  You pick them and prepare the place you want them to be.  They are invited guests.  Wild animals, are intruders.  They walk around as they will.  They make a mess in your stuff.  And aren’t things in groups so much more creepy/gross?!  I mouse in the wild isn’t a thing.  Wild pesty mice breed.  They have creepy little nests and make colonies and their numbers quickly get out of control.  Then they’re in you bed and in your kitchen.  These are the things I was thinking of as I laid in my bed on the floor. . .

mouse infestation

Then, I’m not sure how I came upon the realization, but I knew the sounds were my neighbor.  I could hear them rolling over in their sleep!  The sound was not on the floor of our room at all-it was through the wall.  I could hear my neighbors turn over in their bed.  Which is not as creepy as mice/rats nesting near my head–but still very creepy.  I was esentially sleeping in the same bed as my smoker-neighbors.  And if I could hear them cough and ROLL OVER in their sleep, that meant they could hear every sound I/we made too.  Very sketchy.  And I’m sure they HATED the week Cool and I tried to move our treadmill/circuits for when I got home from work.  At 1:30AM.  The treadmill is in our bedroom, and we tried that for a week-oops.

After the realization that I can hear every move my neighbors made (and vice cersa), I really couldn’t sleep.  And I didn’t really want to.  Last night when I got home from work at 1:36 AM, I wasn’t tired anymore.  I was mad–at work.  I thought I might wind down by watching a show.  But after one episode of “Private Practice” I still wasn’t tired.  I knew I would just toss and turn if I tried, so I just didn’t.  I didn’t want another horrible night of not being comfortable, counting hours I needed to get good rest, and hearing every noise in the world.  I decided to watch until I did feel tired.  Which wasn’t until 4:44AM.  And naturally, as it does every day my brain suddenly and irreversibly, work up and I popped up at 9:50AM.  My body doesn’t care what time I go to bed–I wake up and can’t go back to sleep in the mornings.

I bought a white noise machine from Amazon and luckily, it happened to arrive today.  I put it behind my head, between me and the neighbors, so hopefully it will drown out any noises from them and give me privacy.  Also, I didn’t have any caffeine today.  I really hope I’ll be able to sleep!

 

Sleep Problems

18 Jun

Some individuals, often from prolonged unresolved stress, have low cortisol levels throughout the entire day. They go to bed exhausted and wake up still tired. Exercise usually gives them a jump-start to get them through the day, as does coffee or maybe some pharmaceutical drug. This is also an adrenal gland dysfunction problem.

Then, there are the individuals whose cortisol levels are out of rhythm with their internal body clock. This is very common, especially in overtrained athletes, heavy stress, long hour job, or people eating poorly throughout the day (going more than 5-6 hours without eating or too many refined foods). Their cortisol levels may be fine all day long until the night, when it spikes instead of drops. This could result in just laying there in bed counting sheep while others may fall right asleep yet they wake up in the middle of the night, say around 2-3am. They might lie there for 10 minutes or 2 hours, until they are finally able to fall back asleep. Something is tripping the sleep-wake cycle that needs to be corrected. The most common reason for this is due to a spike in cortisol, (think of it almost like adrenalin, but not as powerful), as well as epinephrine (adrenalin), due to a drop in blood sugar. Your body increases epinephrine levels when your blood sugar drops too low so it can pull glucose (sugar) from glycogen (stored sugar) from your liver. Your body will increase cortisol to break down valuable anabolic (tissue building) amino acids from protein to convert into glucose to elevate your blood sugar.

