Sleep Tracker Test

I am a terrible sleeper. I go to bed plenty early and wake up without an alarm clock around 6:30 a.m. whether I want to or not. But I never feel well rested. I have had this problem for as long as I can remember.

This year I wanted to focus on upping my sleep game. At first, since I owned an Apple Watch I tried to wear it to bed and see what it had to say. I found it too uncomfortable to wear while sleeping. Wearing the contraption on my wrist woke me up during the night. But I tried it for a few nights to see if the stats would be helpful.

Then I got out my old Fitbit and tried that on for comfort. I was more comfortable and smaller, but still hard for me to wear while I slept. I toughed it out a few nights before deciding I could not sleep with that either. But I did check my stats for any valuable information.

I then purchased an Oura ring. This was an investment but had an excellent return policy, so I decided to give it a try. This was the most comfortable of the three trackers, but still not tolerable to sleep with. The stats were not particularly helpful either. I returned it.

I was able to try each option out for a few days before deciding I did not like sleeping with them on and they all said about the same thing. I was awake 1 to 2 hours during the night tossing around. No shit Sherlock. Tell me something I did not already know.

What I want to know is why am I waking up and not resting well. How can I change my habits to get better quality sleep?

One thing that I noticed while using the trackers was that I would look at the stats in the morning and immediate feel angry at my poor sleep score. And, as I would go to be each night, I would start to stress about what my sleep score would be in the morning.

I have come to the conclusion that the trackers not only did not give me any useable information, they added to my stress about sleeping which was not conducive to good sleep.  What should I try next? My mission continues.


Teenage Sass

My teenage son s usually agreeable and well mannered. But this week we had quite an argument. I was surprised how he raised his voice at me.

While the kids are sleeping in until noon and staying up half the night, I have been getting up to go to work every day. Coming home to a sink full of dishes, empty chip bags on the counter and crumbs all over the kitchen floor made me mad. Really mad!

I let my kids know in no uncertain terms that that was not acceptable. They are responsible for taking care of their own mess. I warned them they would lose some privileges if they continued leaving a mess for me to find when I got home. They ignored me.

On Monday I came home to the usual mess. I went on my app that controls our internet and set their internet to go off at night so they couldn’t stay up all night with their friends playing games. I quietly cleaned up the messy house and went to bed. As planned the internet shut down. It was raining so the kids assumed the storm knocked out the internet. The next night the internet shut down again. This time they put two and two together.

When I got home from work the following day my son met me with all the reasons I was wrong to shut off the internet. He was fired up. He listed all his arguments. He raised his voice. He told me I could not do what I did. I listened. I argued back.  I let him know that having internet access was a privilege and not a right. I told him I could have it shut off permanently if I wanted to. I could drive him to the school parking lot to do his homework where he could tap into their internet.

I stood my ground. The next day the house was spotless when I came home. The rest of this week the house has stayed mostly clean. That is how it should be.

But after the argument with my son I was upset. It was the first time he had raised his voice at me. It was not in a threatening way, but out of frustration and anger. I was upset and felt disrespected. I was about to tell him so.

Then after thinking about it for a couple more days, I decided I was proud of him. I didn’t raise a wallflower. He is opinionated, he feels he can voice his opinion to me. He feels confident about his beliefs and he feels confident he can voice those opinions without being shut down by me. I like that. I am raising a strong young man. I am very proud of that.

He should be pushing the boundaries now. It is what teenagers do. It is o.k. It is how they learn to navigate the world.  I am willing to give him the space to do that. He is getting ready to fly out of the nest and finding his voice is part of the preparations. I’m glad he is growing up to be a confident and opinionated young man.


Positivity is Bull*&+t

I don’t know about anyone else, but some days when I read all the positive sayings on Instagram I want to throw up.


I recently saw one that said: “This week is going to be filled with miracles, breakthroughs, good news, abundance and love.”  This might seem like an encouraging thing for someone to put out there, but there is an underlying message that says: “things have been shitty lately but that is going to change soon.”


This is the entire premise of the self-help industry. Something is wrong with your life. That will all change this week. REALLY?!?!? (Just buy my program or book).


I have challenges. Covid-19 scares the crap out of me, but I know that it’s not going to be miraculously fixed this week.


What I do know is that I can take action that is useful. I can maintain a schedule, get out of bed, walk, eat well and be grateful for my blessings.


Nothing has gone wrong. Life changed. There is a subtle difference. One feel terrible, the other is manageable.


Our circumstances changed. Things didn’t go wrong. It just is. It’s neutral. What I make it mean is the difference between panic and calm.


I don’t believe something is wrong with you or your life. If you have an area that you want to improve, seek out useful information and go to work on it. But don’t buy into the notion that you are broken, flawed or need improving. There is a difference between learning a new skill and feeling like you have to be fixed.


Life is a journey, not a problem to solve. As long as we live, we grow, change and evolve. That IS life’s journey. It was supposed to happen this way.


You may think that the plan you made was broken. Imagine that back in February you planned to fly to Spain this week. Let’s say that plan didn’t work out. It was never going to work out. You just didn’t know it back then. Now you know, you were not meant to fly to Spain now. It doesn’t mean something has gone terribly wrong. It means that what you thought was going to happen didn’t. That is all.


Nothing is broken. Your life isn’t terrible. You will, like most humans, make plans again. They may work out, they may not. Just be on the journey. Embrace the experience of sometimes things working out and sometimes not working out.  You can be disappointed when they don’t work out, just don’t make it mean that something is broken or that you did something wrong. It was all just part of the journey all along. You just didn’t know it yet.


My How Things Have Changed


I have made some significant changes during the Covid-19 Stay at Home order. I used to think I could not live without the latest nail color collection from OPI. Every season I would run to Ulta and grab them up. While there, I would also end up purchasing the latest eye pallet or contour pallet.


I have come to realize, after months of not purchasing any new makeup or nail polish that I don’t miss it as much as I thought I would.


Some might argue that I have ‘let myself go’. I would like to argue that I have made progress accepting how I look with what God gave me.


I ran out of my favorite brow color recently and ordered a replacement on-line. As I was waiting for it to arrive, I went without my brows colored in. This is something I haven’t done since the 80’s. I decided I’m o.k. how I look without brows. As a matter of fact, I rarely look in the mirror during the day except for the occasional restroom break, so I don’t even think about it. Once my brow pencil arrived, I decided I didn’t really need it. It just may be the last brow pencil I ever purchase.


Another thing I realize I don’t miss is browsing the isles at TJ Maxx. Since I am home more and have spent extra time dusting, I have decided the cute clutter on my shelves are a pain in the butt to move around every time I want to dust.  Most of it has been moved to the attic for donation at a later date.


I have changed my perspective on what I really ‘need’ in my life. I’m grateful for my family’s good health. I’m grateful for cupboards that are full and a well stock refrigerator. I have clean water, a warm house.  Everything else is just a bonus.


While I don’t always focus my attention on the upside of this pandemic, I realize that some real good has come out of it for me.