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Category Archives: different

Mowed me a lawn…

Two weeks ago, I wanted to try to trim the grass along our fence because it looked like crap and Hub hates trimming. But I couldn’t use the trimmer, it was too difficult for me. So I asked Hub to do it, and then I asked him to help me learn how to use the riding mower. It’s a zero turn thingy, so it has these two handles that you have to coordinate to keep the mower going straight. I am not coordinated. I can’t drive a stick shift car. But he helped me get it out of the shed, then showed me how to use it. Ya’ll, it was AWESOME. We have a little hill in the back yard, so once I got used to that–i.e. that I wasn’t going to fall over–I would pick up speed to go down the hill. The weather was really nice, sunny and cool with a breeze. And when I hit that hill and picked up speed, it was just fun. Like riding a go-cart. And the mower is LOUD, so I felt very zen-like because I couldn’t hear anything. My thoughts were drowned out. I was concentrating on using the handles to follow my tracks from the previous round, I was feeling the sun and the wind. I was just zoning out and I really felt good. I was tired when I was done from all the bumping and jostling, but it felt like such an accomplishment. I did the back yard, then stopped. Hub did our front yard area (which is really an empty lot that we thought we might parcel off and sell some day) because I didn’t think I could do it all and still be able to function physically the next day.

So today, with the beautiful weather we had, I decided to do the lawn again. Once we got the mower out of the shed, I was off. And it happened again…that zen-ness of just mowing. Noise and wind and going round and round. I decided to go ahead and do the front yard, too. I got it all done without any issues (the first time I mowed I ran into two of our gutters. I mean, I really messed up one gutter and I REALLY knocked over a pipe that goes into the ground from our gutters in another area, but luckily no permanent damage there, so far…) and it felt awesome. I know it’ll all be more difficult over the summer in the heat and the humidity. And realistically, depending on when my hysterectomy is scheduled, I probably won’t be able to mow all summer…but knowing I was able to do it was pretty freaking cool. And knowing I could do something that a) Hub dislikes doing and b) will free up some of his time, which he can then use to do something else I can’t do and c) I didn’t think I could do.

My only concern is what physical after-affects there might be. Controlling the mower is not easy, and that means stress on my arms and shoulders and neck, all of which are weak (and painful) spots for me. The bumping around on the mower isn’t entirely comfortable either, which could affect my back. But we’ll see tomorrow…if there are tears when I can’t get out of bed or move, I’ll know I did too much.

My last visit with T, I told her about the first time I mowed. And that I hiked into our back woods with Hub to put up no trespassing signs (we keep seeing people walking around back there looking for deer antlers, but it’s private property and also…it’s pretty messy. If someone trips over a dead tree and gets hurt, we could be liable…) and not once during the “hike”–which really was more of a walk while avoiding poison ivy and marshy ground–did I worry about getting hurt. Or getting stuck. Or not being able to get back out.

I told T that I’ve been feeling less anxious. It’s a weird feeling because I almost feel unemotional…but not. I don’t spend as much time looking into the future or imagining what might happen. I’m learning to say (and think) that what’s going to happen is going to happen. And that I will deal with (whatever it is) when it is upon me. No point in spending hours obsessing and thinking about my upcoming surgery appointment. When the time is upon me, I’ll work with it. And I told T that it is just strange. She told me that my body is thanking me for the lowered stress and anxiety…and I’m sure it is. All I know is that I still feel weird at the feeling of “calm” that I really can live in.

 

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Massage Envy

The physical therapy group that I go to has recently added a Massage Therapist to their roster, rounding out the talent there that includes PT, accupuncture, and Bowen Technique. I’ve been to a massage therapist in the past–13 years ago–and I liked it very much. It is more specialized than a typical massage, and I feel a massage therapist has more training in therapeutic work than a masseuse. I was interested to see the new addition, but consider how much work I feel I needed to do in PT, I didn’t consider using the MT at this time. However, in order to boost the MT business, the group decided to give away gift certificates to clients, one free one a day for I don’t know how long. Lucky me, they decided I would get a gift certificate! So I checked my schedule against the MT’s–who is only there two days a week–and set my appointment.

I was both excited and nervous, because I hadn’t had a massage in a very long time! I had asked my Physical Therapist to speak to the Massage Therapist before my appointment, so she could be aware of the issues I’ve been working on and not make anything flare up…which she did do. So when I went in for my massage, the therapist was ready for me and we talked about what she should focus on and that she should work more lightly than normal, and we could adjust as we went along. I was very pleased with the Massage Therapist because she was kind, easy-going, and generally had a good spirit. And hot-damn did the massage feel good while she was doing it. I forgot how nice a good massage could feel, even on muscles that are tense and tender.