Another common sleep problem that people have is waking up at the exact same time every night. They will say, “I wake up at 2:55am every night”, or “I can’t get to sleep before 1:00am.” When specific times are involved this has to do with the acupuncture meridian system and its relationship to certain organs at those times. 11pm to 1am is the time when the gallbladder is at its highest energy. So if a person has a problem with their gallbladder, (too many bad fats, smoking, caffeine, etc.), then they often can’t get to sleep between those times, or if they are asleep before 11pm then they may wake up during that 2-hour cycle. Between 1am and 3am is liver. This is the most common time a person wakes up and is due to many reasons. As noted above, when cortisol or epinephrine levels elevate to pull sugar from the liver, this will wake the person up, as it taxes the liver as well. Also the liver has to deal with detoxification of hormones, such as cortisol and estrogen, leading to more work for the organ at that time.

A Look Back–At 2014

31 Dec

Here are month-by-month grades from my check-in posts for a more quantitative assessment of my resolution progress.

2013 Goals to Maintain:Tucsan

-study habits (A+, A-, A+, D-, B, C, C+, A+, A, A), -floss daily (A+, A-, A+, A-, A-, A-, B, C, D, F-), -drink water(A+, A-B-, C, A, A+, A-, A+, B, B), -read for pleasure (A-, A-, D, D-, B+, C, D+, F, F-, F-), -weekly massage (B, F, D, D+, F-, F, F, F, F-, F-), -abstain (A+, A+, A++, A+, D+, A+, A+, A++, A+, A+)

-I’d say studying went well always, and only slid in the summer months–which is fine.  This was easy since having the 4.0 GPA was of the utmost importance to me.

-Flossing was going well, but majorly crashed when school started and I got a night job.  Taking away my evening contributed to the current failure of this one.

-I managed to do an average to wonderful job with my water throughout the year.  It helps that water is available, free, and keeps my headaches away.  It also helps that I no longer drink most other beverages, so no much is left TO drink.

-Reading is easy when I’m not doing anything else.  But during school or when my evenings were removed (for work) it’s one of the first things to go.

-I felt/feel(?) that weekly massages were important to me, but I’m not sure, based on my consistent failure that they really are.  I like them and everything, but logistical issues are quick to undermine this.

-Abstaining from alcohol was a lot more successful then I ever imagined.  I followed through in a big way.  And my mind was in a good place.  I only really wanted this at the start of summer break and during October (hence the double ++ when I DIDN’T drink those months).August 2011 105

2014 Goals:

-add in exercise AND produce (subtract bad things)(A+/F, A+/F, A-/F, A/F-, A-/F, A+/A-, A+/F-, A-/F–, A+/F, A-/F+), -have gratitude (D, F, F, C-, D, A+, A+, A-, C, D-), say nice things (D, F, F, F, F, B-, B, B, D, F), -Straighten out my sleep (F, D-, F, C, A-, A+, F, B-, F, D+), -min. extraneous spending and save a small amt $ every paycheck for moving to CO (F, D, F, B, D, F, C, F-, F, D), -volunteer (D, C, F, A-, F, F, F, F-, F-, F-), -Take pride in my appearance:  Wear contacts more, use makeup, wear jewelry(C, B, F, A+, B-, C-, D+, D-, F+, F), -Judge Cool less and show her more kindness and love (C-, C, B, C+, C, D-, C+, B+, A-, D+), -worry only 30 min/day (instead of all day & night) AND think positively for at least 10 min/d (C, C-, A+, B-, A, B, A+, B, D, C), -make a list, grocery shop, cook ahead (F, C-, D+, F-, F-, F-, F+, F+, F-, F+), -Don’t over-pluck eye brows (A-, A-, B, D, C, A-, A-, A-, A, A-), -increase eye contact (D-, F, D+, C, F, C, F, F, F, D+)

SkyFest 056So did I make it for the new goals?

-Running a daily mile in the morning is my best goal I’ve EVER accomplished!  This worked so well because I was mentally ready to do it.  Also, because having a treadmill to make it easy and warm worked for me.  The time constraint (first thing in the morning) also helped me keep it up, as did a minimum distance (1 mile).  Lastly, completing “days-in-a-row” made this impossible to break–even on the few occasions I was lazy or had a stressful, busy day ahead.

