Friday, April 30, 2010
Waiting for something can be very stressful. Being in a "state" of not knowing and waiting for answers to questions can make you feel overwhelmed with stress. Think of how often we wait for information to trickle down to us. It happens all the time. Often we just sit impassively and wait while others go about their business and get to us when they can. Waiting can be terrible!
Did you ever notice how relieved you feel when you get lab results back from the doctor? Why is that the case? I find waiting stressful because I project all kinds of possible scenarios taking place. I don't just do it with lab results, I do it in any situation where I don't have enough information to decide what to do. What if the results are bad? What if I don't get the job? What if my boss doesn't think I've done a good job? What if I can't lose the weight? What if other people make fun of me? What if I look stupid in front of others? I could go on and on but I think you get the idea.
Today, I was working on a long term situation/project (I've been working/stressing over it for about ten months now) and I found myself waiting once again for information (from a professional in the field). I felt myself starting to project a variety of scenarios that could take place. Suddenly I was once again playing the "what if" game, only this time I decided to take the bull by the horns. All it took was several emails and/or phone calls and I had enough information to put my mind at ease.(For now at least) I can't begin to describe how much better I felt once I had the information that I needed. I shared the information with hubby (who has been my partner in this project ) hoping that he too would share my relief. Well, he didn't. He acknowledged that our information was a start but is still wary of the amount of information we got. He is a person who requires even more information than I do!
The question of information got me to thinking. Why should I put myself on someone else's time schedule when it creates stress and frustration for me? Where is it written that I have to sit by passively and stress over a lack of information? I wonder why I do this? I know that there are situations where it takes time to get results or information, such as lab results. However, I've run into situations where the lab results were actually available the next day and nobody called me for two weeks. For years I've waited when I really didn't need to wait. Not just about lab results, but I've waited for all kinds of things.
Today, that stopped. Today, I decided that I was going to start asking questions. We are all entitled to ask questions. We don't have to be passive; to sit and wait until someone "gets to us" in their pile of work. I made the decision to become proactive instead of reactive. When I asked my questions today, I was very respectful and calm. I let them know how the waiting was making me feel. I said I was frustrated, edgy and anxious from waiting. Much to my surprise, I got an answer to every question! I also got the reassurance that I needed and I felt better. How often do other people do the same thing? I have come the the conclusion that sometimes knowledge and information can give you power and relieve stress. I am taking back the power that my passiveness has given to others. I am going to be proactive about my life! I am going to ask questions!
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Today I walked 7,034 steps. Hooray! I took two walks for a total of sixty minutes (thirty minutes each) and I was busy running errands for much of my morning. I was pleased that I did this well with little or no pain. The water at the pool is still too cold for my two knee replacements, so I've been experimenting with alternative exercises. Today, I broke up the activity time so I didn't do all of it at once. I have injured myself in the past trying to do one long block of exercise. Last spring, I had a stress fracture in my right heel and some damage to my lower spine by exercising for large blocks of time.
The degeneration in my spine is progressive. I am trying to strengthen all of the supporting muscles, tendons and ligaments. I spent the earlier part of this year in physical therapy trying to do this. My physical therapist now has me on a long term home exercise plan which includes water exercise and some easy walking. I can go for walks, but I'm aware that long walks may aggravate my knees and lower back. I've been very diligent about my new exercise program. I pay close attention to water conditions - temperature and weather - and land conditions - the type of surface and length of time I spend walking. Although it has been hard to reign myself in, I've been fairly successful. I have to rest on the bed after doing activities. This recovery time is key to controlling my pain and preventing injury. (See? I'm learning!)
When you've been active your whole life, this new approach is easier said than done. Sometimes I forget and try to do the things I used to do. Later, I pay the price with pain that takes hours to bring back under control. By reprogramming myself and the way I approach exercise, I hope to keep the pain spikes at bay and still be able to strengthen my muscles. I look at this as a challenge. How can I stay fit and control my weight in a new way. I'm up to the challenge!!
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Since the pool is out for me today (too cold) I decided to clean our house and do some gardening. I had forgotten what a great workout both can be.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
For those of you who know me personally, you know how stressful my life has been for the last year - starting with my daughter's near fatal auto accident and followed by one event after another. Yesterday was no exception. At one point I just wanted to sit down and have myself a good cry.
It would be easy for hubby and I to wallow in a pool of self pity but while we were doing that, life would pass us by. Everyone has their own share of stressful times - we're not all that different from everyone else. So, we exchanged lots of hugs, did some venting, completed a little research on the computer, I did chores, and finally we tried distraction. We had a prayer session with a lay minister when we picked up our Angel food at the church center. We even put ourselves on the church prayer list for that church. We thought that might make both of us feel at least a little bit better. It didn't quite bring the temporary relief that we sought. The distraction we tried was very helpful. We watched an action DVD which was helpful. I kept getting up to do laundry etc. I was fairly tired last night (because of all the chores I'm sure) and fell right to sleep. Hubby wasn't so lucky. He was up and down all night. Poor guy, I wish I could help him get rid of enough stress to get some sleep.
So how come I can sleep and hubby can't? Well for one thing I'm more active (even if just around the house) than he is and my diet and water consumption are better. But the real key is God. When I feel exhausted and can't cope, I talk to God. In the past year I've been trying to open those lines of communication during my quest to achieve balance between mind, body and spirit. The heart of my Spark Journey is improving all three - mind, body and spirit - and achieving a balance with them. I've gotten into the habit of praying multiple times every day. We also attend church on a regular basis and about half way through the service, my stress drops away. This happens every time too. It's simply amazing!
When I can't sleep at night, I ask God to hold all the stress and troubles for me while I rest. I will then ask him to give it back to me when I'm rested and refreshed the next day. Mentally, I carefully bundle it all up - I'm careful not to leave any gaps where some might escape - and hand it all to God to keep, so I can rest. I started doing this right after my daughter's accident and it has been wonderful. The funny thing is that very little of it is left when it comes time to work on it the next day. Either God doesn't give it back because he knows I'm too stressed to handle it (and he's handling it for me) or the act of resting my body makes it easier for me to cope with the stress and it seems like a much smaller amount the next day. Who's to say what causes this phenomenon to occur, but it works and I feel very blessed.
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