Immediately after the massage–which focused on my neck, shoulders, and back–I felt nice, relaxed somewhat, and glad I had the opportunity to get one. But by the time I got home after a twenty minute drive, I didn’t feel much of anything different than before the massage, except I had a headache. And by the time Hub got home an hour later, the headache was really annoying, and I felt some of my imbalance bugging me. Not bad, but like it was just hanging around the edges, waiting to get bad. By the time I went to bed I felt grumpy and off-balance even more. Brushing my teeth I felt the swimmy, floating feeling of imbalance, and once in bed I felt the on-the-boat rocking motion. As if that wasn’t all sucky enough, then I tossed and turned all night, unable to get any rest. I think I slept maybe total of an hour or two, the rest of the time I was awake, lying there, feeling exhausted and off, with a headache, tossing and turning all over.

I don’t know if this is typical for post-massage (the restlessness, I guess, because the rest of it is probably singular to me because I’m so messed up), but it makes me not want to have another massage. As much as I enjoyed the massage during, the after-affects were crappy. Even today, the day after, I feel grumpy and yucky, and a tiny headache still lingers. Bleh.

 

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Can you spot the differences?

I am different. I use the word “weird” but would also consider “unique.” I don’t mind being different…most of the time. At least, that’s what I tell myself (and others). But I suspect that deep down, I don’t like it so much.

Let’s start with my family. I was different from birth, in that my three older siblings are all boys. Also, my brothers might as well be (but are not really) named Joe, Bob, and Sam. While I might as well have been named Anuetola. No one ever misspells my brothers’ names, and yet I’ve spent my life spelling mine out to people so they get it right. No one ever mispronounces their names, but mine is always fumbled. I was always fat…at least as far back as I can remember. My brothers were not. I hated sports and being outdoors, and yet my brothers played all kinds of sports and our family vacations were often spent camping. I looked like my dad, while my brothers seemed to look like my mom or relatives on her side.

Growing up, my mother had hoped I would play with baby dolls and tea sets, but I preferred my Barbies and all their various accessories…large and small. My brothers has lots of friends, I mostly had one or two, or none. I was the loner, the quiet one, the one most likely to burst into tears. My brothers had friends and played voraciously with neighborhood kids. I excelled in school, even when I didn’t really try, while my brothers seemed to work hard and produce lesser grades. It was like I didn’t belong to my family…

As an adult, I was still the fat child while my brothers and cousins all remained average size. I was the one who took apart the computer and set the pieces out on her bedroom floor while my brothers were dating and spending time with friends. I was the female who went into a male-dominated profession, something my brothers didn’t have to contend with. I was the girl who changed the oil in her car when most women I knew didn’t know how.

The thing is, not everyone reading this will see all these as “differences,” and many of you may think these are minute and not worth noticing…but I am noticing. I was probably noticing back then, too. Does everyone feel this way? Do other people see how different they are from those around them? I know when I was an adolescent, that all I wanted to do was be “normal.” I didn’t want to be different. To me if you were different, you were not “normal”…and not normal meant wrong…and wrong meant bad.

Different meant bad.

Does it still? How many times have I told people I’m weird or different? How many times have I rushed to use the words before someone else did, like I was attempting to beat them to the punch…to prove to them and myself that being categorized that way meant nothing to me.

I’m big on semantics most of the time, I like the use the right word that means the right thing to me. Often in conversation I will define why I chose one word over another. T told me that I was unique, I said “weird.” She told me that “weird” has a negative connotation to it, but I said it didn’t for me. That I’m okay being weird. Weird is not normal. Not normal is wrong, and wrong means bad. Am I doing this to myself? Am I using these words to hurt myself purposefully?

Arg. So many questions and yet I have no answers. I don’t know! T tells me using different words produces different chemicals in your brain. Being mindful of self-talk and the things you are thinking about yourself is important because the chemicals change based on what you’re saying to yourself, or thinking to yourself. Is my brain hearing these words as negative as I have said above?

I feel like I’m spinning my wheels here because I have no answers. I can change the words I use to describe myself, but I’m not sure I believe it will make a difference.

Unique not weird.

Curvy not fat.

Different not bad.

 

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