-Eating did not go well-per the usual, because I was NOT mentally ready for change.  This was not super-practical, nor specific enough to keep me chained to it.

-Having gratitude improved immediately after I left veterinary work.  And I liked it, so I guess I was also mentally ready to DO it.  On the other hand, saying nice things was a failure throughout the year.  Maybe it wasn’t actually a priority?

-I made a concerted effort all year to fix my restless sleep.  I think I mostly failed, because sleep is largely out of my control.  After fixing my sleep hygiene, schedule, and stress levels–I wasn’t sure where to go with it.  I have to remember to make goals that I CAN control.

-When I made the money saving goal, I had good intentions, and was mentally ready to follow-through.  I couldn’t have predicted my financial situation would change so drastically early in the year.  Once I quit my job, the story became–hold on.  Saving isn’t really all that possible without an income.

-I really failed hard on the volunteerism.  Mostly because my priorities changed, and I no longer cared about this as much.

-My appearance was adequate only when I had time or special occasions.

-I’m disappointed that I didn’t show Cool as much kindness as I wanted, but I feel like this was another goal that was largely out of my control.  You see, when a bipolar person is cycling, they are often–a jerk.  It’s hard to deal with that stress–ALL the time, or most of the time, as we did last year.  She rapid-cycled the entire year, which is very tumultuous.  I feel like I managed to keep my head above water-mostly-and that any more was asking too much.  Next year, I want a similar goal, because it’s important, but something 100% in my control.

-I don’t know what a mental breakdown feels like, but I’m pretty certain I was about to have one by the end of 2013.  I was anxious, stressed, frazzled, bitter, and burned out.  It was awful and major things had to change for my own peace of mind.  For starters, I got out of veterinary work.  I had done my time, and was increasingly disgruntled with (primarily) the thanklessness for my hard work.  The low pay, long hours, and high pressure–not to mention social issues didn’t help.  One of the best decisions I ever made was removing myself from that scenario.  Once I got out of the veterinary work, I was able to worry a LOT less.  And my life because more balanced, my attitude better.

-This is another item (make a list, make a menu, grocery shop) that I really WANT to do–in theory.  It’s also something that when it comes down to it I slack off on.  I need to take a cue from my running success and change this goal so it will actually happen next year.

-Don’t over-pluck was, I guess easy–by default.  My mind wasn’t right, I just didn’t have the time.  And now I’m not sure I care about this all that much.  What’s done is done.

-Increase eye contact never came to fruition, and right now it doesn’t seem like a huge priority for me.1st day school 040

Overall, I’m happy with 2014.  I made some big life changes, like switching jobs, quitting alcohol, and starting to run.  And I finished my time at Riverpoint–with all A’s.  I feel like I’m a happier, more relaxed person then I was at this time last year as a result.  Sure, I flat-out failed on a lot of these goals, but I don’t feel bad about most of them (aside from Cool and groceries).  It was fun to try for them, and it worked out nicely to keep track every month.  I’m going to make goals for 2015, but try to model them after the running goal for more success.  Also, I’ll pick only a few, because 11 proved too many, and some became unimportant.  Be looking for my 2015 Resolutions post–then–some music!

Oct Goal Accountability

30 Oct

Maintenance Goals (from 2013):

-floss daily.

Unfortunately no.  I slipped a few nights because I was tired.  Or because I forget to do it at 4PM before I go to work.  It doesn’t make sense to do it before I eat.  But sometimes at midnight, I’m just so done for that I can’t manage it.  In November, I’m going to try to do it every night no matter what.

-drink water.Kidron's post b-day pics 035

I’ve had 7-16 glasses every day.  I never expected to be able to drink so much, and I certainly didn’t expect chapped lips and concentrated urine if I had “only” 10 glasses.  I’m going for 12/d next month–to help flush all the sugar out of my body.

-read for pleasure.

