Sleep, Skin, Time & Travel

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I hiked this morning on the stunning Battery to Bluffs trail. I often marvel that this world class view is mere minutes from our house in a bustling city. I paused to walk on the secret beach, a private morning with the birds and waves and September sun. I had just had Marina’s magic acupuncture where 50 minutes with the healing needles felt like 5 minutes and apparently offers the restorative effect of 8hrs sleep!

For all of my adult life I ran on about 18 hours of active life and a too short 6 hours of sleep. Even though I thought I had it nailed in the sense that I simply packed in more life, work, and fun than most humans I also think after a time it took its toll. No matter the hell I have been through since my cancer returned, when I pause to think about it, I realize I haven’t had a cold or been sick in 18 months. Knock on wood! With a compromised immune system, surgeries, experimental drugs, how is this possible? I really think the answer is SLEEP. Not perfect uninterrupted sleep, but a solid 8-10 hours in bed. Now before you fret that this is my prescription for you, note that cancer adds 2-3 hours for I wake up a few times a night. And my 18hrs of active life is now 12!!!! But sleeping soundly for 7-8 hours is the best medicine for your body, skin, and mind. The ultimate healer. i think back to my Wall Steeet years where I was frequently sick even if I didn’t stay home. I would power through and inevitably the illness would last even longer. I felt guilty and wanted a simple fix it pill, and yet I ignored the most obvious fix in the world: rest, sleep, and nourishing food. It works.

I certainly appreciate a good compliment, but sometimes I laugh when people tell me I’m beautiful as I wonder if it is just because I looked so crappy when I was burning the candle at both ends! But I suspect it is also the combination of solid sleep, much less stress, and mostly nourishing food. My brother and Creighton have always made fun of the endless diets out there, because when it really comes down to it staying slim, strong and healthy requires sleep, less alcohol, and portion control. 3 meals a day. Lots of water. Lots of greens.  Shit. Sometimes that doesn’t sound as fun as heavy drinking and lots of dessert, but moderation in everything but greens does buy you health and beautiful skin. I will work my way off the summer of Oreos and get back to that!

As much as I’m a fan or Sephora and Ulta, I also now know that unless you couple that fancy moisturizer with water, greens, and sleep you are unlikely to see much change in your skin. Go to the above prescription, practice a beauty routine that makes you happy, and yes you will have better skin. I believe food and sleep are better than anything you can buy no matter how good the chemistry of the product. Just my opinion and experience. But for what it is worth.

I woke up yesterday thinking how much I love my bed and home and my family. It is like a big cocoon. So when I travel it is not to escape but rather to enjoy new places and experiences. I won’t keep up the pace of travel, but while I’m feeling good enough in going to continue to seize the day. Travel also has the weird effect for me of stretching out time. Creighton and I are headed to Ireland for our 15th anniversary, and I think that just as on all my prior trips one week wil feel more like 3-4 weeks. A friend once told me that it is because your brain so enjoys the novelty factor of the experience that it creates the illusion of more time. So take that terminal cancer. My time may be limited, but I will continue to stretch it out! And then nothing is more joyful than greeting the kids and dogs after our time away.

I have found that I have more energy lately, but that when I hit the wall I seem to hit it harder than before. Bone tired. Deep naps. Heavy sleep. I wake up and say thanks just to greet another morning. Slowly! Onward!

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