April 25, 2011

Turn and Face the Strain

I didn’t feel so great when I woke up this morning. I know why. One, I haven’t been exercising regularly for the past couple of weeks, and yesterday I walked a lot. My muscles are confused and consequently cranky. Two, since I never made it to the pharmacy to get my allergy medicine, my sinuses are swollen in protest. Three, as a direct result of the junk food I ate yesterday, my stomach is tossing acid around in revolt. In short, I haven’t been a model of good health lately and this morning felt it acutely.

I haven’t been exercising and eating correctly lately because I’m stressed out. Fitting time in to workout seems like a punishment when I’m working late most nights. Fast food and other edible comforts seem justifiable when I’m unhappy with my job. I’ve also been letting chores and errands, like pharmacy runs, slip because I’m distracted. I feel distracted because I’m not sleeping. I’m not sleeping because I’m not exercising and eating healthy. Not sleeping leads to more stress, which leads to… I’ll be honest: I’ve been having a major long-running pity party. My job sucks and I’ve been letting it suck down my personal life too.

Waking up this Easter morning, I felt how stupid that was. If ever there is a time to exercise and eat healthy and sleep well, it’s when you’re stressed. A sucky day at work is a reason to go to yoga, not an excuse to skip it. I know this, but I haven’t been acting on it. Instead, I’ve been feeling sorry for myself, as my last rant of a blog entry can attest. Someone suggested I take it down because it was so obviously an emotional vomit of an entry (my words, not hers). I considered taking it down because when I started this blog I intended it to be a record of the positive actions I take in my life, and that entry was not positive. I’ve decided to leave it, though, because it is honest. Anger and unhappiness is a part of everyone’s life at some point, and it certainly has been in my life lately. If my goal is to make myself a better Anne, I have to be honest about who I am. Right now, I’m a person who is unhappy with her job and who is letting it affect her life. Now I have to figure out how I’m going to get over this.

I’m not a traditionally religious person, but I feel there are valuable lessons to be learned and embraced from the stories and metaphors and wisdom that come from the world’s religions. I’m trying to tap into the ideas of renewal and restoration imbued in Easter celebrations. Today is a good day to start again, to make healthy choices and go back to the more positive me. I’m also considering that familiar prayer of “changing the things I can, accepting the things I can’t, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Changing the stupid job, while not impossible, is going to take time and a whole lot of patience. However, the unhealthy eating, the lack of exercise, the sleeplessness, the feeling sorry for myself I can start tackling all of those today. I can control these things. I can be a better Anne.

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