Not even close to a thing.  Reading notes and textbooks is as far as I’ve taken it.  Plus, I no longer lie awake for any length of time before bed.  My head hits the pillow between 12:30 and 1AM and it’s right to sleep.  I’ll do double-time reading when the semester is over.

-weekly massage.

Also not a thing.  Our schedules are late-night now, so there is no awake time to do so.  I think in November we could manage this on Sunday.  Though I’m notoriously dead-tired that day.  It’s not fair, I feel more hung over from post-work then I did as a drinker.  Fatigue, body soreness, mental tiredness, and UNproductive is how my Sundays have been going lately.

-abstain from drinking.

Even though fall-brews are my favorite beer, especially pumpkin ales, I’ve abstained.  As a result, I’ve treated myself to waaaaaaaaaaay too much candy, caramel dip, Pizza Hut, and junky, shitty food that makes me feel more tired then I already am.  I shouldn’t have to feel totally punished and go without everything though!  It’s bad enough I have to work on Halloween (4:30PM-12:30AM) to add insult to injury.

-study habits.dissecting Eugene 068

You see, MY things haven’t changed.  But about at the halfway point of the semester, both my professors simultaneously realized class was moving too slow to get through the material.  So my phonetics exam got moved 5 weeks sooner and out transcriptions tests got pushed closer as well.  So it’s test after test in that class.  Literally–every class session is a test.  And we got to microneurology which is intense and has a vocab all it’s own, so my teacher has been doing the sneaky–learn this at home, memorize that chart on your own time, and study this power-point on your own.  In essence double-tripling the amount of material we will be tested on without taking any class time to go over it.  This sucks, and double-triples my test-prep and study-time for that class.  Add in tutoring demand and transcriptions for my professor friend–I feel like all I’m doing is school and work.  I’ll be relieved when the semester is over–and yet I’m not stressed out?!  I can’t explain this either.  Very busy, but not overwhelmed. . .

January=fitness.

October has been not so good on the eating front.  And because life has me so busy, I started running the mile as fast as I could muster (8.5-9 min on average) which was not so fast.  So I lot at least a min of speed since the summer, and because I was trying to rush through, no incline.  I changed my lazy ways and started running on incline again when I noticed my love handles re-appear.  They had been a staple of my body since puberty, but had disappeared as of late.  Well, apparently, it was thanks to daily treadmilling incline they had.  So now I’m jogging up a hill while looking at my notes.  I promise to be so much better in November and try to add in produce and stick with chicken and rice and such to feel better again.  Sugar is getting heavily reduced!

Feb=have gratitude; say nice things.

Only so-so.  I do fall asleep immediately now, so I can’t list what I’m thankful for prior to sleep.  But I have been tending to wake up in the early morning, and recite the positive things to fall back asleep.  I’ve gotten annoyed by inefficiency at work and I need to chill out and let them do things their way–even if they don’t make sense and are slower then need be.  What do I care?

March=straighten out sleep.

I think as long as I have both this job and school it’s not all that possible.  I am trying to maintain a strict routine, and even have the cats trained to it.  The time-change will put a crimp in our style, but we’re getting ready for that early (and slowly) so it doesn’t whack us out.  In November I’m going to do my best to sleep in until at least 9AM since I’m now a night person.

April=save $$$.thumbs up poster

Now that I’m making money this should be easier.  But I bought a discounted snowboard at the swap, which will save tons of money in the long run, but didn’t allow me to put any aside in October.  I also found out that my big plan to take half-time credits in order to get another loan disbursement and keep my undergrad loans on forbearance is made impossible by the loan companies.  You have to take at least 6 credits towards a degree.  And since I’ve completed all the post-bac courses, there’s nothing left “towards my degree.”  Total bummer–and a game-changer for spring semester.

May=volunteer.

What was I thinking?  No way will this be possible.  But next semester (when I’m not a student) I do want to shadow an AuD.

June=Cool.

