Wednesday, November 27, 2013

There Is No Place Like Home, (provided it is the right home.)

My wife and I both snore. The only solution that I have found that works and allows both of us to have peaceful nights sleep is separate bedrooms. They are right across from each other, but the wall softens the sound. Now, as an old man if I wake up and hear my wife snoring, it is a reassuring and comforting sound because I know I am safe at home. I can turn over and go right back to sleep. In my working days I traveled a lot on business meetings. As a manager working for Pacific Bell (SBC and eventually AT&T as the company expanded) I worked in San Diego in a massive Data Communications and Computer Center but traveled a lot to northern cities where I slept in wonderful clean hotel rooms in very nice hotels and usually slept fairly well. Still, to get a good night's sleep I know from experience, it is always best to be home.

Foreign environments without the sounds and smells of home tend to make me fidgety; not ill tempered, but not totally comfortable. After all it was not THAT many generations ago that we left our caves that had distinctive sounds and smells that also reassured us.

I realized a long time ago that the sounds and smells of home are psychologically reassuring and even comforting; and understood the meaning of "There is no place like home." What I did not realize was how deep the memories of home can linger.

I had a fellow senior citizen tell me a few years ago that when he reached middle age he realized that he was always restless at home. Something was wrong, but he did not know what it was. He had gone through two marriages and would always be stressed out with his wife when at home. He used to argue with both wives of things that were of no importance.

He sought help. The Psychiatrist that he consulted asked him many questions about his Russian immigrant parents who came to America after the Russian revolution. After asking specifically about what his mother cooked and then about how often his mother used cabbage in the stews and soups that she cooked, told the man that to be comfortable at home he needed his wife to cook with cabbage.

As he told me, he initially thought the Doctor was a fruitcake, but when he tried it by cooking a simple cabbage soup in the evening, he slept easily, was not easily agitated and turned out to be a very loving man at home. After Perestroika, he went to Russia and returned with a Russian wife and instructed her to cook lots of old Russian soups and stews for their afternoon and evening meals. He would not care if the house smelled of cabbage.

He turned out to be one of the most mild and mellow guys I ever knew and he never argued with his third wife. And to think the smell of cabbage in his "cave" could have such a soothing effect.

We all need to find out what the "cabbage" is (or Cabbages are) in our lives and make certain they are there. One of them for me is my wife's snoring.

Make certain you create a home environment that is pleasing to you. Do not pay attention to "modern living" magazines that try to establish a false image about what your home should look like.

Instead, pay attention to your inner being. I have had many very rich friends (fellow managers from work) who did not look comfortable in their homes. They all had a low stress index and would snap at other people very easily. Years ago people would say that those managers were high strung. I think they just do not have the right home environment, one that comforts them every evening and night before they go back out to the nasty competitive business world.

So for many, I suggest, make your home comfortable and try to avoid the modern showplace appearance as it can be stressful and may very well ruin your quality of life.

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About Me

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Born Chicago. Lived: Palos Heights Chicago, Illinois; American Samoa; Mexico; Escondido and San Diego, California; and then I finally graduated from High School. Subsequently, 12 years in the Navy took me all over the world.