Picture The Little Red Hen from old English folklore with someone else’s guilt trips on her head as well as her own! I was always busy and active, probably too busy for my own good. In her defense I can say The Little Red Hen got to eat the bread after Cat, Rat and Pig were too lazy to help with anything. They didn’t even help to plant the single grain of wheat in the ground. They let The Little Red Hen do all the work up until the bread came out of the oven, and then they were shut out from sharing it.
Like most women of my era, I’ve kept going through trials, tribulations and just plain tough times. But keeping myself in peak condition was never on my list of priorities, for so many reasons. Trying to catch up now is a serious challenge! I have to say I was never a couch potato. I can’t stand lying around doing nothing but watching mostly idiotic TV shows. Of course, surgery or serious illness have knocked me flat a time or two, so I can’t be too adamant about it. Never say never, as another expression goes.
As many others have already discovered, it’s not easy to unbecome a doormat. However, one of my writing instructors recently told us not to beat ourselves up for where we are, just plan how to get to where we want to be. This may include a course correction. Her sound advice applies to many additional aspects of our lives, not just writing.
Part of getting my health back to where it should be is finding out why I’ve been feeling unwell. Several of my doctors had told me for over a year I was doing fine: my test results were “normal,” and I was doing great “for my age.” (Dontcha just love that?!) In August I threw up my hands, found a mobile service, and paid for my own blood tests.
Those test results showed several high-risk categories! I took them back to my newer primary care doctor who said I’d apparently been overprescribed on my thyroid medication for the past couple of years. That’s potentially a life-threatening situation: side-effects can include going into shock or straight into heart failure. Currently, I’m taking a lower dosage and see a small improvement so far. We’ll see what October’s tests reveal. A change of medical team may be part of that course correction!
I want to start feeling well again, to get back to what is peak condition for me, so I can start walking around the neighborhood again and at a time of day that’s best and safest for me. I like how I feel when I’m walking a little every day. It helps me deal far better with stress, especially when I can also sleep when I’m tired.
I also like listening to good music, whether it’s classical, inspirational, New Age, or folk music, surfer classics, and more. You could say I like to unwind when I need to instead of whenever I can squeeze it in.
Will any of this help others who want to be in their own peak condition? It might. What works for me may not be right for you and vice versa. But for me it’s going to be worth the effort. I’ve never really accepted other people’s guilt trips being dumped on me, but I do like choosing to help others on the various teams I’m part of in this life. Totally ignoring my own needs just wasn’t a good idea. And if next time around, more people decide to pitch in and help other budding Little Red Hens, everyone will be healthier for it.