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I really need a nap

Page history last edited by kms 13 years, 6 months ago

10 Sep 2010


Today I sit in my local neighborhood Barnes & Noble perusing articles in Whole Living and Yoga Journal magazines for ideas on what is acceptable for publication, or what is paid for in publications to be exact.  Additionally, I’m looking for ways to expand my interests into a larger piece of writing for a class project.  I need two projects, of course, one for this class and one for the MLA required ENG 6009 Introduction to Graduate Studies.


So far the articles that caught my attention are “Older and Wiser” by Naomi Shullman and “The Walking Cure” by Nell Casey.  I’m only scanning the articles because, well, I’m exhausted.  I’m living my life like a homeless person with most of my personal belongings in storage and spending hours on end in Internet cafes because I have no personal space of my own in the home where I presently live.  Yes, there is a 10x10 room suitable for a 12 year old, but not suitable for an adult with a life.  I know there is that old adage that ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’, but really I’ve never bought into that.  Sometimes, it just gives you a limp and impedes your performance.


According to Shullman, research has shown that our brains may be become slower as we age, but they also become wiser.  Our brains recognize mistakes and choose not to repeat them – wiser.  Interesting . . . if that was true then why do I repeatedly return to living in Florida where I either end up unemployed or working for squat?  It’s not like it’s my favorite place.  I hate hot weather!


Shullman refers to work by George Bartzokis, MD, who studies age-related dementia at UCLA.  Bartzokis says to “think of your brain as the Internet.”  Now that’s a concept.  I’m only recently learning how to wrap my brain around the idea of a class on the Internet.   Bartzokis goes on to say that as we age our brains myelinate more resulting in the ability for “faster and bigger circuits [to] come online.”  (He refers to myelin as the “insulation around the wires” in our brain.)  Shullman goes on to explain Bartzokis’ concept further stating that because of these connections, as we age, we are more quickly able to make associations with what we are learning to what we already know. 


She also states that in order to fuel our brains we need to take naps to boost learning retention.  A nap . . .  now that is something I’d like to be doing right now.


No time for naps, but another suggestion from Shullman to fuel our brains is to move - which brings me to Casey’s article on walking.  Casey began walking when she dropped therapy, as she put it, due to her “own personal economic recession”.


I love walking.  I am sure it is one of the reasons that I was happier living in both Chicago and New York.  In those two cities, walking is just another part of life, not something one has to fit into their daily schedule.  In my personal opinion, walking also builds a sense of community.  It’s much easier to get to know your neighbors when you walk past them on the street vs. cruising by them in a car. 


In walking neighborhoods life is lived on a different scale.  Grocery shopping is generally done every couple of days vs. on a weekly or bi-weekly basis because the bags would be too heavy to carry home.  So people shop more frequently, subsequently getting to know the proprietors of the shops where they make their purchases.  A side benefit is that it’s easier to eat ‘fresh’ vs. consuming food that is processed or canned and loaded with preservatives.


I walk or run rain or shine.  In fact, walking or running in the rain has its own distinct advantages.  No one can hear me scream . . . a practice I’ve found, when done purposefully, sometimes helps release tension.  No one can see me cry . . . my tears and the water falling from the sky mix.  Studies have shown that, when practiced regularly over a period of time, aerobic exercise is as beneficial in treating depression as medication.  (Don’t ask me to look that up for you right now; I’m too tired.)  I guess, then, as is the case for Casey, walking may also be my therapy.


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Comments (1)

Danielle Renee Heck said

at 11:25 am on Sep 28, 2010

I love the title, and i agree.. a nap sounds good!!

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