I’m house/dog-sitting for some friends – just for one night until their regular person can start – but I’m thinking of changing professions! What’s not to love about a job that lets you temporarily stay in a beautiful home and play with friendly animals? It’s like a fucking vacation! And apparently, people PAY you to do it!
Here’s the thing I found particularly interesting about my overnight stay – I slept last night for nine and a half hours! Let me put that into context for you – for the past seven years, I’ve NEVER slept nine and a half hours. In fact, usually I don’t sleep more than six and a half or seven hours a night – and often only five or six hours a night. I know this because I was feeling exhausted most of the time, so I downloaded an app for my phone that recorded when I went to bed and when I got up. So, when I think about it, I realize that the time I actually sleep is probably 30 minutes or so LESS than what is recorded, because I tend to take a while to actually fall to sleep once I turn off the lights, I toss and turn during the night, and I get up at least once to pee – and then some random song will start playing in my head or I’ll start to worry about whatever stressful thing is going on just then in my life, and I’ll lay in bed for 30 minutes or an hour before I actually fall back to sleep again. Sometimes I just give up in disgust and get up at 4 or 5am to start my day.
But at my friend’s house, I fell asleep at 9:30pm (unheard of!) and slept a deep sleep, full of dreams (about dogs, go figure), and even though I got up once to pee, I went right back to sleep for another three hours!
That got me thinking – what’s different? I can’t really blame the lack of sleep at my house with the current situation going on there – because I haven’t slept well since we purchased the house – some seven years ago. I don’t think it’s the stress of home ownership – because we’ve never had a problem paying the mortgage and, while remodeling is stressful and we’ve done a lot of that, the remodeling was only periodic after we actually moved in. My bed at home is super comfy, I love my pillows (in fact I brought them with me to my friend’s house), the temperature is usually comfortable, and there is not a lot of extraneous noise to contend with. So it’s not any of that.
Could it be the house?
We purchased our house from a couple who divorced and were in financial straits. The husband was living there all alone (with furniture in only one room) and the bank was ready to foreclose when made the offer. It was an “as is” sale – so when we closed, he packed up the things he wanted and left the rest for us to deal with. Our new neighbor, Dave – a friendly guy who knows everything about everyone in the neighborhood, told us that the husband and wife often fought loudly. He added that their teenage children were sullen, rebellious, and that the parents did not seem to really care. Dave told us about an incident where the mother and the children were in the untended backyard, which was overgrown with huge, dried up weeds. One of the teenagers decided to set the weeds on fire – particularly unwise in New Mexico where there is a long-term drought, the winds blow almost constantly, and fire danger is always high. Dave, not wanting a fire to burn down HIS house, called out to the mother and gestured, “Deb? Are you seeing this?” She responded, “Mind your own fucking business!”
They must have been great neighbors. Have I mentioned that Dave was thrilled to have us move into the house and fix it up?
As we cleaned out the leftover belongings, we found several boxes in the attic – and as we brought them down, we also found several butcher knives scattered on top of the insulation, just inside the attic hatch. It appeared that someone had just thrown the knives up into the attic – but why? If they were storing the knives, why weren’t they boxed? We joked that they were murder weapons, thrown up there to evade detection. But I really wondered if they had been thrown up there so that someone else would not have easy access to them. Had someone been worried that the knives MIGHT have been used as a weapon?
As we were painting my daughter’s room, we took down the sliding doors to the closet to refinish them. On the back of one, carved into the wood with a sharp object, were the words, “I hate them!” There were also many other scratches and holes in the wood – it was apparent that someone had sat inside the closet at least once and gouged out their emotions in secret.
While I’ve had some episodes of depression from time to time during my adult life, only once did it require medication and only for a short while. But after we moved into the house, my depression became worse, and more frequent, and for the last two years I’ve been on two different anti-depressants daily. Certainly there was more stress – Doc was unemployed at one point for over a year, we did a lot of remodeling (often running into unforeseen problems along the way), and I went back to working full-time after over a decade of working from home part-time. And, of course, the marriage began to have more and more problems until it collapsed entirely last month. I used to wonder, in a light-hearted fashion and not really believing it, if the house had bad karma and was determined to make the occupants feel miserable.
I’m starting to wonder about this more seriously.
My friend (in fact the very friend I’m dog-sitting for) mentioned to me once that he felt they had some bad energy in their home, so he burned a smudge stick and used it in each room. A smudge stick is made up of dried herbs (usually sage), tightly wound into a stick. It is used by lighting one end and immediately blowing it out, so it smolders and produces aromatic smoke. For centuries, smudge sticks have been used for religious purposes by Native Americans, especially those in the Southwest. These days, some people believe that smudge sticks are a good method to help clear the psychic atmosphere.
Does my house need a smudging?
Now I’m not AT ALL a new-age type of person. Unless there is a zombie apocalypse, I’m never going to be weaving my own cloth or making my own sandals. Most of my beliefs are based on science rather than religion, tradition, or fad. However, I never dismiss anything out of hand – I have seen that some things just cannot be explained, that occasionally the craziest sounding idea is the best one, and that closed-minded people are cut off from something greater than themselves (and they generally are also super annoying). So, if smudging my house might give the place a more positive atmosphere and clear out the bad ju-ju – I’m willing to give it a shot. Hell, for nine hours of sleep, I’m willing to give ANYTHING a shot!
Have you ever smudged anything? Do you believe that places can have bad energy? Or do you think this is all just malarkey? You can say so – as I’ve said, I have a very open mind