Gotta get moving again

Ouch. The past short week with all the long hours — 5 a.m. till 7 p.m., most days — has been kicking the crap out of me, and I woke up this morning feeling like I’ve been beaten with a stick. It’s all those old sports injuries from my past, including a very sedentary lifestyle in my present. I do manage to get up and move, throughout the course of the day, but lately I’ve had to do work that has me sitting for long periods of time, just hunched over the keyboard, and that just plain sucks.

So, I’ve got to do something about it. I have been going to physical therapy to help with my neck and shoulder, which I injured a few months back and has not quite healed yet. I’ve learning some exercises to do, and I have a printout to follow. Now, I just need to put it where I can find it and remember it. I got it a couple of weeks ago, but it ended up on a pile underneath some other papers — out of sight, out of mind. No matter now often I tried to remember to dig it out and consult it, I kept forgetting.

That being said, I just retrieved it from my pile and it’s sitting here on the desk next to me. That’s an improvement already.

I also did some exercises this morning while I was making my breakfast — not the usual exercises 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 and repeat… that gets boring — but just moving around, loosening up, getting my bones cracking and my blood pumping. I get a little too staid with my exercises, first thing in the morning, and they don’t feel that great, so I back off. And then I end up doing nothing… Unless I’m doing chores around the house and yard, in which case I’m moving a lot, lifting and pushing and pulling and really testing myself.

Feast or famine. And then I end up with a lot of pain and stiffness and I get sedentary… and I end up like I am now — stiff and sore and one bit instance of ouch.

Ah, well. So it goes. At least I know I’m alive, right?

I’ve heard a lot of friends say that this is the year they get their act together, health-wise, and I’m in the same boat. I feel like the last few years were just all about survival — hunkering down and keeping a low profile and just soldiering through. Just staving off disaster, nothing more, nothing less.

This year, it feels like things are loosening up, all the upheaval in Ukraine and Venezuela notwithstanding. All kinds of crap is breaking loose all over the place, but in my little corner of the world, things are actually normalizing. Granted, I have come to detest my job all over again, and I can’t even begin to say how crazy it makes me to work with people who are arrogant, entitled, and utterly incompetent because their bosses have been letting them slide, lo these many years. It’s truly pathetic. There is a cost for coddling slackers. And I’m sick of paying someone else’s bills.

On the bright side, this motivates me all the more to step up and actively manage my own career and make some inroads where I can. I’m just going to keep steady with my own work and my own path, and let everyone else figure it out. Seriously, it’s not my job to win the hearts and minds of everyone around me. They can manage their own damn’ selves. I’ve got work to do, and I’m going to do it.

Now that I’m looking at my printout of exercises, it’s coming back to me… my physical therapist showed me some good stretches to do, and some of these I can do at my desk, as well as in the car while I’m driving. Or I can just step away from my desk for 10 minutes, every couple of hours, and do them. It actually wakes me up a bit, to stretch, and it frees up the blood flow and energy — gets everything “talking to each other” much better. So, it should help me in the course of my daily work.

Despite my bitching, the simple fact remains that people who can do difficult work get paid the big bucks. Those who can take on impossible challenges and deliver, are the ones who are most valued in a large company, and rather than dreading and avoiding challenges like the ones I face each day, I should be welcoming them as a chance to grow and improve. There are a number of things I really dislike about this job — the workforce, the arrogance of management, the overwork and underpay, as well as the travel which destroys my quality of life. But if I can work around those things and focus on the parts of it that I want to really emphasize, then I can make this work for myself.

Having to soldier through all the muck and weeds is incredibly taxing, but that’s just part of living and working. I need to just suck it up and get moving, make the most of the situation where I find myself, and really focus on the gratitude for what I do have.

And take care of my health. I’m going to see my doctor today about my headaches. I suspect they’re just tension headaches, but it could be something else. And they come on when I exercise — I can start out feeling pretty decent (headache at a 2/10). Then I’ll start to exercise, and when my heart rate goes up, my headache kicks in harder — going up to a 6 or a 7 out of 10. It makes it a little difficult to get excited about exercising. I thought it would just go away over time, but it hasn’t. And so I need to check with my doctor.

This coming June, it will be four years since I started at this company. It has been a wild ride. I’m not sure how much longer I should stay, actually. And later this year, when I have revised my resume and goals and objectives, and I am more clear about the new direction I want to go in, I can start looking. Right now, it makes no sense for me to move. I just need to stay focused on what I am doing and stay true to myself.