New meds are making life great again.  When Cool is her old self, things are wonderful.  She went through a mania earlier in the month, but we recognized it early on and followed the proper medication changes, and things have calmed down nicely.  I hope this version of Cool gets to stay a long, long time! *crosses fingers*  It’s easy to compliment her and get along well when we’re not dealing with bipolar moods, anxiety symptoms, or medication side-effects.

July=my appearance.

Also not a thing.  And fuck my circle of gray hair that won’t remain dyed for long at all.  Am I supped to dye my damn hair every 2 weeks?!  I am in too much of a hurry for jewelry or makeup on most days also.  I don’t care what I look like at work, since I’m just scrubbing toilets anyway.  In November, I’ll try to put on quick makeup/perfume/jewelry (one of those things) for class at least.

Aug=Worry Less, Thank more.

I got slightly stressed out about work, but I realize that stressing out about this particular job is a waste.  I don’t always have to overachieve, don’t always have to rise to the top, and don’t always have to strive to make things run better.  My new plan is to fly under the radar, do my time, then move.  Who cares if some things are stupid?  Not me.

Sept=make a list, grocery shop, cook ahead.dissecting Eugene 027

Ha ha.  Now that I’m a night person (and am working/exhausted Thursday-Sunday) I have no idea when to shop.  Cool does a good job getting items we ran out of at Safeway, but it’s not the same as generating a menu, making a list, and going to Grocery Outlet together with a list.  I do not have high hopes for the rest of the semester though.  Maybe we can at least make a manu. . .

Oct=don’t over-pluck.

If anything, I have been under-plucking.  When I’m home I’m pretty much incapacitated by soreness and tiredness, so no worries.

Nov=Increase eye contact.

I am naturally terrible at this.  Trouble is, I don’t realize it’s happening until AFTER the encounter is completely over.  I need to think about it before or during in November.

September Means Studying–goal accountability

30 Sep

This was completed a little hastily, and over a couple of sessions, so excuse any oversights or errors.  I was also hoping for some free time to write a proper post, but alas–school/work/sleep/cleaning left no time.  Maybe tomorrow?  Or Saturday?

Maintenance Goals (from 2013):

-floss daily.

I messed up a couple of times because I wasn’t home in the evening and it threw off my routine.  Now I floss before work (at 3PM) but feel like it might be counterproductive because I eat a snack later.

-drink water.

I am drinking a minimum of 8 cups per day, but also having caffeine and salt.  So I may be coming out even.  Also, I have a thermos for work, which I chug often (on my frequent breaks) but lose count.  It only holds about 2 cups and after the 2-3rd refill I forget how many times I’ve refilled it.  So I have no idea how much water I’m consuming at work.  Hopefully it’s a lot, b/c at 10PM we do pretty vigorous exercise and I’m dripping sweat and losing lots of fluids.  Maybe I’ll take a pen and do hatch marks when I refill. . .

-read for pleasure.

It’s not happening right now.  Between getting home late, chatting before going to sleep with Cool, and studying–I just haven’t at all.  I have a book project for neuroanatomy though so I’ve got to carve time out somewhere.  This is a week later–that I’m writing an update.  I’ve started reading late and until Cool gets home from work (on the days I don’t) and I finished the book.  It wasn’t very good–but now I’m set for all my assignments.

-weekly massage.

Nope never.  Though Cool has rubbed trigger points in my neck, shoulder, and pectorals before I sleep.  My work requires repetitive motion with my arms and shoulders and the soreness I can handle–waking up multiple times a night with dead arms I can’t.  So she’s been lovely to rub them out though I’m out of commission and can’t return the favor.  Though the pain is less and less as each week passes, with this week Hot&Cold taking care of it entirely.

-abstain from drinking.

Done.  And I said no to a tempting invitation so as not to screw up.

-study habits.

I never feel like I have enough time, and I lose the whole weekend for work and tiredness.  Which stresses me out.  What I do have time for this semester is coming directly home and making figures and flashcards, which has helped my recall so much!

