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I recently discovered the true secret of my life. It’s simple really. All I need to survive and function, albeit, marginally, is fresh air.
For several months I have been fighting to stay awake during the day and to sleep reasonably well at night. In many ways, I was beginning to change my biological clock to fit that of an owl, a bat, or a raccoon.
My night life was easier with which to deal. Thank Heavens for Turner’s Classic movies, which run all night. Of course, he doesn’t offer any top ten classics after midnight. You will see many old class B flics, which were shown as the second film in the days of double features. After a few nights, the actors become familiar. One realizes how sad their movie careers were. They were never in the star categories, never paid the big salaries, and certainly never invited to any of the “A” parties.
A lot of the old flics are westerns. Even the horses are second class stock. You can get a glimpse of young Hollywood cowboys trying to get noticed, and some of them were, like John Wayne and Roy Rogers.
During the day, after a couple of hours of snatched sleep, it became almost impossible to stay awake. Going outside was not an option. The weather was pretty bad, and the road surfaces not good for either walker or scooter. Any outside the home activities were inside, such as shopping or visiting. I’m happy to say I did manage to stay awake if I were involved in anything with other people. At least, I think I did.
I fell asleep everywhere – at the table while eating, sitting up reading or watching TV. I was missing portions of programs I really wanted to see and would have to call Adele to learn what I’d missed. This only worked, of course, if we were watching the same program. She does not get BBC America, so she cannot watch my British mystery programs; and I would invariably fall asleep just before learning who did it.
By this time I was getting a bit concerned. Do tsetse flies get this far north? I would have been alarmed if I could have stayed alert long enough to really worry. I was shaken the day I sat down on the edge of the bed to get dressed and awakened two hours later, lying on the bed with my socks in my hand.
It was a bit disconcerting when I slept through people coming in to my house and leaving again while I snoozed. People were also maintaining that I had not answered my phone even though I was home and usually sound asleep with the phone at my elbow.
About a week ago I dared to step out on my front porch and get some fresh air. It was very cold, with a stiff breeze and I didn’t have my coat on, but I stood there, deep breathing and not feeling particularly cold. As a matter of fact, I felt wonderful.
Once inside, I phoned the manager and asked if he would come over and open my regular windows and storm windows. The place had been painted in December just before I moved in, and the window sashes had been painted in, making it impossible for me to get one window to budge.
The nice man came over and with effort, managed to open all seven windows. I asked him to leave all the storm windows open 6 inches and leave on inside window open the same distance. Since then, I have opened one window every morning and let the cold breeze blow at will.
I cannot tell you the magical difference this simple act has made. I was like Snow White, awakening after her long sleep, and I hadn’t required the services of a Prince Charming. After one day of air blowing through my life, I suddenly developed not only the ability to stay awake all day, but surges of energy to do some neglected chores. I swept and mopped floors, cleaned carpets, did loads of laundry, scrubbed the bathroom and dusted. I even slept well at night.
As soon as the parking area outside dries up I’m going to go out in my scooter every day and run around in the air. My 93 year old neighbor has taken a walk twice every day since I’ve lived here. She goes out in snow, sleet, and rain. She and my paper boy are phenomenal and inspiring examples of true grit. If I try to follow their leads, even with my limited capabilities, I should be much better off in the long run, or in my case, the short scoot.
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