Sunday, June 21, 2015

You Are More

I think I annoyed a friend of mine the other day. Maybe "annoyed" is a strong term, but she had to take me to task a little bit.

Let me back up.

I have issues. (Ha! As if you read this blog and didn't know that!) My issues are many, but the food and allergies and crap can really get in the way of some of my typical activities. Let's take this weekend. My allergies are not as insane as they were a week ago, but they are still dictating things to some degree. It's been a gorgeous weekend outside, and I have spent most of my weekend inside. I did have one thing planned with some friends that was an outdoor activity, and I was a little leery of being outside, of being able to breathe, of keeping on top of my issues. I was nervous about having to leave early, etc., so I was working on a few contingency plans to leave early without ruining my friends' fun. I apologized for being difficult and being a "wet blanket". To which my friend replied, "You are not a wet blanket, you are our friend."

This friend is more than willing to put up with my issues. In fact, she helps me keep an eye on them. We did cut things a little short because towards the end, my allergies were starting to make a little noise, but she was more than happy to do that. I seriously think she has the patience of a saint. She has my back. Because I'm single and we live in a society where true community is very hard to come by, it is really something beyond price to have someone in your life that has your back no matter what.

Today I was listening to a song that included the lyrics "you are more than the problems you create". This particular song was a Christian song and talking about sin and such, but it reminded me how often we want to approach God in the way that I sometimes treat my friend. Like I'm a little too much work to be that much fun. But she doesn't really care how much work I am, any more than God does. Because they value us for who we are, and it's not about our issues.

Thus it is that once again my atheist friend has been the face of Christ in my life.

Friday, June 19, 2015

7 Quick Takes Friday

1) I can't breathe. Okay, literally speaking I can breathe, just not as freely and easily as I would like. Wow, the allergies with all the rain this year are beyond out of control. My nose was running constantly for a while, and now with the help of a nasal spray, it's not. Only I still can't breathe and while the pressure isn't bad, it's not great. It's not just that, though, the coughing from the post nasal drip has been exhausting (hence my willingness to take the spray in the first place). No joke, my massage therapist today mentioned just how bad my diaphragm, ribs, and abs were.  All coughing.  Did you know that you can get a fever from all of the inflammation from allergies? Because you can. Yeah, it's been a LONG week.

2) Whew! Sorry to jump right in there with all sorts of complaints, but I just had to get that off my chest (haha). I would say that allergies make me whiny, but that's not technically true. They make me tired and sniffly and sick and nonfunctional, but what I do with that is up to me. Anyway, the rain has knocked down some of the pollen, I am on more meds than I have taken in years, and I have turned a corner. I may not be perfect, but I am at least mostly functional. I seem to be able to eat and sleep again, which makes me much, much happier. This week seemed a month long, but it is over and I'm even going to brave the outdoors again on Saturday. Probably.

3) I get to go to the gym tomorrow! Who knew that would ever be a thing that would make me excited? It's not the gym, it's the workout, and more than that, it's the people. I miss them!

4) Wow, what a boring Quick Takes! I don't write for a while and then I jump in with all the boring boringness. Ah, well, it has to happen sometimes. I would love to get back on a schedule of writing 1-2 times a week, but in order to do that, I have to start somewhere. I am really hoping that this is a lead in to much better things, but for now it's something, so I'm just going to embrace that.

5) I have a question. I know that a lot of us enjoy taking out the cameras; what are your favorite photo link ups? I feel like I need something to get me out of a bit of a rut. (Oh! A pretty mountain, let me take a picture of it!) Not that I want to give up what I'm doing, but I'm trying to figure out how to be a little more versatile.

6) Let's see, yep. That's about all I have. Sorry, when you've spent half your week staring into space because it was too strenuous to so much as watch television or surf the web, I really don't have that much new stuff to add.

7) Here's a photo that was taken while I was standing in the pollen that was taking me out (but it took me a couple of days to realize just how bad it was going to be!)

Have a great weekend and head over to Kelly's for more Quick Takes!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

You Shall Know the Truth

... and the truth shall make you odd.

That Flannery O'Connor was a smart one, wasn't she? I am thinking of and perhaps regretting a bit a certain line in this post. I was starting to get rid of chairs, and I flippantly asked, "What's next?" I don't know if I even want to tell you where I am right now in this, because it is odd. I'm holding tight to another quote.

"We have to be willing to do today what others won't, so that we will be able to do tomorrow what others can't." Thank you, Jerry Rice.

I still use chairs, in case you were wondering, but I do sit on the floor more than I used to. I am trying to stretch more to offset some of my bad habits, while I also work on eliminating the bad habits that I can. It takes time. Since I've started down this particular line of inquiry, I have started to see better use of my postural muscles in the low back. Less tightness in the hamstrings. Less pain in my hip and Achilles. I have arches?!?!?! I have also seen some great results in the parts that I am using with my patients (biggest surprise being increased balance).

All of this to say, so far these experiments have been leading to some very interesting results, so the experimentation has continued. The latest? Last night was the second night that I slept on the floor. Yep. You read that right. I'm not directly on the floor, I have about a 3" foam pad, but trust me when I tell you it's no mattress!

Cons to this new venture: it feels weird. No one I know sleeps on the floor, so I feel like quite the oddball. Also, it's certainly less comfortable than a mattress.

Pros: It causes me to get up and down from the floor more (hey, I don't have kids that I'm picking up after like some of you!) I can't just fall into bed, I have to use actual muscle control (trust me, the way we often let gravity take us in for a soft landing on chairs and beds is a big problem over time). So far, both mornings I have woken up  feeling less stiff in the hip flexors. I think it's because since I can't sink into the floor like I do the mattress, the muscles actually have to let go rather than letting the mattress hold them in a shortened position. (My tight hip flexors are a definite problem area for me.)

I have slept well, and the only thing that's been a little achy in the morning is my mid back and ribs. I don't have a problem with this, as these are areas that should be mobile but that are overly stiff in my case (and in the case of a lot of people). Breathing when against a firm surface (the floor) pushes back against the stiffness in those joints and makes them move a little. Breathing against a mattress allows the mattress to give and the joints to stay stiff. It's essentially doing gentle joint mobilization all night long. I anticipate that this soreness won't last long, but I'll let you know.

I can also tell you that about a decade ago, I decided that I was too old to sleep on the floor because it hurt. Now I will amend that to say that it hurt because I was too stiff to sleep on the floor. I am a decade older and sleeping on the floor doesn't hurt now. I have not been able to lie on my stomach on the bed for a long time; if I did, I would wake up with a stiff neck. I fell asleep on my stomach for about 20 minutes the other day and woke up feeling great! Those things are not all a result of sleeping on the floor, but they are a part of it.

It's been an interesting thought process in all of this as well. Being too comfortable on the mattress; it certainly feels better initially, but at what cost overall? Pressing into the discomfort at an appropriate level allows us to make gains. Staying within what is most comfortable gradually moves us into greater restrictions over time. This is true in movement and in life.

Okay, this is not the most well put together post, but tell it to me straight. On a scale of "one" to "off my rocker" how bad is this? Is there any hope for me? (I'm joking. Mostly.)