writer, warrior, whack-a-doodle

Eat, Play, Sleep

March 1, 2011

Eat, Play, Sleep

March 1, 2011
Posted in: Mastheads | Reading Time: 4 minutes

This month's header is dedicated to the book. It seems I'm living my own version of Eat, Pray, Love, here in Switzerland-- doggie-style. After all, dogs are the epitome of perfect yogi's.

One of the main reasons for coming to Switzerland (other than Mr. Wild Dingo brings home the bacon and I go where he goes), is my health. I don't chat too much on this blog about it, but suffice it to say, I spent the last four years battling chronic insomnia. I'll spare you the details of the how's and why's except to say that it started with a concussion and no matter how much time I took off, how much homeopathic or medical advice I took and how much yoga I practiced, nothing worked. I would spend weeks on only 1-hour of sleep. It was probably the most frightening time I ever lived through. I saw my once thriving business slowly deteriorate as I  struggled with my core-competency: writing. Who knew that an inability to form complete, coherant sentences could be so detrimental to a business in communications?

In the last year and a half of the journey, I succomed to taking the western medicine approach, which admitedly was a short-term miracle. But sticking with that approach, I fell into a numb awareness and my overall health continued to decline. My yoga practice was the first to suffer. Inflamation all over my body, in my joints, muscles and ligaments prevented me from moving in ways I've always been able to move. It was as if I went from 39 to 99 years of age overnight. Once flexible and strong, I was then unable to bend over to feed the dogs. And among other ailments, I suddenly had stuff like plantar fasciitis. For no reason. This should have been the wake up call, but it took so long for me to answer it.

Then one day, Mr. Wild Dingo called me and said, "there's a job opportunity in Switzerland. What do you think?" I thought of green pastures and a ticket out of the rat race we were in. And I began to form my plan. I wouldn't work or try to work. I would do the things I wanted to do or not do anything at all. And I would do, or not do them, them without any medical or homeopathic means to sleep.

If moving out of the country to try to solve a health problem sounds a bit extreme, let me say this: In the past 30 days, I had exactly two days of insomnia. That's a far cry from the height of this where I would average closer to 20 days or more per month of insomnia.  And I'm happy to  say I don't take a single vitamin, sleep aid or for that matter even sleepy time tea. I sleep heavily, 7-9 hours most nights. Some nights, I sleep so heavily, I don't even wake when Mr. Wild Dingo leaves for work. Sometimes I even nap in the afternoon.

Who needs a doctor when you have dogs?  I spend my days pretty much as they do: practicing yoga, walking and playing with the dogs, sometimes cycling (happily without a heart rate monitor) cooking,  eating and learning to speak French poorly. I'm slowly regaining my yoga practice and smile everytime I'm able to pike up into headstand again, a pose which alluded me that last numbing year and a half.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this time here in Switzerland. I have no agenda except one: complete awareness.  Having an empty calendar in a quiet, beautiful country seems to be just the medicine I needed.

Eat, play, sleep. Such is a dog's life. Such is my life. For now.

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15 comments on “Eat, Play, Sleep”

  1. So glad you're finding your center again. My friend with RA moved to Greece about 10 years ago. Last year she had exactly 1 flare-up! Good diet, daily swimming, no stress. AAAHHHHHH.... I'm very happy you're feeling better and just 'enjoying the journey."'

  2. Wow, we had no clue about any of this. So maybe we really do need to come for a visit - the Momster really struggles with sleep too, something about having a hard time turning the brain off and letting too many things get to her:(

    We have to agree, nothing quite like a dog's life.

    Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

  3. I was so glad to hear that you are feeling better. Here's hoping that things keep getting betterer and betterer!

  4. Ugh insomnia. I've never had a problem with it, but many friends have and it sounds awful. I don't think I could function.
    So glad your new Swiss life is providing you with the sleep you need!

  5. Eat, play, sleep sounds like a great mantra to me! If I could just get the dogs to cooperate (Abby decided that last night was the perfect night to get up, kill a mouse (thereby waking me up, freaking me out, and forcing me to clean up the remains) and then throw it up about 1.5 hours later. Thanks, Abster....) I'd be right there with you! 😉

    -Dr. Liz (the dogs are now sleeping like innocent angels...)

  6. Daddy Heartbeat struggles with insomnia as well. And... has his own business. Coincident? I think not. He practices Yoga as well. I try VERY hard to get him to slow down and enjoy the dogs and travel with us for day trips and that sort of thing. His insomnia began during his military career. Sleeping in a tent in the desert (during the gulf war of the early 90's) and a Bosnia deployment would make anyone an insomniac I suppose. He just gets up because he says he feels like he is going to explode if he just lays in the bed.

    Is there anything I can do to help him? He says there isn't.

    Mamma Heartbeat

  7. So.... now your functioning like Swiss clockwork around the clock, so to speak? Cool!
    Dogs are the best-- They live "be here now." They bring a measure of joy to my daily life that nothing else adds...not my kids, not my husband, not my work. (sorry kids & hubby, no offense intended).

    Glad to hear how well your new life is going!

    jack & moo's mom

    PS - *edit* left a note about that sausage on our blog post today -just for you!

  8. I'm so happy you were able to move out to Switzerland and focus on your and your dogs' health. Sometimes it's just necessary to take a step back and take care of yourself. I think if I could take some time off of work I would be able to fix all of my problems. I just don't have the time or energy to focus on it while I'm working. Unfortunately since my husband hurt his back there is no way I could quit working. Anyway I'm so happy you're feeling better. Keep up the great work. *hugs*

  9. I'm incredibly happy for you that you're doing so much better. "Eat, play, sleep" is a great motto. For me, it might be "play, eat, sleep", keeping my priorities in order!

    In my early 30s, I went through a horrendous health phase that aged me like you described. I understand how out of control it feels. It sounds like Switzerland was just the medicine that you needed!

  10. Ah, the natural life, where stress was not so constant and unrelenting. Out-climb the saber-tooth tiger, kill the snake, stress gone. As a species, we seem to be perfecting a life style that is certain to kill us. We're so glad you've been able to jump off the merry-go-round and reclaim balance in your life. Like biking for the pleasure of it and to help Juno heal, instead of for competition. Competition is a natural part of life in moderation, but it is inherently stressful.

    Jed & Abby

  11. Sounds like a great plan! Am so glad that you seem to have found a "solution" at least - funny isn't it how sometimes the simplest answers - with a bit of help from Mother Nature - are the most effective? And I think it sounds like "modern life" with all its stresses & competitive pressures played a bit part in your health problems.

    Anyway, it's wonderful to hear of you getting so much rest & proper sleep - as someone who has been on part of the journey with you - I'm so happy for you!

    Hsin-Yi

  12. Wooo fantastic to hear that you are healing. The clean mountain/lakeside air is enough to help anyone to sleepsies and we doggies do our best to help our hu'parents get better 🙂

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