Maggie, the Ancient One

Hello friends. We made it to another Saturday. Last week was a rough week. Our oldest dog, Maggie, has been having some issues. She is seventeen years old, which is pretty old for a dog. The past few nights she has been very restless, whining almost all night. Yesterday, about 3’oclock AM, we had to take her to the emergency vet. She had not slept at all and was behaving like she was in pain. The vet looked her over and gave her a relatively clean bill of health. She did say that it is possible that Maggie has dementia. This really sucks, for her and us.

Right now she is calm and sleeping on the couch next to me. She goes through these episodes a few times a week. Sometimes we will find her standing up and staring off into space. There isn’t really much we can do for her. It’s terrible watching a beloved companion deteriorate in old age.

One of the big side effects of Maggie’s up-all-night episodes is that we don’t get a high quality and sufficient quantity of sleep. If you haven’t read the book by Arianna Huffington, entitled, “The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time,” get it and read it! It explains the immense importance of sleep. Low quality and/or not enough sleep can drastically impact our performance in all areas, and potentially sets us up for horrifying diseases like Alzheimer’s.

I’m not really sure how to handle the sleep situation. Maggie sleeps in the same room with us, and I don’t think we can change this. She needs to be close to us. So, I may look into getting her a sleep aid, like doggie melatonin, or something.

On another front, I am down three pounds this week. My eating was better last week, and I was able to get in a couple of runs. I expect to be in the low 230’s by next month’s 5K. As long as I can stay on my plan, there shouldn’t be any problems.

We have a lot to do today. I’ve neglected some of my manly duties, like lawn maintenance and cleaning the exterior of the house. Our place is starting to look like a haunted house, just in time for Halloween. Denice is not pleased.

That’s all for now. Until next time.

Vicious indeed

I had a rough time waking up this morning. The past two nights I have been hours late getting to bed. I see this pattern happen over and over again. I basically get out of sync. It usually starts with me neglecting to do my breathing/meditation exercises. Once this happens it creates a cascade effect. The next to falter is my eating begins to get out of control. When my eating goes bad my energy starts to drop. With less energy, I have trouble getting everything done in a day that I need to, and this, in turn, causes me to neglect my sleep. The sleep deficit feeds back into the vicious cycle and makes everything worse.

I seem to go through cycles. I will have a span of time that I am able to keep my shit together and do all the self-care things that I need to do to maintain my well-being. Then, from time to time, I will slowly lose control until everything just falls apart. I always get back on track, eventually. It’s very frustrating that I operate like this. I try, very hard, to stay level, but invariably I always fail. It’s just the human in me, I guess.

I am currently in one of my downturns. I haven’t lost complete control yet, and I do not intend to. Of course, what I intend doesn’t always happen. I am hoping to get a grip on things before the crash occurs. Self-care is very important. Our bodies and minds are much like machines, and all machines require regular maintenance. Without it, we do break.

Rude Awakening

This morning I opened my eyes and saw that the time on my clock was 6:24 am. I normally leave for work at 6:20. I think I unwittingly turned my alarm clock off when it sounded at 5:10. Needless to say I nearly shit myself. I leaped out of bed and was clothed and ready to go at 6:31. I always meticulously prepare everything for the day to come before I go to bed. This and Denice graciously waking up and taking care of the dogs saved me. I made it to work on time.

This was a strange occurence because I have no memory of turning my alarm clock off. I don’t even remember it going off in the first place. I recall that I was having a lot of dreams. I think that I was in a very deep sleep most of the night. I think this may be related to doing contrast showers before bed. I always have great sleep when I do the contrast showers. For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, a ‘contrast shower’ is when you turn the water up as hot as can be tolerated for about 20 seconds and then turn in down all the way cold for about twenty seconds. This is repeated about 10 times, ending on cold. It’s a technique that was developed by NASA scientist, Ray Cronise.

Contrast showers, besides giving one amazing sleep, also helps with fat loss, circulatory health, and depression. It’s complicated, but basically the cold and heat trigger beneficial hormonal changes and also cause the brain to release norepinephrine, which has a number of positive health effects.

That’s all for now, friends. I’m going to get in bed early to hopefully avoid a repeat of this morning.


I had a rough morning today. Once again I made the mistake of going to bed really late. getting five hours of sleep a night is just not cutting it.

My alarm clock went off at 05:10 this morning. I promptly hit the snooze button. Ten minutes later it sounded again. I repeated the process until I lost consciousness. I inexplicably woke up at 06:18 (I have to be on the road no later that 06:30 to be at work on time). I must have accidentally turned the alarm off. Anyway, when I say the time, I jumped out of bed in a panic. Needless to say, it was not a pleasant and relaxing morning. Thankfully, Denice helped me with the dogs, and I was able to make it to work on time.

Now, here I am. It is 20:36, and I am about to hit the sack. I run much better on a solid eight hours of sleep.

I’m about to go all New Age on you

This morning a little bit of a miracle happened. Denice has been setting her alarm to wake up at 4:30 to take her meds. She just had back surgery, and is doing pretty good by the way. Today the alarm went off and we both woke up. I helped her to the bath room, she took her meds, and then went back to sleep. Normally I would have crashed right beside her to sleep for another few minutes until my alarm went off at 5:15. On a good day I will only snooze the alarm twice and wake up with just enough time to throw my clothes on and run out the door.

I have been listening to an interview that Tim Ferriss did with Tara Brach, the famed meditation guru. This has kind of got me on the meditation/mindfulness bandwagon. I took the extra time I had this morning and did a simple ten minute meditation. It was very basic. I just sat down, relaxed all my muscles and tried to focus on my breathing. It’s amazing how much inner dialog goes on, even when you are scarcely aware of it. It was a little difficult quieting my mind, but I eventually got it mostly settled down. I had a really good morning and day for that matter. I think the meditation helped. I’m going to try it again tomorrow.

On a side note, I also started a private journal. I am doing this as an excessive is self-honesty and personal reflection.

That’s all for now. Till next time, my friends.