January=fitness.

I have managed to run a mile daily, and I’m moving around a lot at work so exercise is taken care of.  Unfortunately, with the increased activity, my appetite has gone wild and I’m eating more food to compensate.  I have a sugar problem, a nightly sweet tooth, and I love all things carb-related.  BUT my excuse is it’s winter.  Still, I have to manage my portion sizes a little.

Feb=have gratitude; say nice things.

I am thankful for my new job with friendly co-workers and very low stress/expectations, for nicer professors, and that this is my last (graded) semester at Riverpoint.  I do give thanks for those new things (as well as some established things) nightly.  Most of the time.

March=straighten out sleep.

I finally had this, but my new schedule un-did all the progress.  It’s a swing shift job, so I have to work til midnight.  Then I’m supposed to sleep in.  But between my own internal clock, the cats, and my class schedule I have been getting up early then being tired all day.  I think what’s really hurting me is going to bed earlier on the nights I don’t work.  My morning person ways sneak back up on me when I do that, then I become accustomed to waking up too early every day (including those I work and the days after).  And that makes me tired and is a recipe for sickness.  So I made a rule for myself:  I may not go to bed any earlier than midnight on any night (and the cats may not have dinner til 12AM so they sleep in).

April=save $$$.

Yes!  This is happening.  Money went IN to my account just today and it was such a relief to see the numbers getting higher, rather than dwindling!  Even a part-time job is great to have to offset the bills.  The fear that I need to save every penny because I don’t don’t when I’ll get another–is gone.  And thank goodness for that.

May=volunteer.

This is not a thing right now.  Maybe once the semester is complete and my application submitted.  Though I did agree to transcribe some more language samples for my favorite professor.  I think I may get something out of it (hours toward credits) eventually though, so it doesn’t quite count toward any service.

June=Cool.

Things were good, then they were not so great, now they’re good.  Seriously, I cannot stress enough how bipolar and anxiety sets the tone of any relationship.  When Cool is stable, and on the right combinations of meds, and feeling good–things are awesome.  Sometimes, she acts in a way I hate, due to her mental illnesses though, and that’s a real bummer for us.  She is going in for counseling and had a new brain-scan thingy to see exactly where her issues are.  This will help get her on the exact right medications, and resolve some of this troubling, persistent symptoms.

July=my appearance.

I have been trying to fix my hair lately.  I don’t want “bad lesbian hair,” I’m self-conscious about the grays and try to hide them under styles, and it’s been a little windy.  I bought a darker box hair dye to try also.  But I just had a neuroanatomy exam today and turned in a big project, so I didn’t feel like doing anything taxing this afternoon/evening/night.  And that’s something you have to pay full attention to to get good results.  So soon. . .

Aug=Worry Less, Thank more.

I had been really good at saying things I was thankful for every night before going to sleep.  And it helped decrease my worry and uplift my attitude.  But with 2 exams in a row, I’ve been going over material in my head before sleep so I stopped thanking.  But now that I’m the furthest away from the next neuroanatomy exam, I’ll resume.  Because I like it very much.  And I think it’s worth mentioning that even though I lost the weekend to work, and didn’t get to really study.  And Cool was being a majorly distracting turkey, I never had a stress meltdown as I have in the past.  I remained pretty calm this test cycle–and it felt so much better!

Sept=make a list, grocery shop, cook ahead.

Cool has been so good.  She went grocery shopping by herself the last 2 times so I could study for my exams.  That was really nice, and appreciated.  Plus I hate shopping.  But I need to reconfigure my schedule to make time to do this.  And I don’t think the weekend will work b/c of the aforementioned work and post-work fatigue.

Oct=don’t over-pluck.

