Picture the Little Red Hen with someone else’s guilt trips on her head as well as her own! Like many others, I’ve always been busy and active, too busy for my own good. In her defense I can say Little Red Hen got to eat the bread after Cat, Rat and Pig never lifted a paw, claw or hoof to help with anything, not even planting the single grain of wheat in the ground. Someday I will enjoy that kind of reward myself, though not yet.
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 that kind of utter boredom, 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 they say.
Putting Self First
But as many others have found, it’s not easy to un-become a doormat and start putting yourself first for once. However, copywriter Heather Robson told a private writers group several years ago 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 can apply to many additional aspects of our lives, not just writing.
I have been slowing down this year, especially my non-work activities because part of getting my health back to where it should be is finding out why I feel unwell much of the time: Lack of sleep, too much stress, and whatever else is going on. After doctors had told me for several years I was doing fine, my test results were “normal,” and I was doing great “for my age,” I threw up my hands, found a mobile service, and paid for my own blood tests and artery ultrasounds.
The artery ultrasound results were excellent (in spite of doctors’ warnings) but the blood tests showed several high-risk categories! I took them back to my primary care doctor who said I’d apparently been overprescribed on my thyroid medication for the previous couple of years. That’s potentially a life-threatening situation. Currently, I’m taking a lower dosage but don’t see improvement yet. We’ll see what this summer’s tests reveal. Changing doctors may be part of that course correction! I’ve also added a gut supplement that is helping with other issues. Sometimes you just have to take control yourself!
Peak Condition for Me
I want to start feeling well again, to get back to what is peak condition for me, so I can walk around the neighborhood without all the side-effects, 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. Other people may be ready to start going to the gym.
I enjoy listening to good music, whether it’s classical, inspirational, New Age, or 60s and 70s classics. I never liked having all that interrupted by work conference calls that should have been emails, or other silly corporate politics. Since I was forced into retirement by a Cruella management tier, I no longer have to deal with any of their nonsense. After giving them 110%, I got nothing substantial at the end. How many other employed people get shafted? Probably hundreds of thousands, if not millions.
So why do I want to feel good? Why do I want to get back to peak condition for me? Because I want the writer’s life! I work just as hard, in fact more so these days, given the homework assignments I also have. Yet now I have the freedom to set my own hours and my own schedule. I unwind when I need to instead of whenever I can squeeze it in.
Will any of this help others who want to be in peak condition, to actually enjoy their lives? 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. No more Little Red Hen on my way to a delicious but delayed reward while others snooze or gossip their way around their own personal barnyard. If, next time around, they decide to help their own situation, everyone will be healthier for it.