Today I woke up minorly sick and marveled at how different my life looks to me depending on how I’m feeling physically. I’ve experienced weeks of inspired empowerment recently, and all of a sudden everything looked bleak and Not-Worth-a-Crap this morning. Gosh! It’s taken me years to realize that how I view life events is a choice; rose-tinted glasses aren’t any more unreal than doom and gloom. But sometimes, like this morning, I’ve got to talk myself around. Sure, unfun and terrible-not-under-our-control things often happen, it’s part of life, and there are certainly events that we feel appropriately sad, upset, angry or just plain hopeless about for a period of time. But even our perception of catastrophic events is largely a matter of how we look at life in general. Is a hurricane part of what living on this planet entails, or is it something that’s personally out to ruin your life? Certainly degree of loss can determine our reaction and our ability to “bounce back” from the situation. But what about just your garden variety slump? I’ve dealt with difficult events in the past, like everyone else, but I’m talking here about a pervasive sense of dissatisfaction, like today, when I don’t feel well and things just looks kind of grey. Everybody experiences these days, and I’m learning to let them come and go, knowing next week I’ll bee woo hooing it up about the same stuff I’m sneering at today; ups and downs are just part of life. But that doesn’t mean that the downs are fun, even if we appreciate them later. I try to let the down days go by with as little impact as possible, and without making decisions–otherwise I know I’ll be doing damage control when I feel better again. The bummer is that bleak feels just as real as grateful and happy does.
Waking up with a headache and sinus gunk today made me think about people in poor health due to lifestyle choices who don’t feel well most of the time–life must be a general grind–what a drag! Is smoking, eating fried stuff, not exercising or partying hard really worth it?? Feeling good is enough of a motivator for me to do pretty much everything I can to keep myself healthy, and on a daily basis exercise, relax, eat well and get enough sleep (tho I’ve been low on sleep for about a week now, which probably left me vulnerable to this infection, damn it’s eyes). If any one of those things are off-kilter enough for long enough I don’t feel great, my attitude starts to go south, and everything else slides down with it. I curl up into survival mode and stop cleaning my house, doing laundry, getting out–and pretty soon, not only do things seem like a mess, they ARE. For me, eating a healthy diet is a huge part of feeling consistently good, and so worth it–for my present, and my long-term future. There’s just nothing like zero pain and feeling like singing and skipping every morning when you wake up! A couple of years ago, dealing with herniated discs and in constant, significant pain, I got an unwanted taste of what it’s like for things to look bleak for months on end, and it wasn’t good. I didn’t know if it would ever get any better–my doctor told me they couldn’t do anything else for me but give me stronger and stronger pain meds (and pain meds made me feel bad too!). Awful. Thanks to the magic of physical therapy, chiropractic care and raw food (eating an anti-inflammatory diet helps a ton to facilitate healing), today I have zero pain, but I will never forget that period of time in my life. People who live with constant pain live in a different universe, and I’ll do everything I can not to go back there. The good news is that there is always something we can improve to live healthier and happier, no matter where we’re starting from.
When I have blah days like today, I try to remind myself that the blah is minor and temporary, and will be gone soon enough. Normally I’d head to the gym to get the endorphins going and snap back into feeling great, but if I’m sick, that usually makes me worse, so I’m just waiting it out, thanking the stars I work part-time, and taking a magazine/movie day. These blah days remind me that my usually great health is worth every cent I spend on organic food, every minute I spent in a massage, every dinner date with my good friends, every “no” I’ve said, every trip to the gym and every effort I put into it. So–yay Blah!!