Balancing my Health

I’m not one to slow down for long. In fact, I thrive in movement. I am happiest when busy and active. So when I get sick, it’s really hard to make myself stay in one place so I can get better. Yesterday, I probably went through a whole tissue box because of this head cold that I’ve caught. It’s probably the first time I’ve been sick in two years, but it came with a vengeance. I was fine one day and then next day, barely getting by. I shouldn’t have gone to work. And I’m sure my co-workers wished I hadn’t gone to work. So today, I called in sick for the first time at my current job.

I don’t know why, but I felt guilty about doing it. I think it’s that whole rat race mentality I mentioned in a previous post. We are told to tough it out and go in to work even when we’re sick. But that doesn’t help you get over the sickness and it certainly doesn’t help the office morale. But if the stubbornness or pride wins, everyone else loses out. So, against my prideful nature, I sucked it up and called it a day. Then I slept most of the morning away (I must have needed it) and have been doctoring myself ever since I crawled out of bed.

Truth be told, it’s been an enlightening experience. I’ve been gulping green tea and running my essential oil diffuser as well as taking essential oils to help my body get over this. And it’s working. Who would have guessed that slowing down and letting your body heal would actually work?

I think there is balance to life in everything we do. You have to make sure you don’t fall too far one way or the other. It wouldn’t be good for me to be lazy and sit on the couch all day, but equally, it isn’t good for me to run myself into the ground either. I am constantly battling this concept of balance and not just on sick days. There really is a time for everything under the sky. The Byrds said it right in their song, “Turn! Turn! Turn!” (based on Ecclesiastes 3). Sometimes it’s good to rest and sometimes it’s good to get up and move. Today is my day to rest.


“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.”  Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV)


Hypochondriac with Time on Her Hands

I don’t know what’s gotten into me lately. I have lots of spare time on my hands, but I’m not sure what to do with it. I mean, I have my lovely to-do lists, right? But when it’s time to relax and enjoy myself, I feel antsy. It’s like I don’t know how to play anymore.

It’s easy to get sucked into this slump, especially when American society is telling you to always keep working lest the other rat win the race. But I don’t even know what the prize is at the end of the race. To me, it seems to be a glorified trophy rather than something that’s worth all the stress involved in this race.

If this is how I feel, why do I always get duped by it? I fall back into the race at the same time I deny its power over me. It just doesn’t make sense. Maybe this is human nature. Sometimes when you try so hard not to let something happen, you actually enable it to have power over you. A hypochondriac can start out with near-perfect health and by worrying so much about disease, they inevitably make themselves sick. And that seems to feed the fury. Now they know that they were right about having that sickness all along. So the cycle continues. It only stops when the self-destruction is stopped.

Mind over matter is a difficult thing. I have been diagnosed with Raynaud’s Syndrome. Basically, when I’m cold, the nerves in my fingers shut off circulation to my fingertips and my touch is unnaturally cold. My fingers turn white in a freakish way and don’t go back to red until I’ve warmed up. It happens in my feet, too. And trust me, it is painful to walk on numb feet. I am fortunate that I don’t have it as bad as some people.

This winter, I’ve decided that I am going to try to control my mind. When the weather makes a drastic change to low temperatures, I tense up. This tension certainly doesn’t improve my circulation and I think it’s part of the problem. So I wiggle my shoulders and try to shake off the tension. I visualize hot showers or sandy beaches with warm sand. I’m Rocky about to run up that flight of steps. Believe it or not, this has worked for me. But when you feel like an ice cube, it’s really hard to convince your body that you’re still warm. I’m still working on mastering this technique.

If I can actually convince my nerves not to overreact to cold, perhaps I have more control over my health and my life than I think. Now that is something to ponder on. I think I’ll go take a hot shower.

Cutting the Cord

Almost a month back, I made the huge leap: I deleted my Facebook account. To non-Facebook people, this may not seem like a big deal, but for people who know how Facebook can grab hold of you, they’ll understand. There is a lot of negativity surrounding the use of Facebook, yet there is still a massive group using it.