And not let others hold me down or cloud my judgment. I’m surrounded by people whose judgment doesn’t seem to be that sound. I can’t let that affect me and blur my own vision.

So, yeah. Onward.

 

 

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Author: brokenbrilliant

I am a long-term multiple (mild) Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI or TBI) survivor who experienced assaults, falls, car accidents, sports-related injuries in the 1960s, '70s, '80s, and '90s. My last mild TBI was in 2004, but it was definitely the worst of the lot. I never received medical treatment for my injuries, some of which were sports injuries (and you have to get back in the game!), but I have been living very successfully with cognitive/behavioral (social, emotional, functional) symptoms and complications since I was a young kid. I’ve done it so well, in fact, that virtually nobody knows that I sustained those injuries… and the folks who do know, haven’t fully realized just how it’s impacted my life. It has impacted my life, however. In serious and debilitating ways. I’m coming out from behind the shields I’ve put up, in hopes of successfully addressing my own (invisible) challenges and helping others to see that sustaining a TBI is not the end of the world, and they can, in fact, live happy, fulfilled, productive lives in spite of it all.

2 thoughts on “Gotta get moving again”

  1. I have posted this before and think it is important to post again because far too often the people around us influence how we feel and what we do. After a brain injury this is really important because if we aren’t around people who make us feel good it is very easy to get depressed and do things that is counter productive to our recovery and well being.

    •00:01 05 December 2008 by Ewen Callaway

    Are your friends happy? What about their friends? These people, new research suggests, will have a profound impact on your own personal satisfaction.

    Like an influenza outbreak, happiness – and misery too – spread through social networks, affecting people through three degrees of separation. For instance, a happy friend of a friend of a friend increases the chances of personal happiness by about 6% (see graphic, right).

    Compare that to research showing that a $5000 income bump ups the odds by just 2%, says James Fowler, a political scientist at the University of California, San Diego, who led the new study.

    “Even people we don’t know and have never met have bigger effect on our mood than substantial increases in income,” he says.

    He and colleague Nicholas Christakis, of Boston’s Harvard Medical School, made the connection by mining 53,228 social connections between 5124 people who took part in a decades-long clinical study.

    Emotional ripples

    As part of the Framingham Heart Study, participants updated researchers on their social contacts and health status, including happiness, as measured by a standard psychological questionnaire. Many participants listed several other study participants, allowing the researchers to connect social dots.

    Fowler and Christakis took a similar approach to document how obesity and cigarette smoking permeated through the same social network.
    Even more than smoking and obesity, happiness spreads best at close distances, they found. A happy next-door neighbour ups the odds of person happiness by 34%, a sibling who lives within 1 mile (1.6 kilometres) by 14%, and a friend within half a mile by a whopping 42%.

    The effect falls off through the network, with friends’ happiness boosting the chances of personal happiness by an average of 15% and friends of friends by 10%. As with obesity and smoking, Fowler and Christakis detected no effect beyond three degrees of separation.

    While there might be six degrees of separation between any two people, “there are three degrees of influence,” Christakis says.
    Fowler theorises that beyond three connections, a kind of social dissonance saps the transmission of behaviour, almost like a wave.
    “If you drop one pebble in a pond, it will create ripples out from the pebble,” he says. “That’s not what’s happening here. You have a whole handful of pebbles and you’re throwing them in the pond at once.”

    Contagious feeling
    In the case of happiness, dour sentiments contain its infective spread. Fowler and Christakis found that each happy contact increases a person’s odds of happiness by an average of 9%, while an unhappy contact decreases those odds by 7%.

    The long-time collaborators even bet over which emotion would spread more potently.

    “I think that happiness is more likely to spread because here’s an emotion that’s about social cohesion,” says Fowler. Visible and contagious happiness might have helped our ancestors maintain social cohesion.

    “In this rare occasion, James was right and I was wrong,” Christakis admits. “It’s pleasurable to be near other happy individuals and not near other unhappy individuals.”

    Ruut Veenhoven, a sociologist at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, Netherlands, editor of the Journal of Happiness Studies, and curator of the World Database of Happiness agrees. “Happy people are typically more involved, are nicer to their kids and their dog, and live longer,” he says.

    The study, which he describes as “terribly creative”, might even help people improve their daily lives. “If you want to make people happier, you know at least how it spreads.”

    Like

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