Which Comes First, or The Ankle Bone is Connected to the Shin Bone

Which comes first, the chicken or the egg, or the ankle bone is connected to the shin bone.  Yesterday I woke with a splitting headache and for once just decided to listen to my body and not force myself to do things just because that is what I normally do on a Saturday.  Laundry was ok, especially with my new red washer and dryer, but bathing Chauncey was definitely too challenging if I listened to my body so I didn’t.  However, today, I woke up feeling some better (allergies always leave me with a headache, especially in the morning, but it was a lower level one), and it is a gorgeous sunny day, so I decided that Chauncey would get his bath after all!  He wasn’t too thrilled but fortunately he is good and patient, and we managed it just fine.  And then, I decided to roll out my yoga mat and do some “real” yoga on the mat which I haven’t done in maybe 5 months as it was nearly impossible to roll the mat out when we were confined to the bedroom.

It was lovely to do my yoga again in front of my picture window in my bedroom and I was very pleased to find out that my shower yoga and my body butter yoga had worked to keep me stretched out so I was able to do my favorite poses without undo difficulties.  I even did a head stand (using my head stand support), and it felt really nice.

So now I’m wondering my perennial question.  How much do I push myself to do things which I know are good for me (like the yoga) or necessary (like Chauncey’s bath) no matter what, and how much do I say oops not today.  As I’ve mentioned before, I do have an artistic temperament which has melancholy as a major chunk of it and that melancholy can slide fairly easily into depression because of my early childhood programming, among other things.  I talked about this the other day with a couple of my students from Student Link who suffer similarly for similar reasons and I think I was able to help them put things into focus.

But when I mentioned the discussion to my therapist she pointed out that my students have one major advantage over me and in a nutshell that is their youth and health.  She encouraged me to show myself heaps of compassion because I do have a number of health issues, auto-immune thyroid disorder, untreatable allergies, chronic foot pain, spastic colon, low energies, etc, none of which are in any way life-threatening, but combined give me a fair amount to deal with and as I’ve discovered just this weekend, I never know from day to day how I will feel physically.  Add this to the innate melancholy and it is easy to see, as my therapist pointed out, why I have such fluctuating moods.

So now my question is which comes first or how these are all connected.  For most of my life I have simply pushed myself to meet whatever commitments I’d agreed to or tasks lay ahead of me no matter what I felt like.  I just toughed it out.  We had a saying, Purpuses don’t quit, and I lived that to the hilt for most of my life.  Even if I couldn’t be smart, creative, graceful, etc, and all the other things I was told I wasn’t, I was one who never gave up, who, like the Energizer bunny, just kept right on going, trying my level best no matter what the odds.

However, I can now see what a toll that took on me at every level.  Tomorrow I will be seeing a new podiatrist to deal with my feet, which I managed to ruin beyond repair, and that is just one example.  So I do need to listen and not be so silly anymore.  After all, I am not 17 yrs old as my students are.  At the same time, I know that the ankle bone is connected to the shin bone and that if I don’t push myself a bit to do things which I know from past experience do lift my mood, then I’m in danger of sinking further into depression.  

So when do I cancel going to Study Zone, for instance, because I’m not feeling well and hence not perky, and when do I give myself that extra kick in the pants and get going, knowing that once I get there, I generally do fine, even if I’m exhausted by the end.  It is a difficult road to follow.  I’ve had so many years of negative programming that I slide there way too easily.  It always requires effort to keep going, to do what I know is necessary or good for me or even enjoyable, and there just are days when the required effort seems to be way too much.  

And so I continue on my quest to see which comes first, the mood or the physical difficulties, and how they are connected ankle bone to shin bone so that if I do push myself will my mood lift and will I feel better overall, or will the pushing just make me feel worse as it did a few weeks ago when I had a major sinus/ear infection.  Life is always a balancing act and I just need to adjust to my own balance.

Meanwhile, it is a beautiful sunny day and Chauncey is squeaky clean and Sasha is eating and enjoying life and the other three are also doing well and I’m now ready to fill the hummingbird feeder outside my picture window so that the hummingbirds won’t come by and be disappointed.  Hope all is well in your part of the world.  Happy May Day!

2 responses

  1. Happy (belated) May Day to you as well!That is such a healthy attitude. Sometimes I don't know how far to push my social anxiety. I don't want it to take over my life and there is definitely something to be said for facing your fears and learning which ones are actually all that scary.But there are days when I just can't handle having strangers touch me on a very crowded subway car or spending hours socializing with loud people I barely know at a party. It can be really difficult to find a good balance. It is so cool that you were able to help some of your students who have similar challenges, though. A mentor who understands where you're coming from can make a huge difference!

  2. Thanks, Lydia, for your comment and perspective and yes, being able to share with my students is really important to me and I hope helpful to them. And one of the things I disliked the most about Monday when I had to go off island to the podiatrist was all the people! Just couldn't wait to get home! Cheers!

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