My personal reasons for leaving go deeper than the ever-changing privacy issues. I felt like for my mental sanity and self-worth, it would be better to walk away. I feel that Facebook dehumanizes people in a certain sense. It’s too easy for people to cut someone else down while they hide behind their devices. Somehow, there seem to be more “trolls” making rude comments because everyone feels braver when they aren’t face-to-face with the person they’re abusing. It breeds cowards.

Facebook started out as another form of communication between college kids. Then it expanded to high school age and now of course everyone and their grandma are on it. (Literally. My grandma has her own page.) Even companies now use it.

It has become a marketing scheme and everyone is selling themselves. People only show the best parts of their lives and pretend that the less glistening parts don’t exist. At least for some people. There are also the Eeyores in the bunch who use it to whine about their lives and to gain pity from their (now annoyed) friends. But to me, it is the same thing. It is a way for people to jump up and down and scream, “Look at me! Look at me!”

But in an odd way, at least in my personal experience, it has the opposite effect. I found myself reflecting on my own life and doubting that I have it all together. Doubting that I can make it in this world. Feeling unworthy. Disillusioned. Depressed.

I’m not where I want to be in life. There are so many things I want to change. But because I am struggling, I believe that there is something great waiting for me. These struggles will make it easier to appreciate what lies in my future, be it a career or otherwise. Anything that comes easy or free is cheapened. So if I must fight for a better future, the fight will be worth it.

Outside the cloud of negativity that surrounded my Facebook experience, I am feeling like I’m standing on less rocky ground. No one’s shouting in my ears or spitting in my face. I am moving forward on this journey. In hindsight, almost everything you’ve been through doesn’t seem as bad as it felt when you were going through it. I can’t wait for the day when I can reach the peak of that mountain and look back to enjoy the view and to appreciate how far I’ve come. Already, there is rough terrain behind me, so I’m going to keep my eyes ahead, but not so far in the future that I miss the obstacles on the path at my feet.

Target Practice

Thunk! In the movies, there is always a slick pling! and then a nice crunch as the arrow hits the target. With a bow in my hand, the sound is usually a thunk followed by a ricochet as the arrow falls flat on the ground away from the target. Archery does not come easy to me. It’s a challenge. I’ll admit it: I am awful. My husband wisely told me that everyone is awful when they start out. No one gets it right the moment they pick up a bow. Thank God I have him on my side. And you know, I think he’s right. At least I can say I have a lot of room for improvement. I wouldn’t want to start out with it mastered. That would get boring, I suppose. But it would be nice for the first few weeks.
Even in life I seem so off-target. I don’t know where to aim so I never get the arrow where I should. Sometimes it feels like I’m shooting up at the trees and missing every branch. All I get out of this is the joy of seeing the arrow flying and then the fright of taking cover as it plummets back to me. But I get nowhere.
I turn 29 in a little over a month. To some, I’m still so young. To kids, I’m ancient. Really, I’m just trying to magically turn into an adult. Career-wise, I’ve got a colorful resume. I’ve tried so many types of jobs that all I know for sure is what I don’t want to do. Like shoot into the trees. Where is my target? At almost-thirty years old, I still don’t know. Some people tell me I never will.
I don’t feel like I have unrealistic expectations. I studied Field Biology (Environmental Science) and Spanish in college. I was told Spanish would be a shoo-in for a job. They failed to warn me that if you don’t want to teach Spanish, retail is the most common second choice. And they’ll pay you maybe a whole dollar more per hour, making your hourly wage somewhere around $9….Okay, I’m being cynical here. In the process of hoping Spanish would be helpful, I’ve lost touch with it. Now I feel like my skills are sinking away from me.
I know I’m not the only person feeling this way. Economically, I do believe things are getting better. I just need to brush up on my skills, take aim, and find that blasted target.