Reconciling the inner skeptic

Years ago, during one of my many periods of “downsizing”, the company I had been working for was generous enough (ha!) to provide us with the services of a career transition counsellor. I was already scheduled to go on vacation before the layoffs — turns out it was perfectly timed — and so I didn’t attend the counselling sessions with the other downsizees. When I returned, I got to spend 2 full days with the counsellor one-on-one session. I still look back on that time fondly. If you want to feel good about yourself at a bad time like that, spend a couple of days with someone whose job, who vocation it is to make you feel better about yourself. He did that and I will always be grateful for that. It didn’t help me find a decent job — I ended up back at the same company, which laid me off again a year later, prompting my move here — but it felt good at the time.

One of the things he had me do was take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test, a rather long personality questionnaire. My results indicated that I was INFP/INTP (Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Perceptive/Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Preceptive), with the Feeling and Thinking parts almost perfectly equal.

Sometimes I have trouble reconciling the two parts, the dreamer and the skeptic. I believe in psychic abilities but am skeptical of many who claim to have those abilities. I believe in the permanence of the spirit but am skeptical of those who claim to see and speak to those who’ve passed on. I believe in the magic of the universe but have trouble believing anyone who says they can see or manipulate that magic. I believe in possibility of life elsewhere in the universe but am suspicious of anyone claiming to have seen an alien (or worse, to be one). Perhaps that is why I have trouble with religion — I don’t need proof to believe what I believe, but I need proof, I need personal experience, to accept what someone else says I should believe. I know. Religion is all about belief in something you don’t really know.


Sleep issues

After KoTa reminded me in one of yesterday’s posts about eating a banana before sleep, I googled a bit to find out why. Apparently, it is the tryptophan in the banana, which gets converted to serotonin, that can help.

The University of Maryland Medical Center’s Sleep Disorders Center offers an interesting list of tips for improving your sleep. I like the “don’t take your worries to bed” suggestion — if I could do that, I probably wouldn’t have trouble sleeping in the first place. I have insomnia on Sunday nights most often — usually because I’ve slept a strange pattern on the weekend and because the worries that I push off on Friday come back on me. I’ve had that particular insomnia for decades.

The Observer also has a 2003 article with ten tips for a good sleep. The tip about sniffing lavender is interesting. I have an eyemask that I used to use to block out the residual light in my room (I don’t use it now because the elastic has died). It was a marvelous satin mask — I should see if I can find another — that was stuffed lightly with lavender. Now, I don’t particularly like the smell of lavender but this seemed like a nice mask so I bought it. I slept so well with it. Part of it was just the sensory deprivation of blocking out the light but now I’m thinking that part of it may also have been the lavender.