A Life Less Ordinary

RAISED ON A DIET of American self-help books in my teens probably had something to do with my relative weirdness.

Tony Robbins had me believe I could walk through walls. Wayne Dyer convinced me that my limiting thoughts had created the wall. Richard Bandler made me doubt whether the walls even existed.

Of the school leavers in my secondary school, 90% went to study at Queens University in Belfast – the de facto safe choice for many because of it’s proximity to family, friends and home comforts. I was the only one in a group of 100 that decided to move to Dublin and start afresh.

My twenties were littered with examples of lifestyle choices which opposed my families wishes and was at odds to my friends journey. Quitting (five) jobs. Starting my own business. Solo travel (x3).

Now, halfway through my thirties, and apart from the occasional job or country change, my focus has been on ways to increase the quality of my life – physically and mentally.

Some of the odder ‘trials’ I’ve taken on in the last few years alone include:

Currently, I’m engaged in a couple of little experiments for shits and giggles. I was inspired by this article to start sleeping on the floor. For the past year, I’ve had some light pain in my lower back. Reading the article reminded me of a passage I read in Andre Agassi‘s autobiography about how he found lying on the floor much more comforting to his back than a cushioned mattress. I prefer to field-test these things instead of analysis-paralysis and have been parked on the floor every night for two weeks now.

If that wasn’t enough, for the past week I’ve been taping my mouth shut before going to sleep. This means that I’m breathing through my nose at night. Apparently, there are a multitude of health benefits from nasal breathing, not just at night but during the day too which followers of Buteyko proclaim. I’m still new to this, but it’s been interesting so far.

What’s next? Yoga is something I’m seriously contemplating because I’m super-tight in my lower body and would love greater range of movement in my hips. Going to a class will be top of my priorities as soon as I complete the small matter of the Belfast marathon in four weeks time.

Pain appears to be my constant companion in these trials. A psychologist would have a field day with me.

spectrum sci fi short story

11 thoughts on “A Life Less Ordinary

  • Sometimes I’m so exhausted I fall asleep on the floor curled up with the cat, but I usually awaken and head for the guest bedroom which has a firmer mattress and is not occupied by a snoring husband. The “Darth Vader” method of breathing gets me back to sleep: Breathe in through nose, roll air up to roof of mouth and exhale through mouth. I am sure this causes ME to snore. Ha! Haven’t tried cold showers yet, but do use cold water splashed on face to “refresh” myself when tired. Since I am wearing a tinted moisturizer these days rather than makeup, it doesn’t even stain the towel I pat dry with. I am finding a NEW “comfort zone.” At the ripe old age of 72, yet!

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  • It is interesting the things that you include as increasing the quality of life and I guess it is very subjective but sleeping on the floor and taping your mouth shut so you can’t scream seems extreme. 😄 I too have had lower back pain for a number of years and have used a knee pillow which really helps take pressure of the lower back if you sleep on your side. I also bought a “bed of nails” which really helps…you could add that to your list too.

    We bought a new bed a few months ago and the guy in the shop said something interesting about how quality shoes and a quality bed are about the most important things you can buy…and yet we spend big on TVs, phones etc etc. Go figure.


  • I am also a fan of bootstrapping—pulling oneself up with or without the benefit books. Opportunities abound. I’m less interested in things that don’t take me in directions I wish to go, or widen my perspective to new directions, e.g., my teetotaling means not more than 2 per day (I am Irish also).

    I’m not particularly interested in doing things that are fashionable. It’s not really a deterrent but it does carry the stench of the ordinary, i.e., yoga by any other name is stretching and one doesn’t need to wear a tight outfit … although it can be more fun if ones co-stretchers are tightly clad.


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