I think I’ve been doing OK.  TMI:  sometimes I see a stray dark hair where a potential moustache could grow, so I pluck it.  But that turns into a bad decision, because for whatever reason plucking on my face gives way to a breakout.  So you see acne in a moustache line and it’s obvious I’ve plucked at it.  There is not enough to wax/shave and bleaching looks stupid, because then you just have white hairs on your face.  So I guess I’ll leave well enough alone, and hope it doesn’t become an actual stache problem?  As for eyebrows, no problem.  I really had no time to pluck at all, and my face was a mess as a result!

Nov=Increase eye contact.

I forgot this was a thing, but I do come into contact with people now, so I can work on it.

LaZY DAVE Saturday [3rd post of 4]

11 Sep

Sorry for the delay!  It’s been a busy coupe of weeks shifting into all my new schedules.  And I already have a test next week!  And I’m having to go to work (4 hours) extra for obligatory training.  So blogging has been low on my priority list.  But I’m waiting to go into work for an hour–so here it is:

SATURDAY:

We didn’t get tiks for Saturday. Because they’re too expensive, we’d be too tired and dirty, and the crowd is over the fratty line for us.

We woke up at our secret camping spot (feathers) which is a GORGEous location to wake up and I’m not sure why so many people pay big bucks to party on top of each other, when this is a few miles away, quiet, FREE and relatively empty (4 caps Friday night) but I’m glad they don’t.  It’s lovely to have it to ourselves.  I ran my obligatory mile.  I didn’t notice anything awry on the way out of the camp site, other then loose gravel on the road that was a little slippy for my liking.  But on the way back, I found that it was UPhill all the way.  And against the wind.  Needless to say, I got my sweat on.  But it was one of the most beautiful runs ever, overlooking a canyon with bay salt walls, with windmills in the distance.

SEATS-the gorge 023

We take pictures at this beautiful scene each year we attend the concerts.  But I should have done it before my run, because I look sweaty and windblown and none of the pics are suitable for Facebook.  Then, we ate more of our wonderful snacks and smoothies on the way to River Road where Cool’s friend lives.  We had wanted to visit her for several years, but 2.5 hours proves to be a bit too far for school, and 2 different work schedules to manage.  Mostly, we’re locked in Spokompton–which is why this summer was special with only a few hours of my time scheduled and just Cool’s job to work around.  Anyway, we did plan on seeing Cool’s school pal this time. I was excited for a shower, Cool was excited to go to the lake and sleep in a real bed. And we were ready for a BBQ (having brought brats, dawgs, and chips from home). But our host had a migraine and was out of commission.

Which ended up working out OK, because we were tired, and recovering from our fight from the night before. So we showered, napped, watched TV (we’re now hooked on “Criminal Minds” on Netflix) and vegged out all day.  But then our host’s father (who was supposed to BBQ) needed stitches so those plans were also off.  But Cool’s friend started feeling a little better.  I had asked Cool when we arrived at 10AM if she had her pills, and she said she didn’t.  Cool finally LOOKED to see if she brought some Rx migraine pills, and turns out she did, so her friend got a pill around 4PM.  We got to chat a little, and went to bed relatively early, missing Saturday’s concert as planned.

SEATS-the gorge 032

And of course (as is our luck), fans are calling Saturday the best show of 2014. The setlist we’d die for occured.  Here’s some stats from AntsMarching:

Fri:

= 16.7% Away From the World

= 4 star rating

= rarest song is Rapunzel

= rarity 7 of 42 summer concerts; overall = 26.32

Sat:

= 20% Remember Two Things

= 4.5 star rating

= rarest song is So Much to Say-Too Much tease-into Halloween!

