"I should be asleep." This is what I say to myself at hours like
this -- around O-dark-thirty when I'm still up working on
something. "I should be sawing logs or whatever people are supposed
to be doing at this hour... instead I'm here."
This last week has been a week for the record. I finished my
master's degree. I don't know how I did it -- but I did it. I
honestly don't know how I worked, had any part in my kids' lives,
was full-time here at National, and full-time at Western States.
But I did. And now it's over. I haven't quite come down from it all
just yet -- but the moment I realized I didn't have anything left
to do, my head kind of dropped. While most people would be
ecstatic, I was sullen. What do I do now? Now, granted -- I have
absolutely no shortage of things to do, read, study, learn, attend,
aspire to, whatever. But no one is making me -- but me.
On Friday of last week, I also sent in my paperwork for my
Oregon license. And all last week, when I wasn't studying for or
taking master's finals, I was working on the bridge course to be
able to sit for the licensing exam, which takes place the day after
graduation. In all of my "down" time, all I could think to myself
was -- what am I going to do now? Where am I going to go? What am I
going to do? I have to find a job. I have to move. I have to...
Sometimes we get so busy that all we do -- is do. And as those
old parts of my mind started to wander back in, you know, the parts
that think about stuff -- I started to get more and more scared.
This is it. Things are happening. Things are actually
Grey came back from Orlando, where he was competing in the FBLA
(Future Business Leaders of America) state competition (He won 5th
in his category -- which is kinda a big deal). He told me a story
that made me cry -- in the middle of the grocery store. He told me
about this guy -- Alex Sheen, who spoke at the FBLA ceremony with
thousands of high school kids from all over the state. Grey said
that there was barely a dry eye in the place. And I can see why.
Alex started the organization "because I said I would." Here's his
It made me think about what promises I might make at this point
in my life. I'm at such a point of transition -- finishing school,
Grey going to college, moving across the country, starting a new
In the quiet moments, at the clinic, we talk about what life
will be like when we're not around each other anymore. We've spent
nearly every day together for the last three and a half years. Even
when we still had breaks in between trimesters we would often text
or email each other, or sometimes hang out. I'd like to make a
promise to my close classmates that I won't lose touch and
completely disappear, as I'm apt to do.
Things are moving forward. Even though we might not all be in
the same place, I hope that we move forward together. After all,
we've been together so long that we're family.
Have a great week, everyone!
I'm not sure I can ever top last week's blog. Special thanks to
my classmates for the inspiration. We're already talking about a
Midterms are upon us and we are in the throes of studying. While
many of us are pulling all-nighters (and some all-weekenders), I
feel like I need to remind everyone how important sleep is. I have
been suffering from insomnia--for weeks. I'm not one to spend a
whole lot of time sleeping, normally--but ever since my move, I've
been sleeping less and less. So, I thought I'd share some of my
tips for working on sleep. Here we go (see, I put you to sleep
Clear Your Space
This is the absolute most important tip I could give, and the
one I've benefited most from myself. Make sure there's as little in
the way as possible. Get rid of the clutter; get rid of the dirty
clothes (I know there's no time for laundry--it's midterms!); get
rid of anything in your space that isn't conducive to sleep. This
includes workout equipment, study materials, etc. Granted, if the
only space available is the bedroom, some concessions can be made.
Cover it up. It also helps to remove the TV, if at all
Set the Mood
Make it dark--REALLY dark. I had way too much light coming into
my space, so I acquired some light blocking curtains. I still see
daylight in the morning, but at least I don't feel like I'm looking
at the surface of the sun. Also, making sure the bed is the most
comfy place to sleep in the house is key. The only place I was
falling asleep, was the couch.
Set Up a Routine
Whatever it is, make a routine for going to bed. Brush the
teeth, wash the face, turn on some chill-out music--whatever works
to get calmed down. Try not to turn on the TV. Some people like to
work out in the evening. I can't work out and sleep within a few
hours of each other. If I'm going to go to the gym at night, it has
to be before 8pm. Working out helps with energy during the day and
also with sleep at night, but it's not a good idea right before
No snacking within a couple of hours of bed. It's bad for the
metabolism and having sugar spikes when it's time to calm down is a
no-go. Don't try to sleep within 2-3 hours of eating.
Last but not least, if sleep is still a real struggle, there are
some fantastic herbs that will help with sleeping. Some old
standbys are catnip, chamomile, and valerian. Other than the
chamomile (be careful those with ragweed allergies), I tend to
avoid Catnip and Valerian. I avoid Catnip because I have to fight
the cats for it, and Valerian because of the side
I made a nice herb/tonic with rhodiola (adaptogen for stress),
lemon balm (nervine, sedative), and white peony (nervine, calming
agent). It knocked me right out. It was just enough sedation and
calming for me to have two doses and then it reset my clock, and
now I'm sleeping better. I also didn't wake up with the "hangover"
that Valerian is apt to give.
Remember that sleep is extremely important for
memory--especially good sleep. We need those four phases of sleep
to be able to, not only replenish our bodies, but also our
So, until next week -- Happy Sleeping (and Studying).
• After the DC Degree
• Botanical Medicine
• 1 Year at National
• Marketing Project
• First Week in Student Clinic
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