= rarity of 8 of 42 summer shows; overall = 24.76

Sun:

= 21.7% Under the Table and Dreaming

= 4.5 star rating

= rarest song is Loving Wings or Steady As We Go (played once during the summer tour)

= rarity of 2 of 42 summer shows; overall = 26.19

I have no complaints about our setlists, but you always want what you don’t have I guess.  I had put “So Much to Say”-tease-closer on my setlist wishlist and that would have been amazing to see.  And obviously, we were devastated Brandi did a duet with Dave (only on this night). I heard rumors Brandi did a meet & greet Saturday.  Of course.  Because that’s my luck.  If we had gone Friday and Saturday, this would have occurred Sunday.  If we had gone all 3 days, it wouldn’t have happened at all.

But we got clean and rested and did some visiting Saturday so we had a good time and didn’t yet know what we had missed.  Next up–Sunday, the final concert!

Shifting

2 Sep

Labor Dave Weekend + BRANDI CARLILE post coming soon.  I have to finish my homework, do some studying, go to the writing center, read the YMCA employee handbook, and edit the pics.  But then-THEN expect an epic post!  For now, here’s one I wrote last week:

coffee owl

I’m having to transition from an extreme morning person to a night owl.  And it’s not in my nature.  Nobody likes switching from their natural body inclinations to a forced schedule, and most people must go in the opposite direction.   Still, I had to work up to it.  It’s all about manipulating the bed-time, because you’re going to wake up how (and when) your body wants to–there’s little controlling that.

I started last week when I found out I got the swing shift job:  Stay awake til 9:30PM.  This was hard!  I had to keep moving, exercise, drink water, and try so much.  I stuck with 9:30 about 4 days.  Then, I went to 10PM for 2-3 days, then it got slightly easier and I was a little used to it.  This wasn’t AS difficult, but still really trying.  I still had to exercise around 8PM when I felt exhausted.  I have been going to bed between 10:30 and 11PM.  It’s still gonna hurt when I have to work until midnight, but not as much as when the latest I EVER went to sleep was 8:30PM.

At this same time, my body was still primed to wake up around 5AM.  And I was still cleaning the vet hospital at 3AM.  This threw everything off and I was tired all the time.  I finally had to go to work at night.  Which I used to hate, but now works better with my new sleep schedule.  This morning was a milestone.  My body didn’t wake up until 6:48AM–which is probably some kind of record.

Another shift that had to be made (two shifts, actually) was the sleeping and feeding schedule of the cats.  They were primed to eat at 7PM and again at 4-ish AM.  And they work up at 4AM (and woke us up) daily, and that didn’t help my sleep situation at all.  I was really tired all the time for a full week and a half.  I shifted them to eat at 8PM.  Actually, once they were awake later with me, the rest kind of took care of itself.  They also seemed really tired all the time.  The slept in, and were too tired to beg for food.  Now they eat at 8:30 (tiny snack just to keep them from being frantic and 10:30PM right before I get in bed.  Then they want to sleep in later in the morning.  And we made a policy they don’t get food until 8AM exactly–for when/if my body every DOES sleep in.

I also had to shift from summer to school.  I worked diligently on my application all summer.  And on working ahead for school.  But it’s not the same as having to attend class, keep up the rigors of projects, and studying for tests.  Having to leave the house every day, wasn’t cool.  Keeping a schedule, when you’ve made your own, was also a challenge.  Re-training my brain to study instead of goofing off is still in progress.  It’s not the productivity that’s different, but the pressure.  In the summer if I wanted a break, wanted to stop and do something fun, or wanted to skip an assignment even–I had the privilege of doing so.  Or at least knowing I could.  Now–I have to press harder.  I’m still working on lengthening my study sessions.  Next week I’ll be ready to hit it hard.

And the last shifting that has to be done is back to employment.  I’m sad to give up MY time, and scared about fitting everything in, and about the potential/inevitable tiredness.  But I’m sure I’ll get right back into it once I start.  After 2 weeks I’ll probably be settled into all my routines:  Sleep (as a night person now), cats, school, study, and work.  I just have 1 more semester HERE, and then I get one more to work, plan, and pack.  It won’t be so bad.  I’m on the down slope of the hill.  It’s been a long, long time since I could say that!